Brooding On

A Loopy Idea for the Garden

In lieu of tomato cages, which can get pricey when you've got lots of plants (not to mention bulky to store in the off-season), I've been using simple garden stakes to support my plants.  Last year, I used knee high pantyhose cut into strips to secure the plants to the stakes.  This worked great:  the stockings were stretchy enough to allow the plants some wiggle room and didn't damage or cut into the tender stalks.  I needed tons of them, though, and they got a bit pricey.  This year, I decided to make use of craft loops instead.  In case you're unfamiliar, craft loops are more than likely what was used to create that priceless potholder you've got in the drawer.  You know, the one your little one made for you years ago and presented to you with such pride in her eyes you know you'll never forget it?  I am definitely not suggesting that you dismantle your memories for use in the garden.  Rather, go pick you up a box of loops from the craft section of the store.  My box contains well over 200 loops and was priced at just under $5.  To use, I just cut the loop to create a string and tie loosely around my plant and stake.  It does the trick!  Just remember to remove the ties before moving your past-their-prime plants to the compost pile in the fall.  I know from experience that they do not break down in the compost pile.  ;)