If you've got a lot of old cardboard tubes, you can recycle them into your garden. They can perform all kinds of functions, ultimately saving you money and helping keep waste out of landfills. Here's just five of the ways you can integrate your old cardboard mailing tubes into your gardening efforts:
1. Use old mailing tubes to kill grass.
If you want to kill grass to make a new garden plot, take several cardboard mailing tubes, and cut them into strips. Lay them on top of the grass or weeds you want to kill. This works on large patches, but the strips are also perfect for use between rows of plants in a garden.
2. Make mulch.
Instead of using strips to kill weeds in your garden, make your cardboard mailing tubes into mulch. Grab a big pair of scissors, and cut your tubes into chunky pieces. Then, sprinkle the bits wherever you need mulch.
The mulch will break down into the soil eventually, but in the meantime, it helps prevent unwanted plants from getting light and air, effectively killing them.
3. Make mini planters for seedlings.
When you're ready to start growing, don't run to the shop and buy little pots for your seeds. Instead, cut old mailing tubes into a series of little cylinders. Wedge them together in an old cake tin or roasting pan. That prevents them from tipping over.
Finally, spoon in a bit of potting soil and add your seeds. When they've sprouted and are ready to move to the garden. Remove the cardboard tubing, and let the root ball hold the soil together. Alternatively, just plant the whole thing, and the cardboard should disintegrate as the plant's root system expands.
4. Protect small trees.
If you have young trees as part of your gardening efforts, they may get nicked by the lawn mower while you are using it, or deer or other pests may try to snack on them.
Luckily, you can create a protective case using an old cardboard mailing tube. Remove the ends, cut it lengthwise and slip it over the tree's trunk as desired.
5. Compost them.
Finally, if you still have leftover cardboard mailing tubes, you can add them to your compost pile. Shred the cardboard into small pieces, and wet it to help it break down. Make sure to mix it with ample amounts of other composting materials such as nutrient-rich coffee grounds, vegetable peels and other items.
This is also a great use for old cardboard tubing that you've used as seedling containers or mulch. If you no longer need these items, you can throw them in your compost heap. For more information about using mailing tubes, contact a company like The Tubeworks.