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Staking, in general.

Posted by Donn_ Z7, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 6, 05 at 7:44

I searched the forum, and found only a few cites, so I'm asking.

Since a lot of you are growing long-stemmed flowers, you must have some innovative and commercially oriented methods of supporting those stems.

I had 1.5" of rain in a couple of hours, overnight, and went out to survey the damage. Anything over 3' and with open blooms, tried to flop. R.hirta 'Burpeei' and Shasta 'Alaska' definately suffered. Shasta 'Crazy Daisy' at ~3' just needed to have the moisture shaken off, and stood back up. The Rudes and Alaska's were mostly supported by light-weight bamboo grids. Some of the grids were in place early, and the plants grew up through them. Others were added after growth had happened, more time-consuming, but equally effective.

I tie off seed heads on grasses, for seed collection, with a simple loop of waxed twine gathering them in a clump atop the plant. Sunflowers have heavier bamboo grid-frames, anchored on rebar stakes.

What are your plant support techniques?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Staking, in general.

Donn - in my beds - which are either 3' or 4' by 25', I use hortonova netting supported on the ends and in the middle by 1/2" rebar. This works wonderfully well. However, my Shasta daisies and rudbeckias are planted closely and don't need support even with our strong winds. This year I actually ordered the 4' x 1000' roll from G&M who is listed in Growing for Market's publication. Other catalogs carry smaller quantities.

I may try it next year on my peonies, since they're getting large enough to need support. And, possibly on my dahlias this year, haven't decided yet.
Good luck!
Wendy


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RE: Staking, in general.

  • Posted by Donn_ Z7, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 8, 05 at 8:06

Thanks for the tip on Hortonova, Wendy. It looks like a much less labor intensive version of my bamboo grids. I found shorter lengths for sale, and I'll give it a try.


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RE: Staking, in general.

I think we had a discussion about Hortonova netting just last week. LizaLily mentioned she didn't like it in her gardens. It does not blend in. It actually screams: "I'm netting. My job is to support these flowers." It's commercial looking; and, it's white. If it was green, it would be less obvious. I really hate cutting flowers through the netting. It's a pain; but, so is cutting flowers such as scabiosa that has been blown over from the wind and rain. It has a very limited use in our fields.

Anyway, I would never use it in my house perennial gardens. The bamboo seem classier......


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RE: Staking, in general.

  • Posted by Donn_ Z7, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 8, 05 at 10:05

Yes, I found pictures of it in use, and it isn't very attractive. I'd only use it in my nursery beds and veggie beds, which aren't visible from the streets. I'm situated on a canal, just off a big bay, so I have fairly constant winds to deal with, and, of course, the best sun is in the windiest spots. In a couple more years, I'll have ornamental grass windbreaks maturing, and will have less of a problem, but until then, I'm always on the hunt for new ways to deal with tall plants and wind.


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RE: Staking, in general.

  • Posted by SusiQ NETX, Zone 7B (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 8, 05 at 10:57

And, it breaks down in a year or two. I was able to re-use one section of the netting for a second year over/around my larkspur, but when I separated the plants and netting a week or so ago, the netting tore easily (I wasn't being as gentle as I should! LOL!), and I just got mad at it and let'er rip.

That one length DID last 2 full springs/early summers, so I guess I did get my money's worth of it. Last year I carefully rolled it up and saved it. This year, it'll go into the trash.

If any marketers/inventors are reading this they need to make a green/black one, if such a thing doesn't already exist.

Susi.


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RE: Staking, in general.

  • Posted by Donn_ Z7, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 8, 05 at 11:22

That's interesting, Susi. Here's a clip from Peaceful Valley's description:

"This white, UV resistant, lightweight polypropylene mesh is economical and efficient. It is strong, easy to install, will not rot, rust or mold, and lasts for years."

I guess it doesn't say how many years.

Maybe I'll stick with bamboo. Supports that aren't in contact with the ground, last much longer than 2 growing seasons. I've got some that have been out there for 5 years, year round.


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RE: Staking, in general.

Nope, wasn't LizaLily who hates it. LizaLily has curved beds or beds that are mixed with a number of different heights of plants. She would give her eye teeth for enough room to grow in straight rows or blocks that could be netted! As it is I will be putting in rebar at the corners and every so many feet and then running my own string grids to support the gladioli mixed into my cutting garden along with several other tall floppers like perennial scabiosa In fact, I just lost a white meadowrue that was atleast 12' tall in an overnight rain storm,,,Guess what filler I am using this week? IT was so lovely! Raining right merrily at the moment here...of course, it is our festival weekend starting for the island. Can't have one without either rain and thunderstorms, or heat and humidity from what will probably be the last rain before OCtober!


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RE: Staking, in general.

Up here in the cold North where we don't have the hot rays of the Texas sun to contend with, the Hortonova netting lasts longer than 3 years. I don't know how much longer, because this is only the fourth year I'm using it, but it shows no sign of weakening.

I don't use it in my house garden. Too ugly. But it's great for the cutting field. I use 4' bamboo stakes, which I got very cheaply at G&M, to hold it. They last two or three years in the ground here, but I pull them out and store them over winter. Rebar lasts a lot longer but costs more up front, and I don't really want to hear my DH fussing about having to cut it all for me.

Jeanne


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