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Staking Plants

Some plants need a little extra support to stay upright as they grow.  Others grow indeterminately and staking saves space.  Most vegetables grow very quickly and keeping the plants off the ground encourages good air circulation with translates to fewer disease problems.  In the greenhouse, space is valuable and keeping plants vertical opens more room for more plants!

Staking is easy.  My favorite stakes are bamboo.  Bamboo is a renewable resource since it grows very quickly and bamboo stakes are inexpensive.

Really the only rules with staking is to keep the ties loose and do not use bare wire.  If ties are too tight, there is no room for expansion as the stalk or stem of the plant grows.  Bare wire is too harsh and can damage plants.  Use soft materials like garden twine, padded wire or old nylon stockings.

It is best to insert the stake when the plant is young.  This minimizes the amount of damage done to the roots when the stake is pushed into the soil.  Place the stake about three inches from the base of the plant.

When tying the plant to the stake, use a figure eight pattern to loop around the stake and the plant.  This gives the plant enough room to grow and keep the plant from being tied too tight to the stake.

Bush Beans in Need of Staking
Bush Beans in Need of Staking

Bush Bean Staked
Bush Bean Staked

Close-up of Tie
Close-up of Tie

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