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Wind damage

BigladBiglad Posts: 3,150
The overnight rain that we had Mon-Tues must've been accompanied by some strong wind as a couple of pea plants had blown flat, the sweetcorn had started to lean and one of the potato plants looked like I'd sat on it!

I was aware that sweetcorn can need support (but hadn't!!!) and I'm on a learning curve with how best to do that with the peas (as most stayed upright but a couple fell over as their tendrils hadn't got secure enough) but hadn't had any need to keep potato plants upright in my previous (limited) experience. Is it common for you to have to support otherwise healthy potato plants? The one that blew over is the youngest/smallest so it isn't because it's got massive. I reckon that maybe it's in a bad spot so got the worst of the weather.

Note to self - try and be proactive rather than reactive in future!
East Lancs


  • Yes it's very common. If you grow in grow bags, try spacing some canes around the edges of the bag and then tie a couple of rings of string around them, basically making a couple of string circles above the top of the bag to corral the plants. Putting canes round the edge vertically means you won't damage your crop when inserting them (or be prepared and do it as you earth up).

    If you grow in the ground, some people will make teepees or simply tie all the stems together. I generally don't do this because the open method I described above gives more space, light, air and less chance of nasty to the stems.

    As for peas, see my reply in your other thread. Pea netting is useless :)
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500
    For peas I use plastic covered 'border fencing' of 1 metre high stretched between two stoutish stakes.  My row is pretty uniform in length each year, so I've got enough to go up and back with the row of peas in between.  The fencing is strong wire in the middle, so nice and supportive, but I don't get any trouble from the wire 'burning' the vines, as the plastic insulates it from getting too hot.  If your row is long, a few intermediate stakes would help, but my row doesn't fall over in our strong winds AND, at the end of each season, I lay it out on the lawn, clean the dead vines off it, roll it up, and stick it in a corner for the next year.  I've just put mine away after its eighth year - and counting!
  • BigladBiglad Posts: 3,150
    Thanks folks - it's a steep learning curve in this year of trying to grow some of these veg for the first time so all advice/info is much appreciated. I think there are a couple of canes in the back of the shed so I'll have a forage shortly. I've also got a bit of old chicken wire that I might try and fashion into something. My garden is on a very tight budget at the moment so all my constructions are a bit 'make do and mend'. I'm checking freecycle regularly but haven't had any success yet. Hopefully, I'll get a job before next spring and will be able to invest a bit more!  :)
    East Lancs
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358
    I wouldn't worry about the potato foliage. It'll sort itself out.
    All plants which have soft vertical growth need support if you have a windy site.
    Peas of any kind, edible or ornamental,  need quite sturdy stuff - they get surprisingly hefty as they grow. Canes with string tied round near the top if they're in containers, similar to as @strelitzia32 describes, is what I usually do. Suits if they're in the ground too, but you need to do it when planting them out. You'll remember for next time  ;)
    There are those plastic 'tops' you can get as well - they fit on top and have room for half a dozen canes to slot into. I can't remember what they're called but I'm sure Mr Google would help. GCs and DIY places will sell them though.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • BigladBiglad Posts: 3,150
    Been out this morning and fashioned support for the spuds and the last of the peas. hoping everything is ready for the wind that we're going to get over the next couple of days  :o

    Thanks all.
    East Lancs
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,083
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Sweet corn is a no go for us as the badgers love them.
    Peas/dwarf beans we grow many different varities and use prunings from the previuos year around our garden to give them support. However they do like to go where you wish they wouldn't and then fall flat on the ground.
    Have used pea nets but they still need more support as they can't cope with the weight of the plants.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500
    @Biglad That chicken wire is the stuff that, being not covered in plastic, will burn the vines of anything you try to grow up it. However, if you're currently job hunting, this is the time to patrol the streets and industrial sites to look for useful items to convert for your own use.  A few pallets will make bird boxes to sell and planters for yourself.  Even a discarded wheelchair will provide a good runner bean rig (or two) plus a couple of fork straighteners.  5 litre clear plastic water containers make ideal cloches simply by cutting the bottoms off  etc. etc.
  • BigladBiglad Posts: 3,150
    I went with stakes (couple of long, straight branches from a neighbour's tree were dangling over our shed!!) and string for the peas in the end @nick615. The chicken wire is being saved for another day. Thanks for the tips.

    I've been given some planters, which are great, and got hold of a couple of pallets. These have been dismantled and painted, with the intention of making a cold frame. The recent weather has put the brakes on that project and I'm still trying to source a cheap (free) lid for it. As long as it is ready before winter, I'll be happy.
    East Lancs
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,247
    Biglad said:

    .....Note to self - try and be proactive rather than reactive in future!

    I've said that every year for the last 40 years....🤨🤭🤣
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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