5 Ways to Garden with Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is handy inside and outside of the house.
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Gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding task, but when you've put a great amount of effort into your landscape, it can be incredibly frustrating when things go awry. But don't let your garden get the best of you; control weeds and ward off pests with one of your most common household items, aluminum foil.

This versatile paper-thin metal has more uses than covering the leftovers in your casserole dish. In fact, aluminum foil can be used for cleaning, cooking, crafts and, as we mentioned, gardening. Whether it's managing your seedlings or preventing messes, the versatile qualities of aluminum foil can do all of your hard work, so you can relax and enjoy your outdoor sanctuary. Read up on how to use aluminum foil to help gain control of your garden and put an end to your gardening woes.


5. Starting Seedlings

Don't want to plant your seeds directly in your garden? Use seed starting pots to get your plants in to tip-top shape before transplanting them. Don't worry about tons of expensive pots; if you have a roll of aluminum foil, you have everything you need to make the perfect starter pots for your seeds to call home.

The cardboard tube from a roll of aluminum foil will serve as your pot. Cut the tube in to 3-inch pieces. You can also use the tubes from paper towel rolls, toilet tissue or cardboard tubes. Once you have all of your tubes individually cut, wrap the tubes with aluminum foil to keep the cardboard from falling apart when wet.


Take your new "pots" and closely pack in a waterproof tray or shallow pan. Fill each of them with seed starting mix and plant the seeds. When they're ready, remove the foil and plant your new seedlings, pots and all.

4. A Very Deer Problem

You can use aluminum foil to protect your plants and shrubs from deer.

Adorable, graceful and known for their blank stares at oncoming traffic, deer are delightful woodland creatures that roam virtually everywhere, including your garden. A ubiquitous garden threat, deer damage to plants and shrubs happens to be the No. 1 complaint by rural and urban gardeners alike. Those long svelte legs easily leap over fences, giving the animals open range to graze on the flowers and plants you've worked hard to grow.

Deer can be especially harmful to young plants and shrubs that have barely started growing. You can protect shrubs or saplings by wrapping their bases with aluminum foil. The foil should at least be as high as your waist because deer are very adept to feeding on plants that are shorter than they are. This foil force field can also deter other pesky nibblers like mice and rabbits.


3. A Solution for Solution

The reasons to use garden solutions vary from gardener to gardener. Some use them as nutrient-enhancing solutions, while others use these mixtures as natural ways to keep unruly pests out of the garden. No matter the reason, these solutions don't come cheap and cannot be wasted.

So when you need to pour garden solution back into its original bottle, use a homemade garden funnel to reduce the mess and to save it from going to down the drain. Just grab a sheet of aluminum foil, roll it up into a cone, insert the tip of the cone in the bottle and pour. No hassle and no mess!


2. Foiling the Birds

Tying strips of aluminum foil to your fruit-bearing trees can help deter the birds from scavenging the fruit before you get a chance to enjoy it.

A fruit-bearing tree is a delectable addition to any garden. Every season you're guaranteed fresh, ripe fruit right from the source. Unless, of course, others get to it before you do. Birds are known pillagers of fleshy tree fruit, and they show no mercy for your taste buds.

Protect your fruit trees with fishing line tied with twisted strips of aluminum foil. The light reflected from the foil wards off the birds, as does the sound of the foil moving in the wind.


1. Mix it with Mulch

Munching mammals shouldn't be your only garden worry; an infestation of ravenous insects can also kill your plants quickly if you don't take care of them. Insecticides and pesticides are quick and permanent solutions to bug problems, but if you're growing fruits and vegetables you'll end up ingesting those harsh chemicals into your body.

Keeping bugs at bay doesn't have to require a chemical solution for you and your garden. Instead, cut up small strips of aluminum foil and mix them with your mulch. The shiny side of the foil will reflect light, deterring some light-sensitive pests from your vegetable patch. As an added bonus, the foil will also reflect nourishing light back on to your plants.


Adapted from Amazing Uses for Household Products: Bleach, © 2009 Publications International, Ltd.