Monty Don’s tips for supporting plants – especially herbaceous plants with no woody stems – are exactly what you need to get the best results from all of them Ideas for flower beds You have this summer season in mind. With supportive herbaceous plants, timing is of the essence – and this week is perfect to install them.
Herbaceous plants include all annual, most biennial, and some perennial herbaceous plants, many of which are prone to damage from strong winds, heavy rain, or even hail if you live in a prone area. Some herbaceous plants simply fall over without support because the young plants are not strong enough to feed themselves.
For all of these reasons, now is the time to start thinking about plant supports, writes Monty in a recent blog post.
1. Plan your plant supports sooner rather than later
Mid-April is the perfect time to support young plants in their active growth. Says Monty, “The purpose of plant supports is to prevent damage rather than repair it, so this is the right time to support a plant before it needs to be done.”
Don’t worry about unsightly sticks everywhere – “within a few weeks the supports will be hidden but quietly doing their job with the delicate but vigorous new growth contained in their gentle, protective embrace,” says Monty, who emphasizes that receiving supports “If you are in place now, avoid trying to rescue damaged plants in a month or two.”
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2. Choose the right plant remedies
Which plant supports are best – metal, wood, or bamboo? Monty uses “a mixture of homemade metal supports, pea sticks (essentially bushy prunings from the garden), and sticks with twine”.
Previously, Monty demonstrated how he made his own metalwork supports from steel rods – surprisingly easy to get from a steel warehouse keeper. They are usually used in concrete construction – they are slim and easy to bend.
Bamboo sticks are best for temporary props – although “they just never look this good,” admits Monty.
- See more: Monty Don shares his simple tips for dividing perennials
3. Make sure your plant supports are adjustable
Plant supports are sometimes misunderstood as ways to change the shape of a plant or the direction in which it leans / grows. Advising against it, Monty explains that the material or shape of your plant support is less important than its adaptability: “Whatever you choose, try and anticipate the growth and make the support adjustable or flexible to suit yourself a bit adapt. ‘
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Steel recovers because it’s more flexible and easy to reshape as the plants get bigger, but most plant supports can at least be pushed up a bit as the plants get bigger.