30 Oct

Frugal Gardening Techniques With Pool Liners and Covers

You’ve managed to take down that unused above-ground pool, and you now want to use that reclaimed space for a frugal garden spot. Before you throw all the scraps and pieces into the dumpster, hold back on discarding the pool liner. The pool liner and matching pool cover are made of yards of vinyl fabric, which are perfect for frugal gardening upcycling techniques. Depending on the size of your yard, waterproof landscape fabric can cost up to $100 or more (as discovered while browsing Lowes.com), and this is just one of the uses for this free resource.

Weed Barrier

Weed Barrier

Image by Beachbums3 (Flickr)

Savvy gardeners lay a weed barrier, also called landscape fabric, on top of the soil after planting seeds and seedlings in the spring. This waterproof barrier helps to hold moisture in the soil while shading out any weed seeds that may sprout. Lay the pool liner flat and cut out 6-inch holes where the seedlings will grow. Water can reach the soil through these holes when you water the plants. Put in your bushes and other landscaping plants, and then cover the liner with an attractive layer of wood chips, as Doug Green’s Garden suggests.

Pond

Small Garden Pond

Image by Biofilter tech (Wikimwedia Commons)

A cool, natural-looking pond is a big asset to any landscaping decor, adding curb appeal as well as a relaxing view. Homemade ponds are very simple to create, and pool liners make ideal pond liners. As ThisOldHouse.com suggests, dig the pond hole, measure and cut the liner to fit, lay the liner in the bottom and fill it with water. Add rocks around the edge to cover the plastic and place a fountain and some aquatic plants at one end of the pond for a cool addition.

Protect From Frost

Frosted Plants

Image by Peupleloup (Flickr)

If you live in a southern state and a frost threatens, or if your frost is coming early in the north, you probably have vegetable plants with food that’s still not ripe. You can save the harvest by creating a barrier between the plants and the outside air. A thinner layer of plastic will do for this job, so save the pool cover for this time of year. If you don’t have one to recycle, you can find pool covers online for much cheaper than a similar amount of rolled plastic. Wrap the liner around the tomato cages, or place a stake in the middle of some plants and create a small tent for shorter peppers and the like. The heat from the soil will be just enough to keep the plants from freezing overnight. As The Garden Helper recommends, remove the plastic in the morning when the frost melts, and replace it at night again when needed.

Transportation

Fallen Leaves

Image by Nate Steiner (Flickr)

Whether it’s leaves in the fall, fallen twigs in the spring, or piles of soil when double-digging, every gardener has a large job of carrying to do once in a while. Instead of spending money on a wheelbarrow, use a pool liner or cover to do the heavy lifting. Lay out a length of the plastic cloth and place the materials on top. Grab one end and pull the liner to where you need to go. The slick vinyl surface of the pool liner will slide easily over grass or gravel, making for a simple way to transport garden items.

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