Christmas is a time of excessive consumption. But polytunnel gardeners have the opportunity to counteract that trend. While consumers race to fulfil their capitalist dreams, take some time to spare some thought for our planet. Think about what you can do as a polytunnel gardener to reduce consumption, to reuse and recycle items from your home to grow your own food in your polytunnel.
Clothing and textiles are one of the challenges of domestic waste. Many of our clothing items, bedding and soft furnishings end up on landfill sites each year. Rather than contributing to the problem, polytunnel gardeners should think about how they can reuse clothing and textiles in their polytunnels. To inspire you, here are a few ideas of ways in which you can do so:
Create pockets from fabric to create small hanging gardens for your polytunnel. These little pockets or hammocks made with reused textiles can be suspended from the crop bars in your polytunnel.
Fabrics can also be used to create vertical garden spaces for your polytunnel. Pockets sewn onto an old sheet can be filled with growing medium to create little growing areas for salads and herbs, for example.
An ambitious reclamation project could involve sewing scrap materials to make sturdy hanging hammocks or seats for your polytunnel, or could be used along with scrap wood to make deck chairs to use as polytunnel seating.
Some old fabrics may be useful to provide polytunnel plants with extra protection from the cold over the winter months, either simply draped over them, or formed into tunnel row covers.
If your clothing really is beyond other uses, you can still often cut it up for use as rags. These rags can come in handy for wiping down your polytunnel in the spring, and for general cleaning up jobs.
These are just a few examples of the many different ways that you can reuse old clothing and other textiles in your polytunnel. Use your imagination and you should be able to come up with all sorts of ways to give fabrics a second life. Natural, organic clothing can be cut up and composted, but do beware of chemical dyes. However, as you can see from the above examples, even synthetic materials can be saved from landfill and find uses in your polytunnel.