Some vegetables such as tomatoes, chillies and capsicum don’t climb on their own but they do grow very tall. The problem is that they produce so much fruit that their stems aren’t strong enough to hold themselves up and they fall over or break in the wind.
Gardeners give these plants a helping hand by putting a stake in the ground right next to them and then using garden twine or small pieces of stocking to tie the stem onto the stake.
Don’t get confused though. It’s not a ‘steak’ which your mum might cook for dinner! A garden stake is long and straight and often made out of bamboo or timber. A straight stick found at the park would also make a great stake.
SMARTY PLANTS TIP
When tying vegetable stems onto stakes and trellises, use something that is stretchy. Vegetable stems keep growing and thickening so string or wire might cut into them as they grow. Cut up pieces of mum’s old stockings are perfect for tying up vegetables but just make sure you ask her if you can have them first!