Sure, you could go to the garden center and buy a package of metal garden staples to hold down your floating row cover or secure the plastic over your low tunnel. Or you could peek into your closet and put some of that tangled mess of wire hangers to use instead.Here at Treehugger, we're (obviously...) huge fans of reusing and recycling, and when you can reuse something for the garden, that's even better, as far as I'm concerned. So when I saw this idea for making garden staples from old metal hangers over at Northwest Edible Life, I had to share it.
These garden staples are simple to make: simply use a pair of wire cutters to snip the long, angled ends off of a wire hanger. Then bend the piece of wire into a U-shape, and voila: a garden staple.
I most often use garden staples for holding down floating row covers. You could hold them down with large rocks, but I don't tend to have many big rocks sitting around. They're also useful for holding down a soaker hose so it stays flat and in place under mulch.
This is a really simple idea that not only provides you with something useful for your garden, but also can help eliminate at least a few of the over 3 billion of these wire hangers from ending up in the landfill each year. While some towns accept wire hangers for recycling, many do not.
Other Ways to Reuse Wire Hangers in the Garden
A few more garden-related uses for your wire hangers:
- Make a simple wind chime or bird repellent by tying shells, bits of sea glass, or old silverware to the straight edge of the hanger, and hang it from a tree or awning as a decoration or in a garden bed (especially one in which you have corn or berries planted) to frighten birds away.
- Straighten the hooked end of the wire hanger, then use pliers to shape the wire hanger into whichever shape you prefer. Stick the straightened end into a pot, and you have a great, free topiary form to grow ivy or other climbing plants on.
- Use them to make plant labels for your vegetable garden.