Sharon Cohoon

Christmas-light clips, the double-hooked devices used to secure strings of ornamental lights to roof eaves, work just as well for attaching sweet pea vines to trellises, netting, or fencing.

Hooking is faster than using twist ties, says Rita Corpin, the Southern California master gardener who passed on the tip. And since the clips are reusable, they're cheaper too. The clips hold vines securely enough to withstand even the region's infamous Santa Ana winds, she says, yet are gentle on plants. They're also useful for training vining edibles like peas, pole beans, cucumbers ― even melons and squash. So you might want to pick up several packets.

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