Reduce the risk of collapsing plants, says Ruth
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