Puzzled with what to do with all the trimmings when cutting back Shrubs and Climbers? Obviously the best place for it is the Compost heap. But wait! There is some useful material in that pile of garden rubbish! Let me show you how to make your own Plant Supports and Protection.
It’s not complicated or difficult and all you need in the way of tools are:-
(The following tools list are affiliate links which means if you purchase using these links, I may earn a small commission. Be assured I only recommend what I personally use)
A ball of Garden Twine, some scissors or Garden snips like these and a strong pair of Secateurs, I use my ancient but trusty Felco.
I usually have a good quantity of useful lengths of prunings from my Wisteria, and I am able to use the bulk of them. You could use willow or Dogwood prunings.
As we have two dogs, bulbs and fragile flower stems are particularly vulnerable in our garden. The flowering stems can get easily snapped. So I have devised a number of ways to protect my precious plants.
How to make a Basket Style Plant Guard
Secure the hoops by tying Garden Twine around them at the point where they cross. Natural fibre twine is best as it doesn’t slip when tying and will rot down in the compost heap when you discard the guard.
Weave long lengths of the whippy stems in and out of the uprights. I use three or four lengths of approx. 8 foot/2 metres. Tie in the ends where necessary using Garden Twine Trim the ends of the string off and neaten any ends of stems sticking out. You can push this row of weaving down and level so that you can add a second row of weaving above it. This creates a really sturdy framework.
How to make Dwarf Pea Climbing Frame
When you just don’t have enough twiggy branches to use as Pea supports try this.
Choose the sturdy yet flexible stems from your prunings. Again I use Wisteria but you can use whatever you have. Divide them up into bundles of three lengths of approx 3 foot/4 foot/5 foot then push the hoops into your soil making a diagonal row and varying the size of the hoops. Place a second row, in the opposite diagonal, over the first. The Peas can be planted or sown under the hoops. Or if you prefer you can plant out your peas out first
Use Stems to make Plant Protection Hoops
Use strong but flexible stems from you pile of prunings to bend into hoops to protect the emerging new growth on your perenniels. The new shoots of the Bleeding Heart plant Lamprocapnos spectabilis (or as we used to call it Dicentra spectabilis) are particularly vulnerable. I have found that the hoops give sufficient protection against the antics of rambunctious dogs!
Using Twiggy prunings
These make ideal supports for indoor bulb stems to prevent them flopping. Bulbs in containers indoors are lovely but unless they have adequate lighting, the flower stems tend to get leggy and weak. Pushing in a few twiggy stems into the container around the bulbs gives a natural but useful support
And if you have any long stems left you can make a Twiggy Wreath
The wreath is ready for decorating! If you have enough material to make several, you can change them with the season. One for Easter/Spring, maybe Harvest and then Christmas?
…the rest can go to the Compost Heap
The last of the trimmings can go in the compost heap. The smaller you can cut it up, the quicker it will compost down. If you have Shredder it will appreciate dry woody cuttings. Depending on the amount left over you can always set it to one side to shred next time you have your machine out, as long as you can keep it relatively dry. At the end of the season all the hoops and guards can be chopped up and added to the compost heap. You do have a compost heap or Bin don’t you?
Why not Jot down on this handy Garden Tasks work sheet what you need to do? Which plants you need to prune, when you need to put plant protection and supports into your garden, and when to tend your Compost heap