Anyone ever use soft pipe cleaners for plant ties?

springtogarden(6)June 24, 2014

I am going to be staking up my tomatoes and putting a few plants on a trellis. I was curious if anyone here has used the soft pipe cleaners, the soft ones for arts and crafts, to attach the plants to stakes and trellises. I found plant clips online but some complaints are that they break easy and aren't wide enough. I have left over zip ties but I am afraid the plastic will cut into the plants. Wondering what people's experiences were with pipe cleaners if used. Thanks

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I wouldn't use pipe cleaners either because they do have wire running down the middle of them. The problem is that the branches and main stem will increase in diameter over the course of the season and anything without some give in it may cut into the plant.

I buy a cheap 3pack of pantyhose and cut circle strips from it and use those to tie any plants in the garden. I love the way they work. Plenty of give to them if you don't tie them too loose or too tight, you're all set. I also like the dark colors that you can barely see once they are on there.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 6:50AM
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springtogarden(6)

Thanks! I was wondering if there were any downsides to pipe cleaners. I will have to try pantyhose.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 7:08AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I rip some old knitted shirts (prefer green color) and tie with them. That is better than throwing them away.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 9:16AM
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Weicker(6a PA)

I use old knit fabrics as well. Right now, all of my tomato ties are a bright red cotton stretch fabric. Some are pieces of red elastic waistbands as well.

I don't mind the color at all. My stakes aren't trying to be invisible.

I've made the mistake once of leaving the bread bag twisty ties on a nursery plant that was staked with a short bamboo when I bought it. A month and a half later, the ties had sliced halfway through the growing stem. Oops.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:18AM
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michelliot(z7 ny)

Pantyhose are the best. been using them for years

Absotively fool proof.

elliot

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:37AM
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springtogarden(6)

Thanks, everyone! I have some old clothing scraps that I could use too. I never thought about making them into strips. I will check out hose and see if any are cheap. Maybe the dollar store. They always have stuff.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 1:02AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

A roll of garden twine goes a long way.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 2:03AM
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publickman

I use Velcro plant ties because they are the easiest and are reusable. I think you can get them anywhere. I use pipe cleaners to clean parts of my hummingbird feeders, and I also use them to clean the hole in my pressure cooker.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 2:25AM
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springtogarden(6)

Thanks! I thought about twine too. Never heard of velcro. That is cool! They have some great reviews on Amazon. What do you all do for cradling the fruit? I have heard of nylon. Any preferred methods? Everyone here is so helpful and creative :).

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 7:19AM
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loribee2(CA 9)

I use the velcro too, or just the green plastic garden tape made for plant staking. They come in rolls in the garden section of the big box stores. That velcro comes in handy on a lot of things. I use it every year to attach my Christmas lights to a couple sections of my house. I also use it to keep rolls of chicken wire closed, or the bird netting that I reuse every year. Like publickman said, it's reusable, so a roll can last a long time.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:51AM
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michelliot(z7 ny)

What's great about using nylon pantyhose is that however small a piece you cut, it will still have its elasticity preventing any damage to the stems or branches. And a couple of pairs go a long way,

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 1:38PM
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springtogarden(6)

I ordered some of that velcro. Has excellent reviews. I am going to use nylons and shirts for slings for the developing fruit. Thanks again everyone and happy gardening :)!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 3:47AM
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sleevendog

I like the velcro. The quality is not so great but you end up getting more lenght for your money than regular velcro. TomatoGrowerSupply had a better quality that lasted for years and eventually broke down...but no longer have it. The thinner stuff looses its grip pretty quickly so you will want longer lengths so it overlaps more.
The nice thing, once you find a standard size like 8-10 inches, you can pre-cut an extra dozen or so and attach them to your support system so they are handy right next to your plants. And as your plants grow, you can easily move them to other locations on the plant.

I also use the green stretchy non-sticky tape. I like the extra support when the toms get so big. Panty hose works great...but i would have to get white and dye it green like someone posted...looks too much like an underwear drawer.
I always think that an absorbent fabric like t-shirt strips might stay too wet in my damp climate...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 10:59AM
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