Pantyhose in the Garden: Stake Tomatoes, Support Melons, and Store Bulbs

pantyhose morguefile

Believe it or not, it’s possible to recycle milady’s stockings in the garden. Among other things, they make great tie-ups for tomatoes, beans, peas, and other tall or viney veggies that you need to keep off the ground in order to maximize production. First, cut the old hose lengthwise into long strips. Then install your stakes, recycled trees limbs, trellises, peabrush, old curtain rods, or whatever else you’re planning to use to prop up your plants, and attach a strip of hose to the bottom of each. Then wrap the hose around the prop and plant loosely, until you reach the top of the prop. The hose is tough enough to last the entire season, and flexible enough to allow your plants to grow to any size.

We suspect that this isn’t what the manufacturers mean when they say their pantyhose provides “great support”…but hey, whatever works, right?

melon hammock flickr

Photo courtesy of Steve Snodgrass at

As if that weren’t enough, there are other nifty ways to use pantyhose in your organic garden. For example: if you want to prevent ground rot and insect predation in melons, you can slide a newly-formed fruit into the foot section of one leg of hose, then tie it to a stake so the fruit isn’t touching the ground. Fear not, the hose will stretch to accommodate the fruit as it grows.

Another effective use of pantyhose is to cut out a piece and place it on the bottom of any pots that include drain holes. The porous hose will allow the water free access to drain out of the holes, but will keep the soil from leaking out.

You can also store out-of-season bulbs in pantyhose, not to mention cured onions. The pantyhose provides plenty of air circulation in both cases, as long as you hang the bulbs or onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.

If you don’t have any pantyhose to recycle and need to stake tomatoes, check out our tomato cages!