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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2281 Posts
(Offline)
1
March 15, 2012 - 4:45 pm

DSC03781.JPGImage EnlargerI am recycling the branches that I have pruned from my shrubs.  I prune my NON-FLOWERING shrubs before they leaf out.  I save ALOT of these branches to use in my gardens as plant supports...any plant that flops, gallardia, daisies, late pink alliums etc. I push the sticks into the ground when the plant is only a couple inches high. They push into the ground easier if you do it AFTER a rain. The plant then grows through and around the twigs. Cheap and very effective.

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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KeyWee54
Western Kentucky Zone 7a
616 Posts
(Offline)
2
March 16, 2012 - 10:09 am

I started doing this last year (when you first suggested it) and it has allowed me to make GREAT good use of the twigs in my bamboo plants.  They are some of the toughest little devils you ever want to find.  Almost like steel.  Although the plants don't give me as many twigs as I need (thank goodnes, I don't want a bunch of bare bamboo) I am now vigilant for any dead branches that need pruning out.   You can't BUY supports that good! 

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Gretchen G 123
6 Posts
(Offline)
3
November 12, 2014 - 9:20 am

 Anything you can repurpose something from your garden/yard surely is a good thing.  When my husband and I prune our fruit trees, we'll save the thinner branches to support our pea plants, or other top heavy shorter plants, like peppers.  We see no reason to buy the cute supports they have for sale in gardening magazines, when we have these sturdy branches.  Also, they look rustic and a bit whimsical 'planted' in our garden.

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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2281 Posts
(Offline)
4
March 15, 2016 - 8:20 am

ATTENTION gardening friends.  Now is an excellent time to prune your dormant bushes and use the pruned branches for plant supports later in the growing season.  Here in zone 5, I prune BEFORE the bushes start budding. Doing this early Spring, eliminates leaves on the branches that turn brown/die and look yucky.  Find an area in your yard to make a pile of the pruned branches.  I make sure I have various heights. Probably 12" - 6'.  SurprisedYes, 6'.  I use these longer branches for my peas. Some of the first 'twigging' I do is on Oxeye Daisies, you know the Spring daisy that can go crazy spreading. Also, this is a great time to WEED OUT the unwanted Oxeye Daisies. I do keep some in the gardens because it adds a 'bright white' early in the season.

TWIGGING is a great way to support and 'show off' the floppy plants.  Gallardia, Gloriosa Daisies, Rose Campion, California Poppies and Feverfew are a few other perennials I use this method on.

Give it a try.  I think you will like this FREE method of tiding up your gardens.Smile

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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CarolJean
central Wisconsin
99 Posts
(Offline)
5
March 15, 2016 - 7:59 pm

A timely reminder, Lark.  I still have ninebarks that I need to prune and I will save the trimmings.  They can be useful in so many ways.  I have found that if you push a ninebark twig into soil, they often will root.  At this point I don't need or have room for any more and maybe it's not allowed because of patents, but it does work.

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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2281 Posts
(Offline)
6
March 16, 2016 - 9:08 am

That is EXACTLY why I prune my bushes when it is cold and they have not broken bud.  I also let them sit in a pile of weeks.  This method helps them DIE. Surprised I, too, have used FRESH cuttings of dogwood and low & behold they leafed out and grew.  I did not like seeing a bush growing among the perennials they are suppose to be supporting.  So cut early and let them sit.Wink

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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Katie
Wisconsin, zone 5
32 Posts
(Offline)
7
May 18, 2017 - 8:18 pm

Hey Lark, do you just put the twigs in and the branches provide support? Or do you create a round structure that looks similar to the hoops you buy at the store? I'd love to see a video on this if you have one! I have PLENTY of dead branches from cutting back overgrown bushes this spring and i'd love to use them to save some money.

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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2281 Posts
(Offline)
8
May 19, 2017 - 8:17 am

Yes, I just use the to provide support.  Doing so when the plant just emerges is easier than trying to add the branches after the plant is grown.  BUT either does the job.  Also, doing so after a rain makes it easier on the hands.

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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