Rules for the selection and installation of supports for climbing plants
With the help of climbing plants and various supports for them, you can literally bring the design of the garden to new levels. But in the matter of finding the best designs and options for supporting garden vines, everything is far from simple. Supports should not only meet purely practical tasks, but also correspond to the characteristics of the climbing plants themselves, be durable, reliable and fit into the style of the garden. There are many rules in choosing supports for your favorite vines, as well as nuances that are worth paying attention to.
- In the first place - a plant, not a support
- Criteria for choosing a support for climbing plants
- Types of supports for climbing plants
- Attention to detail and a bet on longevity
- Basic rules for installing supports for climbing plants
In the first place - a plant, not a support
Being one of the main tools for vertical gardening, garden vines do not know competitors in solving important decorative tasks. From landscaping the facade to decorating arches and pergolas, arbors and fences - almost everything is subject to climbing plants. But the vines cannot fulfill their functions without support, allowing them to climb to new heights and reveal all their beauty.
The choice, and then the installation of supports for climbing plants, is not at all simple. Errors in the choice of supports are not allowed. Fortunately, the difficulties in complying with the rules for selecting a suitable basis for any creeper are more than compensated by the great diversity of both the plants themselves and the options for supporting them.
There is much debate about what to choose first - a climbing plant or a support. Since the structure is installed first, it is believed that the structure is first chosen, and only then a vine is planted to it to your liking. But this approach is not always correct: far from any vine can be planted at any support.
Both different designs and different climbing plants have their own individual characteristics and preferences. If we are talking about large pergolas, gazebos or other massive structures involving large construction work, these structures should be thought over first.
In all other cases, to start choosing a support for a liana is not at all from the structures themselves, to study their range and features of different options, but from an analysis of the climbing plants that you plan to use. After all, such supports are selected individually for each liana. And if you want the choice to be successful, it is better to evaluate the characteristics of specific candidate plants in terms of their purely practical properties.
Before choosing structures and deciding exactly how to "raise" the liana to a height, it is worth evaluating its features. All climbing plants are different not only in decorative qualities and sizes, but also in mass, tenacity, and the ability to remove plants from a support in the future. From the point of view of weightiness and purely practical characteristics, lianas are conditionally divided into three groups:
- Powerful climbing plantsrising to a multimeter height, creating a large mass of shoots with age or having large diameter stems, whose weight requires the installation of reliable, stable supports that correspond to the load that they face. The heavy weight of actinidia or wisteria, girl's grapes, and climbing roses with age requires the construction of reliable structures.
- Light creeper, the aerial part of which does not become very difficult even after years, and flexible, obedient shoots are able to grow on the simplest supports. Typical “light” creepers are lemongrass and clematis, whose flexible shoots and light leaves allow the use of the most elaborate structures of low weight.
- Climbing plants that grow firmly to the supportmaking it impossible to remove them. This includes kampsis, which is impossible to separate from the support, even with a great desire.
Criteria for choosing a support for climbing plants
Supports for garden vines are very different. They differ not only in materials and sizes, silhouettes and contours, but also in their functional purpose. Supports are supporting or holding - allowing the lashes to rise to their full length and revealing the essence of any climber, or forming, setting the liana direction of growth, silhouette and volumetric shape.
In choosing a support for climbing, climbing, and climbing plants, three important factors must be considered:
- The direction of growth of the plant, its desired outline and configuration.
- The decorative task that is solved by vertical gardening is masking, protection from prying eyes, the introduction of vertical accents, the play of shapes or silhouettes, the introduction of counterweights, eye-catching, etc.
- Location in space relative to buildings and other large objects - growing near a wall or fence, arbor or small architecture object, growing as a separate vertical element in the form of a conditional tent, creating green screens or screens on separate lattice supports, planting in old trees, etc. .
Types of supports for climbing plants
The separation of supports into three types - small architectural forms, wall structures and solitary plants - is important, but a slightly different classification is much more practical. After all, the installation of the arch, although it belongs to small architecture, is much closer to the obelisk or the pyramid than to the heavyweight pergola.
Depending on the decorative task and functional purpose, there are:
Support used for landscaping vertical planes
Choosing a support for a climbing plant, which they plan to plant at the fence, arbors, house walls and use in landscaping the facade, it is worth remembering that growing directly on the building and fences, using the most basic structure as a support is not the best option.
The point is not only that the natural mechanisms that provide lianas with the ability to cling to a support are sometimes so strong that they can destroy the walls and materials themselves, but it is also a matter of sanitary standards. The green mass will increase humidity under the vine, lead to great corrosion and wear of coatings and materials, not to mention the consequences of creating an ideal environment for pests and fungal diseases.
Care of the wall covering, especially when it comes to the facade of the house, will be complicated and often impossible, as well as repair work. Therefore, when landscaping vines with walls, buildings, structures and fences, it is better to use an additional support, which will only be close, but not closely located on the surface of the landscaping.
Growing climbing plants on mesh or linear supports, wooden and plastic gratings, trellises and guide cords, rather than directly on the building, will minimize damage and achieve the task, without depriving yourself of the possibility of normal care for coatings.
The type of wall supports is best selected according to the type of creeper. So, wild grapes or hydrangea will easily rise along guide cords or wire mesh, while ivy will prefer trellises, trellises, etc.
The distance to the walls should be minimal, but within reasonable limits. For wooden structures, gratings and other supports nearby should be located 30 cm from the wall. And for metal, stone, artificial coatings, concrete and brick - at least 40 cm.
Supports for individually growing climbing plants - marquee forms
Any cultivation of solitary vines, tentatively located on an independent support, is conventionally called a tent-shaped form of cultivation, as a separate, beautiful vertical element in space in silhouette. On the pyramids, obelisks, spheres, arches, climbing plants are placed at rest areas or above the bench, at the track and above it, creating picturesque passages, and also are introduced into the design of flower beds and discounts.
The design and type of materials are chosen in accordance with the massiveness and weight of the liana itself, and decorative qualities - depending on whether the structure itself is visible and what its role is in creating a complete image.
Supports to create hedges and screens from climbing plants
Creating screens or green walls from climbing plants is possible thanks to wooden or mesh supports - shields, trellises, trellises - widely mesh nets, installed or stretched between reliable "columns".
Synthetic supports are increasingly replacing wooden structures, grids and grids are replaced by cables stretched between reliable columns, but the essence of such supporting elements does not change. They are not only suitable for lighter, more flexible and easily formed vines, but also require reliable attachment to the base supports.
Large and massive architectural pillars
Separately, it is worth considering the most massive supports - pergolas, open arbors, inclined supports and green tunnels. Strong and high wooden beams, fastened at the top with horizontal beams, a powerful frame made of metal support pipes that hold shields or a “roof” that is completely covered by vines, looks spectacular and always attract attention.
But the creation of such structures is a more complicated task than installing a simple arch. Supports under a pergola or tunnel need to be firmly fixed in the soil, and the combination of individual parts into a single architectural element requires special skills.
Attention to detail and a bet on longevity
The selection of the practical characteristics of the supports for garden vines should begin with an analysis of the structures for resistance to load. If you buy ready-made supports, then usually the manufacturer indicates with which climbing plants they can be used and what maximum weight they can withstand. But there are much more universal selection rules:
- for antennal and leaf climbing vines, the thickness of the main structural elements must be at least 3 cm;
- for climbing plants, the shoots of which will be tied, with suction cups or root climbing, the thickness of the structures is not important, the main thing is stability and the maximum possible load;
- for massive vines with woody shoots, the minimum thickness of the main supports in the structure is 10 cm.
Materials for poles are so widely represented today that the choice is best made based on the style of the garden and your own preferences. Plastic and fiberglass, metal structures, wood in a variety of forms, wire mesh should be appropriate in a particular area.
When choosing, one should not forget about the home decoration materials, small architecture, walkways or grounds, used garden furniture: supports should not be dissonant with other garden decoration elements.
Quality, reliability, corrosion resistance of the materials themselves, of which the supports are made, is the most important parameter that cannot be ignored. Wooden bars, forged or cast elements, metal supports, modern synthetic materials and plastic should be durable, resistant to moisture, frost, corrosion or allow annual processing with special means that prevent them.
Durability and reliability is important for the main structure, and for cables, wire or ropes, crossbars and additional elements that adorn it or serve to guide and garter the shoots on the support.
Basic rules for installing supports for climbing plants
Treatment of structures with protective agents and impregnations should be carried out before installing the support in the soil.
It is best to always install the supports before planting the climbing plant itself. This rule is considered mandatory only for heavy structures with considerable weight, but even for light creepers, instillation of a support or construction work to fix it can lead to unexpected consequences. If possible, it is better to carry out the installation of supports in a timely manner and in advance, at the stage of preparation of the landing pit.
When installing the support and deepening it into the soil for wooden structures and materials prone to corrosion, measures must be taken to additionally protect or create a drainage layer that prevents direct contact with the soil. If the construction of a support requires additional reinforcements, then they always start with concrete pillows and their analogues. During installation, they always move from the basic supporting elements, bearing supports and the lower part of the structures upwards and to the decorative details.
Depth of support deepening is a decisive factor for their proper installation. The minimum level of instillation for supports intended for growing perennial climbing plants is 60 cm. If you dig a support to a shallower depth, then any powerful liana will simply turn it out of the soil over time.
For the heaviest climbing plants, the basis of the support for which is made of logs or metal pipes, it is advisable to dig the supports into the ground to a level of about 1 m or provide for the creation of additional concrete reinforcements. The degree of penetration depends on the height of the support itself: if it exceeds 2 m, then the immersion depth should be at least 30%.
When performing work, it is always worth monitoring the quality of the installation and regulating the position of the structure in terms of level. Even a tilt invisible to the eye will cause great problems over time, under the weight of the vine it can lead to serious displacement and distortion, and even destruction of structures. Supports must be installed exactly from the very beginning, not being afraid to once again double-check all indicators.
You must begin to direct the climbing plants to the supports immediately after planting. Creating a quality plant base, the correct location and distribution of the main shoots will allow you to correctly distribute the load on the support, control the growth and development of the plant, simplify the process of direction and formation in the future. The foundation created in the early years is a guarantee that there will be no problems when growing on a support in the future.