Old window screens can be repurposed for a variety of garden projects.

Garden Ideas With Old Screens

by Kathy Adams

Old screens that may no longer be needed for their original purpose still have plenty of usefulness left in them for projects around the garden. Window screen mesh is useful for projects requiring ventilation or drainage, while the frames of screen doors serve as decor or border purposes for a garden.

1. Garden Rinsing Station

A screen set atop a few brick or block supports on the ground can serve as a rinsing station for garden tools and plant pots. Just place the dirty objects atop the screen, then rinse with the garden hose.

2. Potted Plants

If you add a shelf to the bottom of a window screen, similar to a window sill, you can hang the screen from hooks on a fence or on the side of a garden shed for a whimsical way to display small plant pots of climbing vines.

3. Bird and Squirrel Feeders

A small window screen with sturdy frame turns into a hanging bird and squirrel feeder when hooks and chains are added to the four corners. The same hook and chain process can be used under a porch roof or pergola as a place to wrap twinkle lights as an outdoor chandelier.

4. Protect Seeds

A sheet of old screen from a window may have a tear in one corner, but it's still useful around the garden. When planting seeds in a small area near the surface, you can tack the untorn portions of the screen over the seeds using nails or weigh the corners down with rocks to prevent birds, squirrels or chipmunks from accessing the seeds.

5. Protect Seedlings

A ring of small garden stakes wrapped with window screen around a young plant sprout keeps curious garden pests away and another piece over the top keeps out insects. The screen stays in place by sewing it together with fishing line.

6. Compost Tea

Compost or worm castings bundled in a fairly clean piece of scrap screen create a compost tea bag. Soak the bundle in a shallow bucket of water for a while to produce a nutrient-rich liquid for garden plants.

7. Screen Doors

Old screen doors set on end horizontally, tacked together in a rectangle or square, serve as borders for a compost pile, allowing aeration through the screening mesh. This same formation, but set a few inches into the soil, also creates a rabbit barrier for a vegetable garden. A screen door leaning up against a shed, garage or fence creates a somewhat shaded area for plants below and can be used as a trellis for climbing vines and vegetables.

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