Supporting Dahlias
A NO Stake NO Tie System

Many people find staking and tying dahlias to be a tedious task with a rather unsightly outcome. I number myself among these and over the years have developed a dahlia support system which requires no stakes, no ties and is nearly invisible when the dahlia plant reaches maturity.

 

The heart of this system is the common tomato or plant cage. With a couple of simple modifications these cages are altered to provide a vastly improved capacity to support large plants such as dahlias, cleomes, delphiniums, yarrow, hibiscus, tithonia and even top heavy tomatoes. In our own yard we also use various sizes of these converted cages to support mums, marigolds, fall asters and any other plant which might flop over in a heavy rain or strong wind.

For dahlias, I prefer to use what is commonly sold as a 42" plant cage with four rings and four legs. The distance from the bottom ring to the top ring is about 27" with an overall cage height of 42". The diameters of the rings themselves are 8, 10, 12, and 14 inches.

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The first step in modifying the plant cages is to cut the legs off above the small ring. I use an inexpensive 8" mini bolt cutter for this purpose, and generally pump twice in severing each leg.

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The second step of the modification process is to bend a hook into one end of these severed legs. For this purpose I use the wire tube out of an old lamp to grip the leg while I bend a hook into the end. Any small diameter metal pipe or tube will serve the same purpose.

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