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Family Garden Helper: Giving Your Garden Plants Support

25 September 2022

Since we live in the country that is open to the brunt of all the weather (wind, wind and more wind), it is super important to provide the best support to garden plants right from the beginning. There is no “one best way” to do this. I usually work with whatever I have on hand as you can see from some of the included photos.

The tomatoes certainly have needs later in the growing season as well as early so I stake each one in addition to using some form of caging. The staking helps to support them early in the growing phase and the caging helps support the heavy branches when the plant starts to bear fruit. To connect the plant to the stakes, I use flexible ties that can be found at many locations that have a lawn and garden section like Lowes or Home Depot. I actually found them at our local Dollar Tree which was a pleasant (and cheap) surprise.

For the peppers, I only use stakes as the plant can usually hold the weight of the peppers when they mature. With both your tomato and pepper plants, you will likely want to move up your ties as the plant grows.

Other garden plants like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, okra, cabbage, etc, I use cut pieces of a plastic cylindrical material (like really wide pvc pipe) that are about 8" in diameter and approximately 8" tall (I’m using some old plastic field tile that was laying around). I put this around the newly transplanted plants and secure it to the ground with a couple pieces of wire about 12" in length; one end bent to clamp over the top plastic cylinder and the other straight end shoved deeply into the ground. Once the plant is well established with a sturdy stalk that is growing above the top of the cylinder, I removed them to allow the plant to continue its normal growth as all of these plants will grow to have their own sturdy supporting stalk or base.

Climbing options can vary depending on the plant. For the cucumbers, I am using hula hoops (another Dollar Tree buy) that are cut in half with stakes inserted in the ends, put in an alternating pattern in the ground near each plant. For the green beans (the variety that I am growing is called asparagus beans or yard long beans), I am using an old swing set frame with heavy string/cord strung to allow climbing as they grow. My snap peas, needing only light support, can latch on to multiple long plastic “sticks” inserted at various angles throughout the plants.

Any efforts to support your plants early can absolutely benefit your resulting harvest! Happy gardening!!

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