TARP for Gardening

TARP for Gardening

No I’m not referring to the stimulus package here. I’m talking about what possibly could be the most handy tool you ever use for spring gardening – the tarp. As my gardens have grown over the last several years I’ve added many more plants. As all gardeners know with more plants comes more responsibility and more work when spring cleanup comes. All dead growth needs cleaned up, pruned out, and disposed of in a good location – ideally the compost bin. Sadly my wheelbarrow just isn’t up to the task. It would work in a pinch but would require multiple trips back and forth to the compost bin.  The tarp is the simple and easy solution that saves the day!

That one 6’x8′ piece of plastic came in very handy to haul all the garden debris to the back yard for composting, and in one trip. In this case I didn’t actually use an official tarp I used 6mm plastic sheeting that can also be used for row covers. It was easy to slide the plastic tarp with a pile of clippings, prunings, and dead leaves 4′ wide, 3′ high, and 6 feet long across the grass to the very back of the backyard.

TARP definitely saved my gardening today!

New post at Complete Organizing Solutions: 6 Things To Do For Your Spring Garden!


Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Why don't I think of these things before I make 1000 trips back and forth with a bucket or wheelbarrow?? I still have some cleaning up to do so I will drag out the trusty TARP tomorrow. Hasn't this spring weather been delightful?

  2. Dave,
    I used a shower curtain today. Just the right size to get through the path in the garden. 15 gallons of acorns with 6 inch roots pulled up in the garden today, big year for acorns.

  3. Jennifer,

    I've done the wheelbarrow thing far too many times to count! This weather has been fantastic. I was outside from 12-5 today and never stepped inside – beautiful day!


    That's a bunch of acorns! Sounds like those squirrels will be very well fed. An old shower curtain is perfect!

  4. We Alaskans have three tarps per man, woman, and child, so I definitely understand your TARP moment in the garden. I recently did a post about men and their blue tarps and it really seemed from the comments like men truly do love a tarp and women, maybe not as much. They are super useful for dragging things around though, as you have shown in your post.

    Christine B.

  5. Long live the TARP, may it forever carry or clippings and shelter us from the elements! (much of the landscaping done here in Ireland is done under the mighty TARP)

  6. Great idea Dave!

  7. I've always used a tarp for leaves in the fall, but it hadn't occurred to me to use it for garden debris. Great idea! I could've used it yesterday!

  8. An old sheet makes a great tarp also. We use them in the fall to help pick up leaves.

  9. Brilliant suggestion, Dave. I will be breaking out the tarp as soon as the snow (that fell last night) melts off.

    Quick question: In your "6 things to do for your spring garden" article, you mentioned pine straw. I am not familiar with that- could you explain what it is? I garden in a forest and have lots of pine needles at my disposal, is that what you are talking about, or a completely different "pine" straw?

  10. FGG,

    That's exactly what I'm talking about! It sounds like you have loads of free mulch at your disposal. Pine straw and pine needles are one in the same.

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