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re: plant weights
Has anyone ever tried using a plastic disc as a weight? Not like a floppy
disk, but something akin to a large (1.5" diameter) nylon washer? It
wouldn't ever have a problem with oxidation or decomposition, and they are
very chep. They could be removed with scissors... I would think the gravel
above the washer would provide enough weight to keep the washer, and hence
the plant, in the substrate.
Utility guy anchors work in a similar way. The screw-in earth augers they
use are usually rated at *thousands* of pounds of pull-out strength and
they are basically a split disc that screws into the ground.