What Is Cheesecloth?
Cheesecloth is a lightweight, cotton gauze fabric with an open texture, and it is primarily used for food preparation. As its name suggests, cheesecloth was originally used to drain and wrap curds during the cheese-making process. Over time, it has grown to be used for a variety of food preparation tasks and has become one of the most useful tools you can keep in your kitchen!
However, if cooking isn’t your thing and you’d rather be outdoors, there are a variety of uses for cheesecloth in the garden too. Read on to learn about a few of the many uses for cheesecloth fabric, cheesecloth garden uses in particular.
Using Cheesecloth in the Garden
Below are some common cheesecloth garden uses:
Protect Your Plans
Your young plants need protection from some external elements. This means that they need to be covered, especially when they’re still in the seedling stage. If you don’t have the space to start your seeds indoors and need to place them outside (as long as your climate allows for it, of course), then you can create a small covered “house” for your plants. Leave them in the large planter, place some stakes in the four corners, and then drape your cheesecloth over it. The cheesecloth will protect those seedlings from frost and extreme heat as well, while still allowing plenty of air, light, and water in.
Create Plant Food from Compost
Cheesecloth can even help you create plant food from compost. How? All that you need is to grab a scoopful of compost from your bin. Place it in a square of cheesecloth and fold up the corners. Then, tie them closed with a piece of string. It’s like you’re making a tea bag – and that’s exactly what this is. Place your cheesecloth bag, with the compost in it, of course, into a watering can full of water. Let it steep for around half an hour, and then remove the bag. Pour the water, which is now mixed with nutrient-rich plant food, onto your plants. Voila! All-natural fertilizer.
Start Your Seeds
You can make a sprouter for beans or sprouts out of a simple canning jar and a piece of cheesecloth. Soak your bean seeds or sprouts overnight and then place them into the bottom of a canning jar. Take your canning jar and remove the metal lid, leaving behind only the band. Cut a small square of cheesecloth and fit it over the top of the jar, securing it into place with the band. Leave the jar in a sunny area, and keep removing and then adding more water every day, until you see the sprouts emerge.
So, these are some of the amazing ideas to use cheesecloth in your garden and protect your plants. Here are some additional ideas for utilizing cheesecloth in the garden
- Place a square of cheesecloth over drainage holes in pots before planting
- Lightly cover plants that don’t need pollination such as leafy greens, broccoli and potatoes to keep bug pests at bay
- Support and protect melons and fruits as they grow
- Bundle and wrap fresh cut herbs in cheesecloth and hang in a cool, dry place to dry
- Strain crushed berries to make jams & jellies
- Strain soup stocks & broths made with your harvest
- Decorate an outdoor trellis with cheesecloth and flowers for a special event such as a wedding or outdoor tea
Have you come up with an inventive use for cheesecloth in the garden? We’d love to hear it! Drop us a line!