Staking Your First Garden Landscaping Project For Beginners

A shovel and wheel barrowGarden Landscaping can be a very exciting project, turning a portion of your backyard into a produce-bearing vegetable plot. Of course you’ll need to determine where you want it situated, how much space to use and what fruits and vegetables you want to grow. Garden landscaping of this magnitude requires garden tools such as hoes, shovels, claws, a tiller, and seeds and starter plants to begin.

As a first-timer, we recommend you take a field trip to a friend’s garden or public plots to see examples of how plants are arranged. This field trip is an excellent landscaping tool to in and of itself. Once you’ve decided what you want to grow and how to arrange things, you will need to know how to stake your plants to manage them as they grow.

Staking Your First Garden

Why stake? As plants grow they need to be staked to control the weight of ripening vegetables. If not staked, vines and stems can break with vegetables falling to rot on the ground. Weighted plants not staked can also encroach on plants near them, choking off the next row’s growth and production. The most common vegetables that require staking are peas, beans, peppers and tomatoes, although squash and melons are often staked as well.

Staking Instructions

Pound 4 to 6 foot dowels or wooden slats into the soil directly behind seedlings or young plants when planting. For beginners, we also recommend labeling the beginning of a role to keep track of what has been planted.

For beans and peas, install a 6-foot trellis on either end of the row (not greater than 5 feet apart), installing additional support for longer rows. Stretch plastic netting (or wire) between these supports, which you will then ‘encourage’ the vines to weave among as they grow, providing support.

Squash and melons should be planted near a strong fence or trellis situated behind them. As the vines grow, loosely tie them to these supports with garden ties or old pantyhose strips.

Plants that don’t vine should be tied every 6 to 8 inches with the same landscaping tools; tomatoes and peppers by their stem, melons and squash by individual vines.

Bush vegetables such as beans and tomatoes benefit from cages (no more than 4 feet high) installed over seedlings or young plants to control their growth. Place cages equidistant over the seedlings and, as they increase in height, pull branches through the cage for support.

In no time, you will be enjoying the ‘fruits’ of your efforts without plant damage or experiencing vegetable rot from un-staked plants. Pick vegetables when ripe and enjoy!