We’ve been laying carpet this week. As you might guess with this being a gardening page, the carpet isn’t being laid in the house. The large squares of carpet we have are going onto the soil in the vegetable patch to keep the weeds down. The pieces seemed large when we were dragging them up the pathway to the plot but when they were laid out they don’t cover as much ground as we had hoped. The garden has a lot of weeds and they do tend to spread quickly. So we can add to the mosaic of coloured squares as and when we get them. Each year more than 500,000 tonnes of carpet waste is buried in UK and Irish landfills. Fortunately the garden can benefit from an old carpet but it’s wise to put only natural woollen pieces with felt backing down on the plots. Check that there isn’t nylon running through the weave too as it’s a pain to get out of the ground when the wool has rotted down; it makes the ground very difficult to work. Interestingly this use of weed suppression is forbidden on some local allotments due to potential chemicals in the weave. The aforementioned allotment don’t discourage the over used and widely-banned weedkiller roundup.
Let’s have a look at what a good piece of carpet can do for the garden.
Weeds be gone
If you lay old carpet over bare soil it will help suppress weeds. You can leave it over a plot of land throughout the winter before removing and digging over the following spring.
A hot compost heap is a happy compost heap. If you cover the compost heap, it helps to insulate it and keep the compost working throughout cold months.
Use an old carpet to line a hole for a garden pond. This helps prevent the pond liner being damaged by small stones.
Protect your knees
Place small squares of carpet where you are working to kneel on, especially on concrete paths. They can be very cold.
Use old carpet under mulches and paths.
Other great uses for carpet
Use carpet for lining garden boots or wellingtons with an inner sole cut out of good short nap, use an existing sole as a template, insert the carpet upside down, this creates a durable comfort pad and keeps feet dry and insulated.
Small carpet pieces make fine outdoor furniture pads; indoor/outdoor washable carpeting may be cut to fit under a table for outdoor picnics.
Raised beds of course
We can’t forget to use carpets on raised beds. They can be laid on top of course to keep the weeds down but also underneath the soil when making raised beds for vegetables or herbs. First lay down a carpet, upside down and build a raised bed on top of the carpet, the carpet offers a weed barrier and soil holder for sand and soil in box.
When hauling metal and thorny material in a wheel-barrow, throw a piece of carpet as liner on top for protection.
Carpet squares with thick backs make an ideal siding for the dog house or the doll house, the garden shed or tree house. This type of carpet drains fast and insulates, can be sprayed off and keeps looking neat. Even the roof of dog kennels can be covered in this way.
In the house too
Small pieces of carpet under the wheels of a washing machine can stop it from moving around on laminate floors and also deadens the noise.
If your car is very tight fit in the garage put carpet on the wall where the car door opens. Put some on the part where the front bumper would touch.