This has turned out to be a bad decision. The smooth cylindrical shape of the rods allows them to move around too much in the wind, and they had all worked loose. This week I decided I needed to replace them, because the worst of the Winter weather must surely be still to come. Fortunately the wooden stakes were available now, since the nets were all taken down many weeks ago.
The wooden stakes are square in cross-section and have a rough texture, so they stay in place much better - especially since I hammer them well into the soil. Being wooden they do eventually rot, but they last for several years. I use them for staking (amongst others) Brussels Sprouts, PSB and Broad Beans, as well as for supporting nets. I couldn't manage without them these days!
The wooden stakes won't be used so much for supporting nets in the coming year, because I have just acquired a load more aluminium rods for making fruit-cages, anti-butterfly cages etc. I have got quite a few of these now, and they can be assembled in many different configurations so they are much more versatile than the wooden stakes.
|Aluminium rods photographed on a frosty table!|
When I first started gardening I used very little "hardware". I spent all my available money on plants and seeds. I even made my first raised beds from scraps of wood saved from an old shed. But I lost many of my crops. The weather killed some of them, and the pests did the rest. To be honest, my yields were not good in the early days. Since then I have gradually accumulated a supply of suitable crop-protection and supporting equipment, and my yields have improved considerably. Take these for instance...
|Enviromesh protecting Carrots and Parsnips|
|A fruit-cage made of netting draped over aluminium rods joined by Build-a-Ball|
|Mini greenhouses protecting chilli seedlings|
|Long cloches over Broad Beans and Radishes|
There's no escaping the fact that without the use of some technology, many domestic gardens would not be viable at all.