Oyster bags as drainage mats

Living by the beach, winter storms bring all kinds of flotsam and jetsam on to the shore. In recent years, there have been more and more oyster bags. That’s what I call them – they’re a kind of sack made from a rigid plastic mesh and  they’re used for ‘growing’ oysters in. There are different sized meshes for different sized oysters and all kinds of these bags wash ashore.

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Oyster bags: three different sized meshes. The bags have been split open ready for use in the garden

It’s always seemed to me that these mesh bags are too good to just collect from the beach and take for recycling. This winter, which has been exceptionally wet, I’ve found lots of good uses for them around the garden and yard.

Mainly, I’ve been using them underneath potted plants to improve their drainage. I also used the bags with larger sized mesh to make walkways across the garden to stop heavy traffic areas from turning to mush. And now that beans and peas are starting to grow, I’m using the bags, propped up on sticks, to keep the birds from pulling the emerging seedlings up.

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Oyster bags cut into pieces as drainage mats for potted plants

I think the bags could also make good temporary fences, trellising and shade netting.

The amount of plastic that washes ashore does trouble me, but at least now some of it is being put to a good second use.


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