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How to Control Garden Growth

How to Stake Plants
Some plants may be in need of staking more than others.

To stake plants well, it helps to anticipate the growth that occurs in a season. Plants that look fine in June can be top-heavy and keeling over by July or August. Tall flowers and vegetables may not be able to support the weight of their flowers and fruit. Plants growing in less sun than they like are more in need of staking or props than others.

Stakes, cages, or wire grids keep tall plants from falling on their faces. Stakes can be made of wood, bamboo, or wire coated with plastic. You can even use tree or shrub prunings, straight or branched, as natural-looking props for your plants. This is an old British trick called pea staking. It helps perennials stay upright and look natural without glaring metallic stakes or forced shapes that result from corseting with twine. Even better, pea staking costs nothing but a little time. When the perennials begin to arise in spring, set the ends of sturdy branched twigs around the plant. The twigs should be about as long as the height of the perennial. As the stems grow, they will fill out to hide the twigs. You can cut off any errant woody stems that remain in sight after the perennials reach full height. When you tie plants to their stakes, be sure to use garden twine or soft string or yarn, not wire, which can easily slice through plant stems.

Keep reading to learn about staking systems for plants.

Want more information about gardening? Try:

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  • Gardening: Find out everything you need to know about all aspects of gardening.