This section is from the book "The Florists' Manual", by William Scott. Also available from Amazon: The Florist's Manual.
The matter of tying is of the greatest importance and a considerable part of the expense of growing carnations. Thirty years ago and for many years thereafter nothing better was thought of than the primitive straight stick, and in the days of short-stemmed, or really stemless, flowers, it did very well. Nowadays it is useless, and the advent of the long-stemmed flower has compelled us to use some better method.
A great many devices have been thought of and many arrangements in the shape of wire supports invented, mostly all useless. There is, however, one device of wire that seems pre-eminently ahead of anything yet invented, and which it seems to me is about perfect. I do not say this to favor any manufacturer, but in justice to my readers must say that the support known as the "Model," made in Brooklyn, is about perfection. The immense quantities used by our largest growers is evidence of this. The large, stiff wire, bent into a gigantic hairpin, the wire netting and many other schemes are good.
Mr. Dorner's Method of Tying.
Carnation Lady Bountiful.
The plan used first by Mr. Dorner, and now generally adopted, is very good, and with many varieties answers the purpose well. It is to stretch a strong wire (No. 14 or 16) along both sides of the bench about six inches above the soil, and between each row, lengthwise of the bed, two lighter wires. Then from the two outside wires a string is run across the bed and near the plants, carrying the string around each wire as it is passed. Between each row of plants crosswise two strings are needed, one against each row. The common white string used by grocers, which is very inexpensive, is good enough for this purpose.
Each plant is then confined in a square made by the wire and string. To keep the wires from sagging you will want a lath across the bed at intervals, and strong wooden supports to fasten the wires to at each end of the bed. Another tier of this arrangement must be added as the plants grow, and with some varieties even a third will be needed eighteen inches above the soil. This plan answers every purpose, is very inexpensive, is quickly applied and altogether satisfactory, but it is not nearly equal in neatness, convenience, or for the growth of the plants as the "Model" support, whose only defect now is its first cost. But its cost spread over three years would make it the cheapest of all methods.