Cane / plant support ideas

Discussion in 'Poly-Tunnel Gardening' started by andrews, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. andrews

    andrews Super Gardener

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    Last year I didn't get chance to install decent support for my plants which resulted in all sorts of weights and string holding up tomatoes and my chilli plants snapping.

    This year, when I make space by moving the tender plants outside, I intend to fix a wire line from the door frame at either end of the tunnel but don't want to put too much tension on it. I was planning to concrete a couple of wooden uprights along the length of the wire to keep it generally where it should be.

    Really bad sketch of my idea - red is the tunnel, black is the new support

    IMG_3820 (002).jpg


    Ideally Id like to take the posts out so that I can erect the smaller polytunnel inside here in winter so any suggestions along these lines are welcome. I did think about buying a couple of metal tubes with swaged ends, fitted into a tube in the ground but thought that these may rock a bit

    Does anyone have any alternative options in use or any advice on my current plan.
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

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      Hi,

      Depends on the length and number of plants you are talking about ?

      Your diagram is really like a Raspberry frame, with 2 or 3 wires on a 6ft post spacing.
      You could use tubes or even the type of fence spikes which have bolts to tighten the base when the post is inserted, so readily removable.

      Stronger than canes are these green poles, the larger ones are about 18/25mm diameter so quiet sturdy and they do allow you to move the plants around more easily than a fixed frame.
      Prices vary a lot, so you need to shop around, though around £2 for a 1.8m one can be found or cheaper by bulk.



      001349.jpg001350.jpg
       
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      • Freddy

        Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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        You don’t say how long the P/T is, but how about fitting some ‘U’ shaped brackets to the main supports and slotting in a length of wood (or something), to which you could attach your canes.
         
        Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
      • andrews

        andrews Super Gardener

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        Thanks @ricky101

        I have considered the post spikes but every time I drive this sort of thing in the ground I hit a rock and it ends up at an angle. Concreting the spokes in may be an option

        The span is 30 ft and I plan on having 10 or 12 plants along the length. I may end up with a second row nearer the middle of the tunnel
         
      • andrews

        andrews Super Gardener

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        That's another that I've considered Freddy. The 30ft span is my challenge. I'll need supports along the length which was why I'd swayed towards wire. Its still an option but I was favouring wire for the top as I have a part reel in the garage that I used to repair the top wire of a chain link fence

        Edit : Apologies - my sketch wasn't the best and I didn't mention the span of the support
         
      • Steve R

        Steve R Soil Furtler

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        Short video here showing my grape vine in September..



        I have drilled directly into the hoops of the frame and screwed in large "eyes", threaded some wire through so I now have a framework to tie the vine too as it grows.

        Another way for you would be to fit crop bars to your tunnel.

        Hope this helps.

        Steve...:)
         
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        • andrews

          andrews Super Gardener

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          Thanks Steve

          I cant see the video but I think I get the gist of your suggestion

          I think crop bars will be fitted when the polythene needs replacing - hindsight and all that
           
        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          I'll take some photo's when I go to the plot in the morning.

          Steve...:)
           
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          • Steve R

            Steve R Soil Furtler

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            Here we are Andrew, I used self drilling hex bolts on my tunnel, like these.

            HEAVY 38mm 50mm 60mm 70mm 85mm 100mm TEK 8mm HEX SELF DRILLING METAL SCREWS | eBay

            Then it was just a case of straightening the wire and wrapping it round the bolts. The wire is a 2.5mm galvanised steel straining wire used for stock fencing. Straightened in the normal way.

            [​IMG]

            [​IMG]

            [​IMG]

            [​IMG]


            I fitted my crop bars after the tunnel was up, I used "Q" clips and opened them out a little, then whilst gently pushing the plastic cover up fitted them around the hoop. Bolting on a crop bar closed them back up and I made sure there was some anti hotspot tape round the Q clip.

            [​IMG]


            Hope this helps.

            Steve...:)
             
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            • noisette47

              noisette47 Total Gardener

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              OH uses battens to construct a rectangular
              , removable 1.5m high frame down one side of the poly tunnel. Uprights spaced at roughly 1m intervals. He attaches wires to the tunnel frame to keep it stable under the weight of mature Tom plants. The beauty of that arrangement is that the whole thing can be easily dismantled to allow for rotovating and crop rotation.
               
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              • Freddy

                Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                @Steve R , those crop bars, are they standard issue?
                 
              • Steve R

                Steve R Soil Furtler

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                Nope, they are from a shop fixture I re purposed. It used to be a stand in a garden centre that held sheet materials (weed membrane, polythene etc), so my crop bars where the rollers of that. Super strong and heavy duty.

                Steve...:)
                 
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