Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shedding Your Pants In Your Garden

The shorts and the steps
This weekend I solved a couple of minor problems by shedding my pants in my backyard. I would encourage you to do the same, but before you to anything rash ... or depending on the plants in your yard, give you a rash ... read on ...
An old pair of jeans was looking pretty ratty, so I cut the legs off. It's not a pair of garden shorts, not really suitable for wearing anywhere, but good enough for a sunny day of messing in the dirty. But what, my thrift mind said, should I do with the cut-off legs?
One can make all sorts of bags out of them by sewing the cut edge together and adding a drawstring to the hem. But I didn't especially need something like that, and am not really experienced in sewing.
I had another problem. I had built a step for my shed out of 2x4s salvaged from my neighbor's basement remodel. The step worked fine but I realized that grass would soon be growing between the boards. 
Then it hit me: to lay down the legs as a weed barrier! In the past, we've used barrier cloth purchased for that purpose, as in the underlayer of our Ecogrid patio. It's not very expensive, but jeans would function just as well. From an esthetics standpoint it's not really a problem since a thin layer of soil can cover the barrier.
The result worked fine: my stair is protected from weeds growing up, and the legs have gone on to a useful existence without being wasted!
(Kris tells me that newspaper also works fine as weed barrier. I'll try that next time!)

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