Zipping Along With The Non-Consumer Advocate

by Katy on May 28, 2014 · 11 comments

I hate paying money to fix problems. I rarely, if ever throw money at a problem, instead I try to figure out a solution from what I already own or can get for free. (Hello . . . my mother’s basement!)

I have a hedge-row of arborvitae in my backyard that we planted back in the day when our neighbor kept abused pit bulls behind his house. (There are regulations about how high a fence you can build, but zero regulations about how high a hedge can grow. So yes, we planted arborvitae, much closer than was recommended.) These tall thin evergreen tress have shot up to 15-20 feet, but a few of the branches were drooping down from being weighed down with snow. I’ve tied them to the fence with yarn in years past, but that trick only lasted a year or so, so I decided to make use of some zip-ties we already owned.


Look at the drooped down branches:

Droopy branches

Enter a chain or two made from zip-ties:

Zip chain

And now the hedge is nice and vertical again:


And the cost of this landscaping project? Zero-point-zero dollars since I already owned the zip-ties. The cheapest and most important component to any project will always be your own ingenuity.

And those pit bulls? Thankfully long gone.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Krystal May 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Oh man–there are definitely people who shouldn’t be allowed to keep pets. How heartbreaking. Our family has a lovely rescue who was left abandoned with no food or water–he’s doing fantastic years later!

I might consider sucking up to my MIL a bit, she has plenty of stuff just laying around in her house 🙂


K D May 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm

My husband used similar ties to “fix” the silverware holder of our dishwasher. Apparently some knives had broken some of the plastic in the bottom but a few ties later and it is probably better than new (and we already had an assortment of ties).


Christine May 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm

We used a zip tie to “fix” our washing machine. The mechanism that moves to turn it on when you close the lid was broken. Now it’s on the permanent ON position (courtesy of said zip tie), so technically if you pull out the knob you can run a whole cycle with the lid up…. but who cares. It’s been working for us since 2006.


Kate May 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

I used a zip tie to make a little pull handle for the skimmer basket in our pool. I did NOT like having to put my hand in the water when there were huge spiders or dead or not-quite-dead rodents in there!


Kim May 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Oooooh, I love this idea! I hate sticking my hand in the skimmer with the dead creatures so as soon as we open the pool I’m going to do this!


Linda in Mass May 29, 2014 at 3:39 am

Love this idea!!! Definitely using this!


Becky May 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Used pantyhose work great for tieing up arborvitae, too!


Katy May 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

I’ve used pantyhose loops for smaller plants like tomatoes, but I needed something stronger.


Heather N. May 28, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Good idea! We planted those when we bought our house (at the edge of our patio). Between the snow making the branches bend down and ours getting bees in them (and finding out our Golden Retriever is highly allergic to bees) we cut ours down this summer. They are definitely good as a fence, but now I am happy since we can see our lawn that was on the other side.


Manda May 29, 2014 at 10:14 am

I loved this post because just this weekend my husband and I were finding ways to fix things in our yard without having to spend any money. We are having a similar problem with our hedges so I think we will give your method a try….hubby has quite the collection of zip ties as it is so it will be nice to put them to good use.
Thanks again for all your inspiration!


Katy May 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

Great, let me know how it works!


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