Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Support Your Garden

I have a chronic problem that plants in my garden grow larger than the tag predicts (and larger than the same plants in the garden down the street... I think it's because of the ritual sacrifice I do every spring). Sometimes these plants get so large they need support. If I was a controlling (and organized) gardener I would cut them back half way through the growth cycle so they ended up shorter.

I'm not that controlling (organized).

These are the plants that get too big for plant hoops.

So I'm experimenting. My Baptisia (that I wouldn't want to cut back anyway, it blooms too early) gets top heavy and in strong rains it tends to flop over - I'm trying chicken wire with the hope that new growth will grow THROUGH the chicken wire and hide it. We'll see.

My October Skies Aster (either Aster or Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) could be cut back. But I love it's oversized exuberant blooms in the late fall. I'm trying the square tomato cages. They're nearly invisible already, we'll see if they can carry the load.

Speaking Typing of tomatoes... They're always problematic. I got this idea from a neighbor. Tomato cages combined with stakes. The cages support the lower branches and the stakes are to support the weight of the tall plant. It worked when we did our community garden and had 8 foot tall tomatoes so it should work here.

Now we just wait and see which ones work and which ones look least annoying.

Or I could get on the ball and cut things back. 

Just not the tomatoes. 

Or the Baptisia

Hmmm... I think I'm sensing a problem...


  1. Well, exuberant plants are a good problem to have, right? :) I'm trying the Florida weave for my tomatoes this year - we'll see if it works!

  2. I suspect you have been amending the soil. . . I have a garden built from scratch in a large foundation hole. I couldn't afford loam (it's a really big foundation - a five-bay garage), so I had the local landscapers dump their leaves in it. After a few years, I have a garden that's almost 100% leaf mold. The tag (or seed packet) size is about right if I double it.