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Stake taller asters20 September 2013
Stake taller asters as they're top heavy in full flower and very vulnerable to being knocked over by the heavy rain and gusty winds of autumn. A little extra support at this time of year does wonders to keep your clumps perky and upright.
You can use all kinds of material to stake your plants but try to make them as unobtrusive as possible. Something as simple as whippy offcuts from summer shrub pruning make good reinforcements just pushed in around and among your clumps so the stems can fall back against them.
These only last for a single year, though, so for something longer lasting head down to our garden centre for sturdy supports in stylish rusted iron, L-shaped linking stakes or 'U' bends you simply poke into the ground around your plants.
You'll also find bamboo canes which are easily pushed into the ground to around two-thirds of the height of the plant: loop twine around each cane, right round the group. Two circles of twine, one lower and one higher, support the plant right up its stems: to disguise the support, place the canes just inside the clump and use the twine to draw in the outer stems so they're arching out more naturally.