propping up plants

I've had my fair share of broken branches on the tomato, pepper and squash.
Not knowing what I'm doing, I've been taping a splint (usually a small bit of branch) with masking tape after straightening the partial break. That seemed to work for the tomato and squash and not for the blueberry. Don't know yet on the pepper. Is there something more I should be doing, or should this just be preventative maintenance? Not that I've heard of pepper cages. My staking so far been on the what's laying about the yard!
Jeff
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wrote:

I use stuff like this sometimes for many years.
<http://www.nextag.com/velcro-plant-ties/products-html
Should be in many stores this with bamboo small stakes does the job. But I have to find and get them ready for next year.
Bill whose Dad tied up plants with old nylon stockings.
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Don’t these damage the stem as the plant moves about? Kind of like wrapping them in sand paper.
I’ve been using the plastic bags that my groceries come in. Been considering using tape.
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CanopyCo wrote:

Hmmm. I must say that so far the tape "works". Cheap too.
Jeff
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jeff said:

Those cheap tomato cages they sell are totally inadequate for tomatoes but make *great* supports for peppers and eggplants.
I mean the ones like this: http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-31924/Detail
As far as tomatoes go, I stake most of my plants and cage the rest with these bad boys:
http://www.tomatocages.com /
(Warning, there is an animated gif on this page. At least it's a useful animation, as it show how the cages easily fold flat for storage.)
I'd like to get just two more of the large or medium six footers...but they only ship in groups of six.
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I use the cages for tomatoes too, but I put them upside down (secured with lawn staples), and tie them together at the top, which gives them an extra 12-18" of height. Many of the plants still are way too tall (some of my heirlooms are now about eight feet tall!), but I can't see spending $10-15 on a single cage. (I have about 60 tomato plants.) --S.
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On Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:19:35 -0600, "Suzanne D."

Cattle panels. Bolt cutters. Tee posts. Wire. Multi purpose and great for tomatoes, climbing cukes, etc. especially the heirlooms.
cattle+panels+tomatoes
http://www.foundationfarm.com/tomatopanels.htm
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/vertical/msg0622582022244.html
http://www.ericsprojects.com/?page_id "8
http://erincovert.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/how-to-build-a-tomato-trellis-with-a-cattle-panel /
Charlie
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Charlie wrote:

Nice idea.
I had thought of the tee posts and welded wire, but the welded wire I see is usually flimsy and I was thinking more posts to make up for that.
Not sure how far I'll have to go to get a cattle panel as I'm a city slicker, but they look perfect. Lots of great ideas in your links, thanks! Now, I'm thinking greenhouse!
Jeff

http://erincovert.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/how-to-build-a-tomato-trellis-with-a-cattle-panel /
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The welded wire I see is often not galvanized and rusts, like that used in concrete work. I don't like the mess and stains. Flimsy like you say. The cattle panels are galvanized and good for a lifetime. For those living in rural areas, they can sometimes be picked up reasonably at farm sales. THe last ones I bought new (last year) were 19 bucks for a sixteen foot 60 inch panel. Most farm supply stores and many lumberyards carry them, but some are sticklers about how they let you haul them away. You can arch a full panel or several in a pickup bed (endgate closed), but there have been cases of them springing out and causing more than a bit of trouble with following vehicles. I cut the last ones I bought to lengths I needed at the store and hauled them flat, with a couple of twelve foot 2x6s under them for support and a couple of sandbags on top in the front for support. Some stores will help you cut them with their cutters.
Maybe they will deliver? Some will here.
Watch out for cut ends from bolt cutters, they are kinda (really) sharp. I should grind mine down, but I try to just work and pick carefully. :-)

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