Vegetable Plant Supports

We all need a support system to get through life, and plants are no different. 

There are all sorts of ways to support your plants as they grow. What you choose will depend on the plant, how tall or wide you expect it to be, whether you're growing it in containers, beds or in the ground, and how much space you have for your garden. 

Plant Support Tips:

  • Put in supports before the plants grow significantly. The roots are growing in the soil, and poking supports into the ground may damage the roots. Plus, plants can sometimes grow a lot, very suddenly, so you want to have supports in place before that happens.
  • Anticipate how tall a plant will get. Eggplants and peppers are not likely to get as tall as tomatoes. Beans, peas and cucumbers need to cling onto supports as they are very vine-like. If you're not sure what to expect, but you know the name of the plant type you have, you can usually find information on the Internet or on the website of the company who sold the seeds or transplants. 
  • Root vegetables are fine on their own and don't need added supports....except potatoes. Their green plants above ground can grow very tall, so if you're growing potatoes in containers like I do, stake supports around the containers as soon as the greenery starts peeking up above the rim of the container.

I think I may have overcrowded one garden bed with tall plants that vine (tomatoes, beans, peas) and I'm hoping that they each won't block out the sun from the other, but not sure. You can see it in the video below - it's the bed with LOTS of tall supports. Well, it's the first year doing beds, so I'm learning. Cross your fingers for me...

Watch this video to see how I support different plants and a few funky plant-support experiments I have going on.

Video: What I'm doing this year for plant supports.

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine