It only took one trip to the beautiful landscapes of England (many years ago), for me to stop using plastic stakes in my garden to hold up plants. That trip opened my eyes to the idea of letting plant supports add to the garden instead of taking away from it.
In Britain, it seemed like everyone used twig cuttings (long thin branches) to support everything from sweet peas to beans and morning glories.
Their garden supports had so much charm! I immediately started doing the same thing in my own garden.
This weekend, I noticed that the tomatillos in my front garden were looking a little leggy and sprawling. I decided they needed a tripod cage and I had some freshly pruned apple branches that could do the trick…
(Yes, I know this is not the time to prune apple trees. But my Anna apple tree had several wayward branches and I had to snip them before they had fruit and snapped off.) They were the perfect length for my cage.
So armed with three twigs and some twine, I set to twork…okay…work. I just pushed the three branches into the ground around the plant and tied the tops with string. I also ran string around in circles to hold up the tomatillo branches.
I have found that it is fun to add toppers to mine…the possibilities are endless…
Keep in mind that whenever you do this with fresh cut branches, you run the risk of them rooting. It happens all the time. It is always better to let them sit and dry out first. But if you are forced to use fresh cut twigs and they do root, just yank them up at the end of the growing season before they get too secure. No big deal. If you don’t yank them out, you will have a new tree!
I happen to have apple trees, so that is what I use. But you really can use almost any tree branch. If you don’t have a tree with long thin branches, see if a friend or neighbor can spare a few. Trust me. It makes garden support way cooler!
So what have you used in the garden as plant supports? I’d love to hear some of your ideas!
I’m sharing this tip over at The Barn Hop. Check it out for more homesteading ideas!