Plant Support and Trellising

To keep our spaces tidy and our plants from overtaking everything and letting fruit rot on the ground, some support is required.  There are a two categories of plants that need a little help.

Climbers– runner beans and peas, cucumbers, gourds, hops (and lots of flowers too).  This is anything that wants to grow vertically and needs something to do it on.  I’ve seen people use all sorts of creative things for this- tipis, netting and wooden stakes, bedframes(!)  Basically, you just want to provide something vertical so the plant can get its climb on.  If your plants are already vining on the ground- fear not!  You can put in a trellis and weave them in a bit to get it started- just be careful of the growing tips.

Big Bounty Plants- tomatoes, tomatillos, sometimes peppers and eggplant, dahlias, some sunflowers and other plants who are just too bountiful to keep their heads up!  Tomatoes are often the plant we think of that needs some trellising.  The most common way people do this in a home garden is to use a tomato cage- pop it over the tomato and let the magic happen.  But you can also do something called the “Florida Weave” which is basically sandwiching your tomatoes between string and having Tposts every few plants to tie the string to.  Here’s a detailed guide to get your weave on should you desire.  For the other plants that might be too weighted down with bounty to keep up, generally placing a few small bamboo stakes around the plant and tying it to them to keep it upright is all you need.

There are professional tools you can use to support your plants, or you can MacGyver it using whatever you have around.  And if you don’t get around the trellising at all, it’s not the end of the world!

That’s all for this month- I hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labor!  And although summer is in full swing, we are approaching the time to think about fall gardens- so marinate on what you might want to be growing in the fall/winter- because the time to plant will be on us soon!