When I did the initial install, I used concrete for the mounting pipe and a dx engineering radial plate. I ultimately had 12 - 63' long radials in a u shape from the antenna, across the backyard and down both sides of the house. All in all, the BigIr worked fine.
But, I had a goal of having all wires run into the house and to have the BigIr playing against a good ground screen. I also wanted all wires to enter the house without having to open a window and to make the antenna more pleasing to the eye (aka: YL approved)! HI!
For the new install, I added an eighty meter coil kit to the antenna, drove an 8 ft ground rod into the ground at the base of the BigIr and added a lightening arrestor. The ground screen consists of 6 strips of hardware cloth (25' long x 3 ' wide) (450 square ft) laced together with insulated radial wire. The radial wire ties into the radial plate. Everything is lawn stapled in place. I did not remove the old radials and left them attached to radial plate. For the record, the 80 meter coil played fine before I started the ground screen project.
This project took me all summer due to a variety of issues including rain. Here are some photos from the the project.
In the top photo, you can see 2 strips of hardware cloth on the ground. At this time they are not laced together. You can also see the fake landscaping boulder, the 80meter coil and the ground rod with lightening arrestor. The 2nd photo is an alternative view. As can be seen, all cables are still on the ground.
So there you have it. With horrible band conditions I am getting very good on air reports. All bands are exhibiting good swr. I am pleased with this install.
Could it be better yes. But overall, I am happy with it and so is my YL!