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Burlap: Practical and Decorative Uses Outdoors

As the hot summer months begin, thoughts turn to the yard and garden.  Burlap really comes in handy for mid-summer heat. It has practical uses in the garden and decorative uses in outdoor living spaces.

Functional Uses

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The sun’s heat can quickly dehydrate the ground and the summer rains can wash the dry soil away from newly planted seeds. Laying a piece of burlap over the seeds makes them develop much faster by holding in moisture after watering. Many vegetable and herb starter seeds prefer moist conditions like carrots, chervil, and parsley. When the seedlings begin to emerge from the soil, it is time to remove the burlap.

Sometimes deer, rabbits, and other critters are a problem, but building a burlap fence roughly two feet high around their favorite plants will deter them. Some plants, like blueberry bushes, can be wrapped in burlap to keep grazing animals away. Wrapping is more commonly done in the winter to protect plants from cold winds especially those not typically native to colder areas like figs and hydrangeas.

Burlap also comes in handy to protect the root balls of plants while moving and replanting them. Burlap can be wrapped around the root ball to hold the soil in place. If plants cannot be transplanted right away, the root ball can be kept wrapped in burlap until planting time to keep the roots safe from the elements and retain moisture. Small pieces of burlap in the bottoms of pots keep the soil in while still letting water drain.

One of the best uses for burlap is as mulch. When harvesting the garden is done, a piece of burlap can cover the soil until you plant something else. It will limit erosion of the soil you have worked hard to build.

Decorative Uses

Burlap can be found in most fabric stores and is inexpensive so why not use it for crafts and décor too?

It can be used for embellishing outdoor living areas. Exterior curtains made of burlap are durable in all types of weather and can provide privacy from neighbors. Large rolls of burlap can be cut into shapes for mounting on poles or frames to provide shaded areas on the patio or in the yard. You can create fabric screens yourself or order them hemmed and ready to mount or hang.

Burlap cushion and pillow covers accent your outdoor furniture with a rustic look while table cloths and runners are inexpensive additions to a picnic table when expecting guests or just for fun.garden2

Organize your garden shed or potting area with a burlap wall hanging complete with pockets to store tools, seed packets, or plant labels.

A burlap gardening bag makes a sturdy bag to carry garden tools or freshly harvested herbs and vegetables.

Remember, burlap is made from natural plant fibers and is safe to use in vegetable gardens as well as areas where pets and children play. Burlap goes from functional to fun!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 at 9:41 am and is filed under Burlap, gardening, Prevention Tips.

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