How to make a frame to support plants

Most annual bedding plants and many perennials that grow a foot or more in height require support.

The plant support described below works particularly well in beds bordering walks or adjacent to a fence.

To make this plant support, you’ll need a 1 by 1-inch rail (length as needed); ¼-inch wooden dowels, about 1 foot long, to serve as dividers between individual plants; 1/2-inch dowels in 2-foot lengths, sharpened at one end, for legs; and ½-inch sheet metal screws for set screws.

Four legs provide good support for a 10-foot unit. Drill holes in the rail to accommodate these legs, large enough so the legs will slide easily in and out when wet. Drill a Vs-inch hole in front of each leg hole for sheet metal screws. Loosen the screws to raise the rail as needed. Space ¼-inch dowels to correspond with the spacing of the plants in garden beds. Paint or seal all wood to prevent warping.

If the ends of the horizontal dowels rest against a wall or fence, the support is complete. Otherwise, you may need a rear rail with legs like the front one.

If the weight of heavy foliaged plants tends to force the support forward, take two stakes about 15 inches long, sharpen one end of each stake, and drill a ¼-inch hole in the other end. Thread a strong piece of twine through the holes in the stakes. Push the stakes into the ground about a foot or so behind the ends of the support. Tie twine to the ends of the front rail.

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