Picking the Perfect Plant Support
Saggin' and draggin' ain't cool. Keep you plants up.
Every gardener has their preferred way of holding up their plants. We do this so that vines can climb and creep, canopy producers can spread out and get big, bushers can bush and so that others simply take the pleasing shapes that we desire.
Each garden is unique just as each plant is unique. Picking the right support system for your plant is certainly an interesting challenge. Because the choice depends upon the space, its surroundings, the plant and its tendencies as well as other factors; such as time and wind - we need to be creative: Maybe the garden is indoors and height is a limitation, or branch weight or whaterver... Many, many variables can be accounted for in the perfect support system for a plant entwined with it's grower's intention.
I suggest that the best support for any plant takes into consideration the lifecycle of that plant:
- Annularly harvested plants should have temporary support or cages and perennial support shout last throughout the years.
- Are you starting from a seed or sapling and will the support adapt to the plant as it matures?
- Can the plant be trained to increase productivity or does it just need to be kept from contact with the ground?
- Can you use surrounding features or existing supports to increase its effectiveness or visual appeal?
Plants should be given opportunities - fences, lattices, espalier or cage forms are all good options for climbing and nodal branching plants. As life always finds a way, its the gardeners job to make that way good. Many plants can be trained with a good canopy management system.
The right hardware and materials can facilitate that way. Lots of options are out there: from wire cages, clips, twine, cane and stakes, lattices and custom builds. Whatever you use, I encourage you to think about these ideas as you consider your own plant support needs. And, of course, I recommend using my company's product, the C-Bite, as a way to optomize your solutions using existing stakes and hardware.