Four ways to carpet your garden

Filed in Reuse by on June 30, 2010 18 Comments
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Four ways to use up old carpet in the garden

Four ways to use up old carpet in the garden

If you were following our blog last year when we took part in Recycle now’s Pledge week, one of our finds was a roll of carpet that had been left in the garage.

We had every intention of using this in the house, but over the years of life getting in the way, the carpet got damp and started to go rotten; much to our shame.

Each year 500,000 tonnes of carpet waste is buried in UK landfills! Fortunately the garden can benefit from an old carpet in the following ways. As ever I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!

Weeds be gone

If you lay old carpet over bare soil it will help suppress weeds. You can leave it over a plot of land through out the winter before removing and digging over the following spring.


A hot compost heap is a happy compost heap. This winter, temperatures dropped to minus 12 around here. If you cover the compost heap, it helps to insulate it and keep the compost working throughout cold months.

Pond lining

use an old carpet to line a hole for a garden pond. This helps prevent the pond liner being damaged by small stones.

Protect your knees

Around our garden beds we have concrete slabs. That’s ok for me because I can squat easily, but for Mr G he needs to kneel. A piece of old carpet it ideal to keep his knees happy!

What about you – what other uses for old carpet can you come up with?


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (18)

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  1. Alea says:

    I love your ideas for using carpet in your garden!

  2. Pat says:

    I have used old carpet under mulch on the pathway in our wooded area. It does degrade over time so I’ve had to replace the really old carpet with newer old carpet just last year when we replaced our bedroom carpeting. It works wonderfully and keeps out the poison ivy in the path.

  3. Naomi Sandoval says:

    I found some in our shed and used it to kill off some invasive plants with mixed luck.

  4. for lining garden boots with an inner sole cut out of good short nap carpeting, use an existing sole as a template, insert the carpet upside down, it creates a durable comfort pad and keeps feet dry and insulated.

    carpet pieces make fine outdoor furniture pads; indoor/outdoor washable carpeting may be cut to fit under a table for outdoor picnics.

    when making raised beds for vegetables or herbs, first lay down a carpet, upside down and build a box in whatever shape, the carpet offers a weed barrier and soil holder for sand and soil in box.

    when hauling metal and thorny material in wheel-barrow, i throw a piece of carpet as liner for protection, in pick-up truck or car trunk as well.

    turf carpeting makes an ideal siding for the dog house or the doll house, the garden shed or tree house. it drains fast and insulates, can be sprayed off and keeps looking neat. a layer of plastic sheeting or tar paper should be used under carpeting, especially for the roof.

  5. Karen says:

    My son lives in a flat so we put small pieces of carpet under the wheels of his washing machine that sits on laminate floor. It helps to deaden the noise. It also makes it easier to pull it out if you need to get at the back.
    I keep the off cuts of new carpets. The edges are bound by a local carpet store to make small rugs. it costs very little.
    If your car is very tight fit in the garage put carpet on the wall where the car door opens. Put some on the part where the front bumper would touch.
    When I had a dog I used off cut mats on the floor of the garage where the dog bed was. It is next to the kitchen. It helped to cut down the dog hair and mud that went into the house. They were cheap enough to throw away when too dirty.
    Our local carpet company is happy to give away off cuts as he has to pay for them to be disposed. I have just helped myself to bits from his huge bin.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Alea: Hey Alea; great to see you – hope you are all well πŸ™‚

    @Pat: Oh, that’s neat for using it to keep poison ivy down – I know this plant is troublesome for many. Thanks for the idea.

    @Naomi Sandoval: Some invasive weeds can be really bad news and get through anything. We have horsetail which will grow through and around any surface …

    @nadine sellers: Boots with carpeted inners sounds very decadent! Little Miss Green would love that idea, being a Pisces she needs comfortable feet at all times πŸ˜€ Great tip about the raised beds too – thank you!

    @Karen: Hi Karen; brilliant idea about the washing machine. Mine tends to walk across the floor when it spins too. And great tip about getting freebies from carpet companies too; had not thought about their disposal costs πŸ™‚

  7. Emsquared says:

    Carpet for suppressing weeds works well though takes a while. Interestingly this use is forbidden on my local allotment due to potential chemicals in the carpet (and I was told a incidence somewhere by an allotment holder who was overcome by said carpet chemicals) but the over use of the widely-banned-in-the-rest-of-the-world weedkiller roundup is encouraged. It’s a funny old world.

  8. Antonio Pachowko says:

    A use which I have found for old carpet is to use as a floor covering when you are painting a room. It absorbs the splashes pretty well and has the advantage of being easily moved. I did my new kitchen this way without staining my new laminates

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @Emsquared: Hi Emsquared, thank you for sharing your experiences – interested that old carpet it forbidden on your allotment – as you say, that seems a bit ironic when people are using roundup on their plots!

    @Antonio Pachowko: Great idea, Antonio – thank you for sharing!

  10. mieke says:

    Good idea’s, but you should take in account that most carpets are not eco-friendly made.
    I.e. stuff used making them could be harmfull, maybe if you use them on pond lining.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @mieke: Thanks for the reminder, Mieke – always good to bear in mind πŸ™‚

  12. sandy says:

    Most counties in England run aMaster Composter scheme,they are volunters who advise and help households with thier home composting

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @sandy: Thanks Sandy; so are you suggesting that offcuts of carpet could be donated to master composters?

  14. sandy says:

    Why not,we use good quality carpet not only to cover our many compost bins but for paths between our veg beds.We top our carpet paths with wood chips quite often free from the local council during autumn

  15. Tana says:

    I needed more space than my little garden plot allowed (and the neighbors trees shaded 1/3 of what I had) so I branched out with (Straw) Bale gardens. I also use all my flower beds as well since it worked so well last year. But I planted a few things that vine and as they grow away from the bales they would be lying on grass which would be unmowable and look sort of straggly, I layed down long 2foot strips of old carpet to block the grass and give the vines a place to grow. last year I was able to train or steer my vines with stakes keeping & guiding them where I wanted them to go.
    I am thinking of cutting blocks and strips of carpet and placing them between my garden rows as a sort of walkway and to block weeds and placing blocks and strips in places the mower can’t reach and I would prefer the weet eater skip! I place it oueside out swimming pool to keep floating debris from being tracked in.
    I lived in an apartment a few years back when my boy was a toddler and our patio area was only (the rest was dirt and mud)partially paved so I put carpet down and layed all his preschool yard toys on it, it kept out the awful poison ivy and kept my toddler clean and tidy (mostly). It took ages to degrade enough that I had to replace it.

  16. Mrs Green says:

    @Tana: Hi Tana, thanks for sharing. One of my online friends started straw bale gardening this year; it looks really exciting! It sounds like you’ve found some really practical uses for old carpets – thanks!

  17. ellen says:

    I run a social enterprise that takes large amount of otherwise landfilled/burnt carpet tiles and sells them for re-use. Reclaimed carpet tiles are a great cheap, easy-to-carry option for composting/weed suppressers use.

  18. Mrs Green says:

    @ellen: What a great idea Ellen; thank you for sharing!

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