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Thread: Gardening with quilting scraps

  1. #51
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    Comon sense would lead me to think that yes cotton would break down as compost but would take longer than some other things.

    I am always leary of putting strips and threads out where something might swallow them and it would get caught on their insides. But, I used a thin piece of baby yarn to tie up a clematis vine and within two days "something", most likely bird or squirrel had cut it into pieces and taken off with some of them. I found that amusing.

  2. #52
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
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    What about the dyes in them? Is this safe if you are going to use them in vegetable garden?1

  3. #53
    cdufur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonnieLoree
    I was wondering if I planted the scraps would they grow up to be bolts?
    LOL!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by McQuilter
    I've not done or heard of that; but I love throwing my tiniest of scraps (thin, thin strips) and my thread scraps from embroidery out in the front yard for the birds. I have bushes around the side of my house and they nest in there in the summer and I can see my threads interwoven in their nests.
    what a lovely idea, if composting I'd wash first to get rid of chemicals.

  5. #55
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    Yes I have composted cotton and it works well. Basic rule is 'If it has lived, it can live again' so anything natural can be added to your compost system or soil.

  6. #56
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok
    NOW, if I thought a mole might eat the fabric and choke to death, I would stuff the holes with my very best scraps....
    but since there is no guarantee he would eat it, I just dug out the beds 3 feet down and put chicken wire down and an organic landscaping cloth, then filled the beds back in...darn moles....
    I've heard HUMAN HAIR into the holes works well with getting rid of moles. Their front digging claws get tangled up in the hair. Take a nice box/container to your favorite hair dresser and ask them to place the swept up hair clippings into it for your moles. :twisted:

    Here's a quick search result:
    http://howtogetridofmolesinyouryard.com/

  7. #57
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusieG
    Now is also the perfect time of year to put your scraps out for the birds to build nests with. We feed the birds all winter long and in the spring rather than putting suet in the suet holder put in your scraps. :-)
    No, No, No. No!!!! The birds choke on the scraps. Use the scraps for ties or throw them out. Do not let them make nests with fabric scraps. Edie

  8. #58
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mary hennessey
    Use them on the outside of pots.Put out a box of the birds to use for nests.
    Please don't give the scraps to birds. Edie

  9. #59
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    I have used strips for tying up my tomatoes. Works well, and yes, you need to remove them along with the dead vines as they will bung up the tiller tines...and then DH is not happy. :(

    Patti

  10. #60
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    I am assuming that if you are talking scraps, you are not talking about pieces bigger than a few inches, and no long strips - - the strips/strings would definitely cause problems for a rototiller, however, if the one person who composts (piles, waters, turns) is correct, even those will break down.
    Considering the process of gardening, the "chemicals" in fabrics are probably the least of your concerns.
    Newspaper ink has been vegetable based for decades now, so a good friend to the soil. As a matter of fact, if you have ever read a book "Lasagna gardening", you will see that she absolutely uses the newspapers WITHOUT tearing them into teeny pieces even ... and, they still break down.
    The "solution to pollution is dilution" .... you put your fabric in the ground, you water the soil, the heat of the earth starts it breaking down, the water you use to keep your garden growing continues the "dilution" process ...
    it really is all common sense ... birds have no reason to eat fabric unless you soak it in something the birds want to eat ... I watch them pecking around in my cow piles all of the time, and they seem to be quite capable of finding one little gnat in a plop of poo or, maybe that one piece of grain that didn't get digested in the manure or horse pucks ... they won't eat your fabric!

  11. #61
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    I have put chopped up old t shirts (ones to bad off for recycling) into my compost bin, and they do turn into soil. I only use the all cotton ones.

  12. #62
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    You will need to completely wash out all the sizing from the fabric. My DGM used to mark her vegetable garden rows with strips of fabric (feed sacks) & eventually it would endup in the dirt. It seemed to disintagrate into the soil pretty good.

  13. #63
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I don't think I would use the fabric in the compost pile because of the dyes.
    One must be careful of the threads should they become entangled in teh birds' legs or around the beak in some freak occurance. That said, I have used threads for the birds.

    As far as the newspaper, I planted our two raised beds last summer after building them, planted, covered with newspaper in several layers, topped that with straw pulled away from base of plants, and pulled maybe three weeds all season. This year we have built three more beds and I will use the same method.

  14. #64
    Senior Member suzette1954's Avatar
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    I haven't heard about the gardening but I love to put out different colored thread scraps and small pieces of colored fabric in the spring and then find it all again in the birds' nests. I have also put hair from my hairbrush and it makes me happy that I could help them with their homes for the little ones to come.

  15. #65
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess
    I recently read somewhere that you could till scraps of cotton fabric into your garden to amend the soil. Has anyone done this? What about 100% cotton batting? I have a bunch of scraps that are too small to use and was thinking about doing this. It sure would be pretty! This would be a flower garden not vegetable garden. Maybe if I plant the scraps, I'll grow a wildflower quilt!
    I don't know about putting scraps of fabric in the soil, but I save all my small scraps and my thread clippings and put them out for the birds to build nests with.

  16. #66
    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    I would think that over first. When you use news papers in your garden to keep weeds down, you are told only to use paper with black ink.

  17. #67
    Junior Member mhuskins1's Avatar
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    No I have never put the scrapes in the garden , but I do throw dryer lint out for the birds, I will start saving in a old coffee can to give to the birds, and GH, Thank you for posting this !!!! can't wait to see a small quilt in the trees!!!!

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