Steel concrete reinforcement bars for plant support

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JTh

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Steel concrete reinforcement bars for plant support
« on: March 10, 2012, 06:18:08 PM »
I have found steel bars for concrete reinforcement very useful as support for climbers where there are no walls. They can also be bought as welded wire mesh sheets, you can paint them if you don’t like the rusty colour, and they last forever.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 04:48:36 PM by Alisdair »
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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MikeHardman

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Steel rebar for plant support
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 10:34:40 AM »
Steel rebar for plant support.

Several virtues:

- You can get it in long lengths (over 6m) - long enough to form arches and hoops from.

- You can weld (or wire) pieces together to form obelisks, etc (less flexible than single stakes - preferable in some cases).

- Depending on the diameter/length, you can hammer it into the ground much better than bamboo (eg.)

- You'll be using an angle grinder to cut the rebar to length (tough going for a metal saw); the jagged/sharp-edged end should be rounded somewhat for safety, using an angle grinder (different disk, for side-working) or electric grindstone.

- You can form a point using the grindstone / angle grinder, so it goes into difficult ground easier.

- You can put a sleeve of black plastic irrigation pipe or domestic water pipe over the rebar; the black appearance may be preferable, and you can cut it so the top of the pipe exceeds the top of the rebar so the upper part flexes more in the wind

- You can use black plastic pipe to join separate pieces of rebar together, either lengthwise, or to form a half-hoop between the tops of vertical stakes

- You can use plastic pipe connectors to effect joining multiple pieces of rebar together, the plastic pipe sleeving the rebar

- Rebar sheet (multiple lengths at right angles, welded where they cross): useful on its own, but can also be joined to individual rebars using black plastic pipe (for this application, use the stout domestic water type, not irrigation type).

- Individual rebars can be bent to shape, for artistic or practical reasons; some tooling necessary for tight bends.

- Other suggestions?
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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JTh

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Re: Steel concrete reinforcement bars for plant support
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 05:27:00 PM »
You covered pretty much eveything here, Mike. The only thing I can add is that you don't really need an angle grinder, I have only used a small, handheld steel saw, the iron is quite soft and cuts easily, some patience helps, of course.

I have used steel (re)bars for years, I have painted them only once (using Hammerite, no need to remove rust first), and they still look fine.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.