Zip ties and their many uses

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Zip ties and their many uses on the farm, homestead, the garden and elsewherezip-tiesZip ties, or as they are called in England, cable ties, are, even though they are plastic and some people do have a problem with plastic, are often a godsend when it comes to temporarily or even, more or less, permanently fixing something, be this in the home, on the farm, the homestead, the garden or elsewhere. The uses literally are legion.

While, as said, those little (and not so little) ties are plastic and thus (probably) not all that green but they are so very useful for so many things, be it for temporary or even permanent fixing of things.

These simple strips, typically made of plastic, come in many lengths and feature a special ratcheting design, some even can be reused in that they have a “reversible” catch. When you insert the pointed end into a slot at the opposite end, it latches firmly in place and creates a loop that can be tightened (but not loosened – unless the special kind) to whatever size you need. You can combine multiple zip ties to create much longer zip ties.

The potential uses for zip ties are almost limitless and all I can give you here are a few example of their uses around the farm, the garden, the homestead and the home. As far as I am concerned zip ties are so useful that I even pick up any unused ones that people, who have been using them somewhere, have dropped. Weird, I know, but then that's what I am like; waste not want not.

The uses for those – predominately – plastic strips, those cable- or zip ties are legion and, more or less, I should guess, endless, on the farm, in the garden, in the home, and elsewhere.

Installing wire mesh fencing: When installing mesh wire fencing, it doesn't get much easier than securing the wire in place with large zip ties. The evenly spaced gaps in the mesh wire ensures that you can slide the ties through wherever necessary, securing them around metal stakes to hold the wire upright. They work equally well for installing deer netting.

Guiding grape vines and other climbers: Simply attach the vines to the trellis of wires or fence on which you want them to grow up on with zip ties. It could not be easier. Eventually, the vines will curl their tendrils around the wires and be able to support themselves, but in the meantime, the ties effectively hold the vines in place.

The same applies to all kinds of vines, not just grape vines, and delicate plants that need support can also be helped with zip ties.

Repairing fruit tree branches: Unfortunately, it's fairly common for fruit trees to overestimate how much fruit their branches can support and branches can crack under the weight of a heavy crop. However, as long as the branch is not fully broken, it is possible to support it with a stake and allow the tree to heal the crack. Zip ties are an important part of the process, perfect for holding everything in position. This may even work, though I have not tried it, with tree saplings that have been accidentally broken though not completely off.

Securing tarps: Need to tie down a tarp to keep something dry? Loop some zip ties through the grommets on the tarp and secure it in place. It does not get easier than that now, does it.

Pole bean teepee (pole beans = runner beans in Britain): When installing bean poles and turning them into the teepee shape there is no easier way than using some cable ties and, voila, ready is the thing. While it is possible to do it with string, or wire, doing it on one's own with the latter two can be a little bit of a problem, time-consuming and fiddly. Not so with cable ties.

Bicycles: Here they have their first uses, obviously, to hold cables and such in place, but there are also things on the bike that can be temporarily or permanently tied down with cable ties.

Shower curtains: Want to put up a shower curtain (think tarp but hanging down) onto a pole and there are no hooks or rings. Zip ties through the grommets and over the pole and voila, there it hangs ready for use.

This is but a very small list of the uses for zip ties around farm, homestead, home, etc., and one could, I should guess, fill a small book with them at least and after publication of such book another hundred uses would come up. So, maybe, a book I won't write about it.

© 2018