Staking out protection for your plants
Iwindy to say the least. Last night I was sitting outside the pub, trying not to be blown away while holding onto my drink, (diet lemonade and blackcurrant juice before you ask) and attempting to make some form of wind break with my jacket.
Today I look up and down my road which is littered with branches and sticks from the overhanging trees as well as pieces of paper that have made a bid for freedom from our recycling box.
Fencing panels and plant pots have been blow over and no doubt it is being reported as the worst storm for 100 years… you know what I mean.
Apart from the instant damage of the occasionally lost stem or limb wind is incredibly damaging to plant and trees alike in more ways than one. I am a sucker for prevention over cure and so in October or November I always take my buddleja down to about half height or so, always leaving a foot of growth about that of where I want it to grow.
Now the books will tell you to cut your buddleia down in early spring after any risk of frost, and that is what I do (hence leaving the extra foot of growth to come off in april or so), but too many times have I seen branches ripped and damage due to snow or heavy winds that I break the ‘rules’ and look for prevention rather than cure.
The other time that wind can be so damaging is when new shrubs or trees planted in autumn are not staked. Wind rock is often talked about by gardeners when planting roses, but can pretty much apply to anything that is not secured when planted.
I can fully understand it from the plant point of view, they are trying to lay down some solid roots to anchor themselves but instead they are being pushed back and forward preventing them from doing so.
There are a few methods of staking, the common singe stake which can be vertically down about 3cm from the plants steam with a few ties to keep the together.
The other method you would have seen on plants in parks and roadsides this involves putting a stake in at about 45 degrees going about 1/3 up the trees stem.
There are the two most common forms although there are ground anchors and double stake methods for bigger trees. It’s well worth staking and pruning plants now before the wind, rain and snow set in for winter 2015… and you will be rewarded healthy and stable plant later in the year.
Pruning is an essential way to protect your plants from the ravages of winter