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in Tools and techniques
I'm new to the forum and am hoping that I haven't missed an existing thread on this subject. I'll be really grateful for any useful tips.
A few years back on a Gardeners' World programme Monty demonstrated making metal plant supports by bending a rod using a dustbin former. I wish I'd noted more of the details, not least what metal rod he was using. I've been told at a local diy store that unless it was aluminium (and I'm sure it wasn't) heat would have been needed!
Does anyone recall this programme and maybe given the plant supports a go? I'd love to hear how successful you were - and of course what material you used as well as any tips you could give. I have many herbaceous bedswhich I love, but purchasing ready-made supports is expensive.
He used reinforcing bar available from builders merchants and possibly somewhere like B&Q. I remember thinking that it would take some strength to bend it but it does come in a variety of diameters so maybe the smaller ones would bend. Have you checked out the BBC GW website as they may have a video clip in their 'How to' section.
They were made from metal bars that you buy at builders' merchants. They use them for reinforcing concrete. They're made from iron as they rust if left out but not so much they can't be left out for years..
I have used this system since Monty showed them. The thinner ones bend easily enough. I used a railway sleeper post to bend mine in the middle to get the curve that goes round the plants then set it on the ground, put another piece of railway sleeper across it and stood on it to pull up the two ends to vertical.
Then it's just a case of pushing the two ends into the soil either side of the plants to be supported and letting them fall into the curve. They can stay out all year, don't bend or break in strong winds and disappear from view as the foliage and plant growth increases over the season.
Thanks so much to all of you for your advice. It's a relief to know that others had seen the same programme as I had begun to think I had dreamt it!
I'll certainly follow up all suggestions from builder's merchants to GW 'How To' section to farmers' suppliers. All sound very promising.