Clothespins, once a staple in every homemaker’s laundry arsenal, have largely been relegated to the craft closet in recent years. But you can re-purpose them in the garden – as a rose-pruning tool extraordinaire! Tuck a clothespin into your garden apron and you’ll be surprised at how many uses you can find for this humble household tool.
A simple spring-type clothespin is most useful in the garden, although an old-fashioned, one-piece clothespin is suitable for some applications. Plastic clothespins can be substituted for wood.
Clothespin Uses in the Rose Garden
- Pruning: Pruning roses can be downright painful, thanks to the thorns, but a well-placed clothespin eliminates that problem. Instead of holding a rose cane to prune it, simply grasp it gently with a clothespin. The clothespin works like an extra hand and eliminates contact with thorns.
- Deadheading: Grasp the cane with the clothespin and pull the spent petals off the plant.
- Thorn removal: Use clothespins to remove the thorns from cut roses prior to placing the roses in a vase. Grasp the thorns firmly with the clothespin and snap them off.
- Trellis tying. Use the clothespins to temporarily secure a rose cane to a trellis. Once positioned, tie the rose cane with a soft cloth or string and remove the clothespin, which would aggravate the plant if left in place.
- Winter protection. Wrap a sheet of burlap around tall roses, such as tree roses or climbing roses, to protect them from harsh winter winds. Don’t use plastic wrapping, which promotes fungal diseases. Tie a piece of twine loosely around the burlap and secure the edges of the fabric securely with clothespins. Remove the burlap in the spring before new growth emerges.
Once you’ve discovered the benefits of clothespins in the rose garden, consider other garden applications. For instance, use a permanent marker to detail planting time, seed type or variety and clip the clothespins to starting trays, pots or raised beds. Use clothespins to secure hoops, row covers or netting. Who knew that an outdated laundry device could have so many purposes?