3 Ways to Use Old Pantyhose in Your Garden

Before we get to gardening, let’s talk about fashion for a minute. Colorful tights in winter? Yes. Pantyhose in summer? Absolutely not. It’s too darn hot where I live in the South. Really, though, I just personally dislike the confining things — pantyhose, that is. In fact, I may have purposefully chosen a career where pantyhose are NOT required at the office.

However, I have found a good use for the several pairs (leftover, no doubt, from unfortunate bridesmaid experiences where my own wishes were secondary) lying dormant in my drawer. Pantyhose are surprisingly useful for gardening!

Use Pantyhose to Tie Up Tomatoes

colorful tights used to tie up tomato plant

This is not a new trick. I remember my grandfather using my grandmother’s old pantyhose to support his tomato plants when I was just a little girl, playing in his patio garden. The soft, flexible nylon fabric is perfect for tying delicate branches to a tomato cage or other support without damaging the plant tissue like twine or rougher materials can.

tying up tomato plant with tights

How to Do It: Cut old pantyhose into strips using regular scissors. Cut across the legs, and then snip the circles into strips. Strips should be about 5 or 6 inches long, and they’ll stretch. Though plain old nude pantyhose are traditional, you can also use colorful hose or tights for a pop of color in your garden.

Pantyhose can also be used to tie up peppers or eggplant branches or to create a sling for melons being grown on a trellis.

Cut Them Up for a Snag-Free Hair Tie

old tights used for snag free hair tie

Fellow blogger Michele Purcell taught me this adorable trick. I had recently been in for a haircut and gotten chastised by my stylist for all the breakage in my hair. She told me never to use a regular elastic ponytail holder again. Instead, she offered to sell me some very nice but expensive alternatives. I politely declined. ($5 for a ponytail holder? I don’t think so.) Luckily, though, just a couple days later, Michele showed me how she’d cut colorful hair bands out of old tights. Genius!

tights being cut into colorful hair ties

How to Do It:  Cut 1/2- to 1-inch wide sections across the legs of old tights or hose, creating circular bands that can be used as snag-free hair ties. It’s a perfect solution for those hot days in the garden when you need your hair up but don’t want to cause damage that will put your hair stylist in a tizzy.

Use Pantyhose to Store Bulbs Over the Winter

daffodil bulbs stored in pantyhose on pegboard

In many gardening regions, it’s necessary to dig up tender bulbs like lilies, tulips, daffodils and garlic and store them over the winter to avoid damage from hard freezes or hungry squirrels. But if you don’t store them properly, bulbs can succumb to rot before spring comes back ’round. Proper ventilation is key for bulb storage, and pantyhose offer the perfect solution.

How to Do It: Cut the bottom off a leg of pantyhose. Arrange bulb inside, tie up the top, and hang to store or place somewhere with good airflow.

Do you know any other genius uses for pantyhose in the garden or elsewhere? Plus, see more clever tips for your garden in the photo gallery below.

3 Responses

  1. elizabeth says:

    I hate thick Black opaque Tights so cutting them up is good for me , torture for them !!

  2. Saira says:

    Mick, do you know of this would work on raccoons?

  3. Mick Telkamp says:

    Deer don't like pantyhose either, Kelly! Well, OK, maybe it's not the pantyhose, but if you tie a bar of hand soap into the toe of old nylons and hang it in the garden, the strong scent of Dial or Irish Spring makes an excellent deer deterrent.

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About Kelly Smith Trimble 

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I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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