How to stake plants | Alys Fowler

Floppy plants are ugly and encourage pests. Give them the support they need

Some plants like to lean, others choose to tower, and some just flop at any opportunity. Those artful herbaceous borders and ramrod-straight vegetables you see in glossy magazines are all hiding the same trick: careful staking.

Fallen plants don’t look that lovely; they are also a magnet for slugs and snails, which spend the daytime lingering in their damp shadows and recesses, ready to come munching out at night. Flailing plants also sit on their neighbours, and no one likes to be elbowed out in this way – small specimens may get swamped and can rot off from lack of light and the high moisture content under the canopy.

Related: How to grow marigolds | Alys Fowler


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