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Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

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Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 5/6/2010, 9:09 pm

I saw some 6 ft tall spiral plant support rods for $2 at the Dollarama.

Does anyone use them in their gardens?

How well do they work?

What types of vining crops work best on them?

Do you have to fasten the vine to the rod so that it stays on?

Are there some vines that will climb / wrap around these rods themself?

Would they work in squares in the middle of SFG boxes?

I am curious about how well they work. Please share your experiences with these spiral plant supports.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  miinva on 5/6/2010, 9:57 pm

We bought four of them and put them in the bean box, connected at the top like a swirly teepee Smile The beans loved them, but they climbed to the top pretty quickly and it made harvesting a bit tricky to have that many plants all together. I trained them over to the trellis and they went along that too! I have fantasies of building a beautiful overhead trellis, but we'll see if that every happens Smile This year the plan is to attach wires from the trellis to the clothesline support and let them grow across that if they want to.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  new2this on 5/7/2010, 8:16 am

I am thinking of 2 different "spiral" types of support.....the kind I used last yr for my pepper plant was a very gently spiraling (maybe a 6" diameter is all) tower. It worked alright. I did tie up the plant as I encouraged it to wrap around. I tied it with fabric scraps - worked just fine.

But if you are talking about the collapsable (sp?) spiral towers, I have never used that kind.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  LaFee on 5/7/2010, 4:05 pm

They're really, really common on this side of the pond -- I see more spiral supports for sale in the garden centers than any other kind -- circular cages don't exist here from what I've seen.

I have a pile of them another resident left behind, so I'll be using them for my tomatoes -- I'm sure I'll have to tie them.

I think it's safe to say that if it's a climbing plant, it'll climb them -- if it's not a vining plant (like a tomato) you'll have to tie it on.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  Josh on 5/8/2010, 3:27 pm

My mom uses the spiral supports for her peas. We make them from a cork screw willow tree that we have, the limbs are curly spirals and they work great for supports.


I used the spiral tomato cage last year and it worked good too. The tomato plant took up less room in the SFG.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  miinva on 5/8/2010, 7:05 pm

Your garden is so beautiful, Josh! Smile

I'm going to use spiral supports for my malabar spinach and we're going to build one for our cucumbers, and we're going to use the conduit trellis for our squash.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 6/27/2010, 5:50 pm

Well I bought some spiral supports to try out.

They were $2 each at the Dollarama for 6 ft spiral supports, so I bought 6.

I am trying squash and tomatoes on them. The acorn squash seed I got back in the spring from a seed swap seem to be bushes rather than vines, so they aren't long enough to twist around the spirals.

But they are working well for a Juliet indeterminate tomato and a buttercup winter squash; as the vines grow I just wrap them around another spiral. So far I haven't had to tie them on, the leaves seem to catch on the spirals and hold the plants up on the support.







I didn't want to poke a hole through the weed barrier so I placed the spinals outside the box and planted the plants in the outside squares -- the spirals are only 5 feet once stuck into the ground and there is a bit below the edge of the box that can't be used. They seem to work well so far, both vines have flowers and are setting fruit.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  PeggyC on 6/27/2010, 5:54 pm

I want some!!!

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  Blackrose on 6/27/2010, 6:05 pm

They look great bullfrogbabe! As I was starting to look at your pictures, I got a fleeting thought about how you were going to get them in the ground deep enough without poking through your weed barrier. Then of course I got to the paragraph that explained that.



Great job!

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  miinva on 6/27/2010, 9:14 pm

I wish I could find them! I'm going to check all of the dollar stores Smile

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  aspiegardner on 6/27/2010, 10:14 pm

OH I'd love those. going to try to find them.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  silverbug on 6/28/2010, 7:30 am

Oh, I like that look a lot better than how my tomato plants are looking weaving in and out of the trellis netting as Mel suggested...but, that's how I started it this year, and that's how I'll finish it. Lovely though. I really dig all the ideas here.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  LaFee on 6/28/2010, 9:00 am

I lied. You don't have to tie beans OR tomatoes to them. Just guide the stems up through the center of the spiral.

The stems of my tomatoes are now thicker than my thumb, so the spirals do a great job of surrounding the stem and keeping everything upright.

My beans are just now about 12" (30cm) tall, but they don't seem to have any problem just being supported by the spiral, either.

I have a teepea (!!) for my pea plants, but last year I had a sweet-pea type weed very prettily climb one of the spirals that had been left in the garden...very nice, with flowers spiraling back down the support.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  herbarium on 6/28/2010, 9:39 am

My favorite support so far is Mel's trellis. The spirals like in your photos are a close second. I use them for the tomatoes that I always seem to plant more of than I have trellis space. I had the spirals before the new version of the book came out. I also use the spirals for pole beans. I don't think the spirals would hold my squashes.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  LaFee on 6/28/2010, 10:00 am

Beuna, it might be worth trying -- my tomatoes are just over 4' tall (1.25m) -- and they are rock-solid. When they're full of tomatoes (if all the flowers bear fruit, I could be in for some marathon canning sessions!) - I may change my mind, but I'm pretty happily surprised at how strong they are.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  aspiegardner on 6/28/2010, 10:47 am

bummer just realized this is a Canadian store. No chance of finding them in Northeastern CO.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/28/2010, 1:26 pm

I have several green-coated spiral supports, and I wish I could find more! They're fine for pole beans and cucumbers, as long as the cukes don't get too big (like the 42.5-oz. monsters I grew about six or seven years ago).

I haven't yet tried them for tomatoes.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 6/28/2010, 8:43 pm

I have seen these spiral supports at hardware stores here in Canada too, but they cost a lot more than $2. You may find them at other stores that host gardening sections / supplies. I find that many stores here carry great gardening things for a while in the spring, once gone they don't stock up their seasonal sections until the next year. That's Canada's growing season for you, very fleeting, gone before it really gets started!

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  LaFee on 6/29/2010, 2:12 am

they're cheap here, too -- I think the highest price I've seen is 2,50 Euros, which is just under $3 -- most of them are under 2 Euros.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  Wyldflower on 6/29/2010, 11:05 am

I plan to haunt Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Big Lots, and every other bargain store in hope of finding these!

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  herbarium on 6/29/2010, 11:09 am

I have not yet seen them at dollar stores but I have seen them at garden centers for about $5. They come in two sizes. I prefer the taller since my tomatoes and pole beans need the height.

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  miinva on 6/29/2010, 7:12 pm

I saw a huge stand of bamboo today with poles over ten feet tall! I want to go beg the owner to let me cut a few for my garden Smile They aren't as pretty as the spirals, but I still haven't found those Sad Not even where I bought the 4 I already have!

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

Post  LaFee on 6/30/2010, 2:10 am

heeheehee -- Miinva, a shoot from the neighbor's bamboo has found its way under the wall between our yards (no small feat - the wall is stone, 1-1/2' (30cm) thick, and over 100 years old!) -- and I'm waiting to cut it until it's big enough to make a support with. (SFG has made me into the crazy garden lady)

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Re: Spiral Plant Supports -- How well do they work?

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