“The devil is in the details” is a good mantra for any business. It could also apply to the construction and maintenance of a greenhouse. Big-ticket items, like environmental controls and coverings, are certainly of vital importance. However, let’s not forget the importance of the accessories that hold it all together and ensure that we don’t have to waste time with pesky repairs.
One important accessory for poly covered greenhouses is wiggle wire. Wiggle wire keeps poly and other coverings secured to the framing of the greenhouse.
There are a couple of different kinds of wiggle wire, most of which come from China.
However, did you know there is at least one company right here in the USA that manufacturers wiggle wire? Advancing Alternatives, out of Lancaster, PA sells its own brand of wiggle wire called Zig Zag wire. Over the last 10 years Advancing Alternatives has manufactured and sold enough Zig Zag wire to stretch around the surface of the moon!
Dave Stoltzfus, president of Advancing Alternatives, and his brother initially built the machine they use to manufacture Zig Zag wire. They are now on their third machine and are contemplating a fourth. They currently manufacture 4’ and 6’ lengths.
“Four-foot lengths are easily the most popular length of wiggle wire,” says Stoltzfus. “It’s easy to manufacture and easy to work with in the field.”
Stoltzfus believes the product they sell is superior to some of the wiggle wire currently on the market.
“We’ve heard stories over the years of ours holding better. We make it out of .085 diameter tempered steel so it holds its form better, and we also use very high tinsel, between 210 and 220 PSI,” he says.
And although they don’t recommend reusing wiggle wire when replacing coverings, he says a lot of growers do. The only complaint they’ve heard about their brand of wiggle wire is it can be hard on the fingers because it’s so strong!
Wiggle wire is used to secure single and double polyethylene and shade cloth to the channels in greenhouse framing. Advancing Alternatives also recommends using it with their patented roll-up curtains.
Stoltzfus is proud that its particular brand of wiggle wire, i.e, Zig Zag wire, is manufactured right here in the states.
“We still have manufacturing going on in America that can compete with the world,” he says.
Tips for installing wiggle wire
- Secure channel in place, making sure it is level or plumb
- Insert Advancing Alternative’s Zig Zag wire in channel and “wiggle” back and forth along the channel
- Overlap each section of wiggle wire a few inches when starting a new section
- Be careful not to scrape or poke the poly with the wire
- Pull the poly or cloth tight to the channel
- Use sure-grip gloves, if desired to protect your fingers
About Advancing Alternatives
For over 20 years Advancing Alternatives has manufactured vital components for the greenhouse and horticulture industries. They’ve responded to the changing needs of growers and farmers all across North America to provide these innovative solutions:
- Touchscreen environmental controls (AegisTEC and AegisTEC+)
- Rack & pinion motors
- Curtain motors
- Natural ventilation
- Roll lock curtain system
- Fans, louvers, heaters, HAF fans
- Zig-Zag wire
In addition, their technicians can provide custom solutions to meet your specific greenhouse needs, providing you with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure your greenhouse is running in the most efficient, cost-effective manner as possible.
Contact Advancing Alternatives today so you can take advantage of their innovative and cost-effective solutions for all your growing needs. Call 877-546-2257.