While we believe in the importance of large plant supports, we also think that it can be avoided in some cases. There are several steps growers can take to reduce the need for plant supports for tall plants. It all starts at the bottom, with the soil in which the plants grow. Use organic matter to create and amend the substrate; this is particularly important if your soil consists mostly of sand or clay. In these cases, manure, sawdust, and other organic materials make great amendments.
Clay soil isn’t a very good choice for gardens because its texture forces plants’ roots to work harder to get into the earth in search of nutrients. Clay-laden soils also tend to hold water excessively, and their low drainage makes them unsuitable for garden use.
Sandy soils usually do not offer enough nutrients for balanced and healthy plant growth. They also tend to drain quickly, retaining little moisture after a good watering. Whether you’re amending sandy or clay soil, using plenty of organic materials will give your flowering and fruit-bearing plants the good start they need to grow with minimal support.