When window screens become ripped or torn and must be replaced, frugal gardeners eye these screens with another use in mind. Old window screens are ideal for spreading over the soil and protecting precious seeds and bulbs from birds and rodents who seek to steal a future harvest. Make sturdy screens by framing the window screen with narrow pieces of wood, or simply lay the screens on the soil and place rocks along the edges to secure.
Prepare the planting area and plant the seeds or bulbs according to the recommendations for what you are planting.
Decide whether you will use plain window screens without wood frames or whether you prefer to have a simple frame around the screens. If you desire a frame around the screens, measure the perimeter of the screens and cut two pieces of wood strips for each side. Place one wood strip along one edge of the screen on the top of the screen and another wood strip along the same edge on the bottom of the screen (the screen sandwiched between the two wood strips). Staple the wood strips together with the staple gun. Repeat with each side of the screen so that it has a wood border on each of the four sides.
If you opt to use the plain window screen without framing it, proceed to Step 3.
Lay the window screen over the planting area to protect the seeds or the bulbs. The screen will allow air ventilation and moisture to penetrate through to the bulbs or seeds without scavengers being able to dig. If you have not framed the window screen, place rocks or bricks around the edges of the screen to hold the screen down on the planting area.
Monitor the planting area carefully each day so that you notice when the plants emerge from the soil. Remove the screen when the plants emerge so that they are able to grow erect without the screen interfering. Store the screen for future use.