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New Zealand Flax as staking and tying material

Margarita Palatnik
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In ocean-front, sub-tropical Uruguay, where cyclones have become a regular event, I spent years trying out various plants to build my windscreen. The all-around winner ended up being New Zealand Flax. For a while, because it was the only thing to thrive, I grew to hate it. Then I started my vegetable garden and started appreciating the happiness it brought us and the hummingbirds. A whole acre surrounded by New Zealand Flax meant a lot of hummingbirds.
Eventually one day, well into my obsession with tomatoes, I needed stakes for them and had the idea of chopping off one of the flower stems, which are as much as 7 feet tall, up to two inches thick, and will remain strong for several months. In no time they became my only source of trellis material.
Last year I decided to plant a lot of beans and to trellis them, so the leaves, made into rope, became the go-to material for the trellis weave.
I use them also for trellising zucchini, cucumbers, etc.
By the next spring, only the ones that were cut off at the end of the summer are still good for trellising (the earliest tomatoes) and the others become fantastic kindling for the bbq or the fireplace.
The beauty is that I allow the flowers to bloom and only when they dry out (and stop feeding the hummingbirds), do I start using them as stakes, so we have multiplied their purposes now.
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New Zealand Flax for staking beans, zucchini etc...
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