metal ornaments in the garden
If you like the look of rusted metal ornaments in your garden, you’re in luck. Left unprotected, anything made of iron or steel will rust naturally when exposed to air and water. Copper, zinc and aluminum will corrode when exposed to the elements but things made from galvanized metal or stainless steel won’t rust at all.
Want to speed the process? Carefully spray a mixture of 1 cup each of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, plus a teaspoon of salt, onto a steel or iron surface. Hose it off after an hour or so. You can also create a faux-rust on any paintable surface. Craft stores have a number of paints and solutions that’ll give your garden ornaments a rusty look.
Sometimes rust forms where you’d rather not have it, such as on chairs or handrails. In that case, remove it and apply a good protective paint, like Rust-Oleum®, to keep the surface clean. Light rust can be removed by applying a runny paste of lemon juice and table salt and letting it set for five to 10 minutes. Scrub with sandpaper to remove.
And although rust in the soil won’t hurt your plants, some of the chemicals mentioned here may. So protect your plants and yourself when you use them.