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Staking Plants in the Garden Doesn't Have to Look Ugly or Contrived

Tips for Garden Topplers

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Using Colorful Cans to Stake Tall Plants

Using Colorful Cans to Stake Tall Plants

Courtesy of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center
Gravity can be a garden foe for tall plants, which can flop over, soiling their delicate blossoms in the dirt. Garden favorites with a tendency to topple include dahlias, gladioli, lilies, hollyhocks and delphiniums. Store-bought plant supports are one, somewhat drab, solution.

Now, from the Dutch comes a tip with a bit more zip for keeping toplers and top-heavy plants standing upright. Make homemade plant supports out of colorful fruit and vegetable cans. Sally Ferguson of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Center in New York City suggests, "Look for canned goods with pretty labels. Best are painted ones. My favorites are Chinese lychee nuts and Italian olives and tomatoes."

Use a can opener to remove the top and bottom, leaving smooth edges, she says. Then poke a hole on one side of the can and slip a plastic-covered plant tie through. Secure the tie to a thick stick or bamboo plant stake in such a way that you can slide the can up or down the stake as needed. In use, you'll stick the stake into the ground next to a young plant candidate, guiding the shoot through the can. As the stem grows taller, slide the can upward to provide continuing support. Source: Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

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