A friend of mine uses an oxygen concentrator machine to help treat his lung condition, and as a result he frequently needs to change the tubing. Rather than throw them away in the trash, he asked me if they were something I could put to use. Being the scrounger that I am, I gratefully took them, figuring that they'd be good for something or other in the future. Well, it's now the future!
Truthfully, I wasn't the first to come up with this idea. I was chatting with this friend about my garden, the facts that I'm getting the greenhouses ready for growing cucumbers and that I'm making trellises for pole beans. He suggested using the tubing to make plant ties. Not just using it like string and knotting it up, but rather, run wire through the tubing. That way the ties would be quick & easy to use, plus reuse over and over again. Dang, wish I had thought if it first! (just kidding
So I started out with a pile of tubing (photo above), a roll of wire that I use for the livestock electric fencing, plus a wirecutter. )
After cutting the connectors off of the end of the tubing, I ran a wire down each tube as far as it would go with a bit of coaxing. Often I could get the wire through about 20"-24", but other tines only 12'-15".
Once the wire went as far as I could get it, I'd cut it off flush with the tubing. Wallah! Plant tie.
I think I have over 100 of these ties so far. I've already tried them out and like them. They're flexible, keep their shape, can be twisted all sorts of ways, and don't seem to damage the plants. They're winners!
Up until now I've used strips of cloth and surveyors tape for tying plants. I'm ditching the cloth ties and replacing them with these tube & wire ties. I'll still use surveyors tape when the situation calls for it.