Sup­port­ing peren­ni­als

Re­duce the risk of col­laps­ing plants, says Ruth

Amateur Gardening - - Gardening Week -

HERBA­CEOUS peren­ni­als should be grow­ing well, so now is the time to put their sup­ports in place. Sup­ports come in many shapes, sizes and ma­te­ri­als, from tra­di­tional wil­low wig­wams (ideal for an­nu­als such as sweet peas) to metal frames, bam­boo stakes and pea sticks that can be in­serted among plants to cre­ate an at­trac­tive net­work of sup­ports.

If you wait much longer you will find your­self inch­ing through bur­geon­ing bor­ders, try­ing to avoid tread­ing on plants that are al­ready almost full-sized.

Placed now, they may look a little bare and un­sightly, but will be com­pletely hid­den once the plants grow and fill the bor­ders.

Plants are sup­ported for sev­eral rea­sons, the most ob­vi­ous be­ing to cre­ate an at­trac­tive gar­den and pro­tect blooms from sum­mer winds and storms.

Keep­ing them up­right also pre­vents them from fall­ing on to shorter plants (and stop­ping shorter plants at the front of bor­ders from droop­ing onto the lawn and dam­ag­ing the grass).

Never tie plants to their sup­ports too tightly, as this can dam­age their stems. Use twine or rub­ber ties, which are softer on the plants, se­cured in a fig­ure of eight that acts as a buf­fer be­tween plant and stake and leaves room for move­ment.

Don’t tie plants too tightly – let them move Add sup­ports be­fore your peren­ni­als re­ally start to grow

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