Many of the flowers and plants that grow in the garden need some form of support. Choose from any number of types of frames for your plants to grow and climb on. Different types of frames are good for different types of plants. All types of frames can be made from either wood or metal. Some gardeners recycle items they have around the house to make a frame to fit their needs.
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Tepee frames are used for taller plants that need climbing support. A tepee is a triangular support often formed from wooden stakes or even thin branches. Use these in both your vegetable garden and your flower garden. The tepee not only provides support for the plants, but can also add dimension to the garden with its height. When using a tepee frame some vining plants may need to be tied to the frame until the tendrils can get a grip and climb on their own. Purchase tepees or make your own to fit your gardening needs exactly. Tepees are normally freestanding. Because of their inherent stabilty it is not necessary to insert the legs into the soil.
A trellis is another frame that offers both support and aesthetics to the garden. A trellis is often a decorative lattice structured frame. The lattice in the frame helps support climbing plants. Place these in either flower or vegetable gardens. A trellis frame can be one flat piece or two or three sections hinged together to make a wider frame. Trellises are used in mainly flower gardens for climbing plants, but they also work well in the garden when planting pole beans or other lightweight climbing vegetables. Trellises need to be tied to a frame or firmly inserted into the ground. Look for trellises that have legs at least 12 to 18 inches long. The heavier your plant, the longer the legs need to be.
Cages are most often used with tomatoes. A cage is a tapered wire frame that is inserted into the soil when the tomato transplants are planted. It keeps tomato plants from running wild all over your garden, keeps the fruit off the ground and helps to support the vines, especially after the tomatoes grow large and heavy. Cages are inexpensive and are available at all types of stores including department, grocery and gardening supply stores.
It is not necessary to build a complete arbor and place it in your garden. Instead you can build or buy the frame of an arbor. An arbor is an arched frame that is normally tall enough for people to walk under. Place it in your garden and allow the plants to climb up and over it. Eventually the plants will completely cover the arbor frame. This is a great frame to use for climbing roses. When the roses are in bloom the arbor will be covered in the flowers and the fragrance. An arbor can be made from both wood and metal, but also from pliable branches, especially grape vines that are already in your garden.
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