Few things are as impressive as a beautiful, healthy garden. As planting season inches closer, many gardening enthusiasts are drawing up their plans for the next season. Once the warm weather sets in, it is time to get to work on building that dream garden they have been planning.
Whether growing vegetables or flowers, a healthy garden needs more than soil, water, and a good light source. More often than not, garden plants require a support system to flourish. Keep reading for more information on why plant support systems are essential and how to choose the best one.
Why Plant Support Systems are Essential
Plant support systems are an integral part of a beautiful and healthy garden for a few key reasons. Many plants will either break or will look like a ratty nest of vines if left to grow without assistance. These plants need assistance from the gardener to reach their full potential.
Plants that produce large fruits, such as tomato plants, will often snap a branch under the weight of the fruit it is producing. A plant support system takes on some or all of the weight of the fruit so that the branch can continue to grow.
Vining plants, such as morning glories or certain varieties of green beans, will lie flat on the ground and become a nest of vines, which can also reduce how many flowers or fruits the plant produces. A well-made plant support system will allow the vines to grow with plenty of space between them, encouraging a greater number of flowers or fruits and creating a healthy growing environment.
Types of Plant Support Systems
There is no one-size-fits-all plant support system. Different types of garden plants require different types of support structures to reach their full potential. Listed below are the most common types of plant support systems available.
Plastic nets are an inexpensive, no-fuss option for plant support. While durable, these supports are not well-suited for all types of plants. They are beneficial to use on smaller vining plants but will need to be hung from strong posts to maintain their shape.
Flat trellises are a popular option among gardeners for growing certain types of vining plants, such as morning glories. This type of plant support system can be attached to a wall, set between posts, or freestanding, depending on the materials from which it is made. Flat trellises are relatively easy to move, provided they have not been permanently affixed to their location. These types of trellises can be made from plastic mesh, metal, or wood lattice.
Arches are larger structures that are similar to trellises in that they have vertical poles that are crossed perpendicularly to other poles. However, these structures are built up vertically and arched to look like a doorway. They are popular among flower gardeners, as they can create a very whimsical and breathtaking display when flowers are in full bloom.
Arches are available in a wide range of structures, scales, and materials. Some of the materials available include metal and plastic, but the most popular types are made from wood.
Stakes are by far the most versatile option for building a plant support system for a garden. Not only are they sturdy and durable, but they can be customized to build almost any size or shape structure that a gardener wants. Stakes are also the best option for gardeners who need heavy-duty plant supports.
There are several plant staking options that gardeners can choose, depending on their needs. Some of these include:
- Bamboo. Bamboo shoots are a popular option because of how strong and sturdy they are while being made from an all-natural product. They are also incredibly tall.
- Tobacco sticks. Similar to bamboo, these are all-natural products that are surprisingly strong. However, all-natural products will degrade over time as they are exposed to the elements.
- Rebar. Rebar is an incredible option for a plant support system. It is by far the sturdiest and most durable option, so gardeners can be sure that their plants will have all the extra support they need to flourish. Because these are made from metal, they will not degrade over time like some of the other options available. Rebar can also be customized to have hoops for extra support and come in colors that are either bright, so they can be seen easily, or natural, so they blend in.
- Tomato cages. Tomato cages, a metal wire structure, are a classic plant support system. While the word “tomato” is in the name, it can be used to support any plant that fits inside the cone-like structure.
How to Choose Which Support System is Best For Your Garden
With the many options for supporting plants as they grow, it can be difficult to settle on what works best for a particular garden. There are a couple of important points to consider when making that decision, which includes:
Type of Plant
Of course, the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a plant support system is the type of plant being grown. For gardeners who have a large variety of plants and do not want the hassle of setting up several types of structures, choosing garden stakes is often the best way to go. Garden stakes will always provide enough support for any plant, plus they are versatile enough to adapt to most gardeners’ needs.
It is also important to consider the gardener’s preferred aesthetic when choosing a plant support system. If they are going for a purely functional garden, then having brightly colored plant stakes will help them identify where the plant ends and the support structure begins. However, if they want a more picturesque aesthetic, choosing a trellis or stakes that blend in and give a natural look might be the best choice. Keep in mind that even rebar can be made to look beautiful in the garden.
Plant Support Systems For a Healthy Garden
From seed to harvest, planning a garden has many important steps. Choosing a high-quality and durable plant support system is one of the most important aspects of a thriving garden. Use the information above to set your garden up for success today.