Gardener reveals clever lateral flow test gardening hack using old tests as seed labels

A gardener has come up with an ingenious way of reusing lateral flow tests, items that every household has to hand right now

old lateral flow test used as a seedling label
(Image credit: Beth Murton/Future)

A gardener has come up with a brilliant way to reuse lateral flow tests in the garden. Regular Covid testing has become the norm for many of us, but there's no escaping that the various plastic components of a single LFT aren't very eco-friendly. 

Amy Davis, the founder of Flourish Garden Care, has come up with a great lateral flow test gardening hack – using old sample pads as labels for planted seeds. Amy is a gardener and journalist, and her clever tip to help create an eco-friendly garden instantly went viral (pardon the pun).

old lateral flow test used as a seedling label

(Image credit: Future)

Lateral flow test gardening hack

'February is a time when I start thinking about seed sowing,' says Amy. 'Sweet peas are one of the earliest you can start and as I was sowing I realized I hadn’t got any labels to hand.'

When it comes to how to grow flowers from seeds, labels are essential so you don't forget what you've planted where. Amy tells us that the week beforehand, she had done lots of flow tests, all negative, which she hadn’t yet thrown away. 

So she had the idea of making them into labels, giving her Covid tests heading for the bin a second life out in the garden. 'I washed the lateral flow tests and discovered they could be split apart and then put back together in a different configuration,' says Amy.

Inspired by this sustainable gardens hack, we tried it out ourselves. It was a little tricky at first to break the tests apart, but we soon got the hang of it.

Our top tip is to use a biro in the joint to loosen the two sides, as this will help separate them. Then you can prise them apart more easily with your fingers.

Amy's lateral flow test gardening hack has been viewed over a million times on Facebook. She has just shared a second Covid-era gardening tip, using the straps of a disposable face mask to tie plants to a cane for support. 

old lateral flow test used as a plant label

(Image credit: Amy Davis - Flourish Garden Care)

What a clever use of an old lateral flow test. While there's no biodegradable alternative, reusing tests out in the garden is a great eco-friendly tip. Will you be trying this hack?

Millie Hurst
Millie Hurst

Millie joined Gardeningetc in early 2021. She loves creating a vibrant display of containers in her small urban garden and is always picking up new plants at the local garden center. She's never without some fresh flowers at home and her favorite houseplant is her variegated pothos that's currently climbing its way over her bookshelves.