Thursday , March 30 2017

In our garden we usually use ties to secure a climbing, scrambling or fragile plant and we use supports to protect some plants from wind or rain. When using ties we must make sure that the ties are secure without constricting the stem of the plant. There are different types of ties that suit differ plants. For soft-stemmed plants it is best to use a light material such as twine or raffia. Ties must be checked annually.

Ties and Supports

General ties
Garden string or twine in 3-ply is suitable for most tying jobs. Raffia, which is good for binding joints after grafting and as a lightweight tie, and soft strings, such as jute fillis, may disintegrate after a year or so.  Clear plastic tape is perfect to be used in grafting but you can also use for this job special rubber ties. Tar-impregnated string or polypropylene twine is a reliable and water-resistant tie. Plastic-coated tying wire is strong and lasts for several years. This is good for fixing labels to training wires or trellis and for joining canes.

Plant rings
There are split rings of wire or plastic-covered rings. They are designed to be opened and closed easily around a plant stem and its support. They are suitable for light jobs such as attaching a house plant to a cane.

Tree ties
Rubber tree ties are strong, durable and good for securing a young tree to a stake. Tree ties should be easily adjustable, so that the expanding stem is not constricted. For best results select ties with buffer so that the stake does not chafe the stem or use padded ties in a figure-of-eight form. Nail ties to the stake to secure them in place.

Wall fixings
For securing the stem of a climber direct to a wall or other support you can use purpose-designed plant stickers. Lead-headed nails are stronger. They have a soft spur that may be bent over to fix stems and small branches to a wall. Vine eyes hold stretched wires to which wall plants are then secured. On wall masonry use flat vine eyes and for timber and wall plugs screw in eyelet vine eyes.

Canes and stakes
Bamboo canes are excellent for supporting single-stemmed plants but they eventually split and rot. For longer use are PVC stakes and plastic-covered steel rods. They are more permanent but also more expensive. Clumps of border plants should be supported with metal link or ring stakes. Trees and standard roses should be supported with sturdy, wooden stakes.

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