Fruit & Vegetable Supports

Our stepover supports come in four sizes and two standard lengths. Train step-over apples or espaliers or keep broad beans and peas upright. Hold back your asparagus or restrain flopping raspberry canes! Use our bough stakes for laden fruit boughs and treat yourself to a vegetable or fruit cage.

Lesley Ann's Tip

“Get your broad beans planted in October or November, while the soil is still warm. A hardy variety such as ‘Aquadulce’ is ideal. They will stand through the winter and give you an early crop, with the plants less susceptible to chocolate spot. Don’t forget to pop on broad bean supports when planting.”


What is the best way to grow vegetables?

The best way to grow vegetables is in raised beds. Raised beds have many advantages. They raise the plants above the levels of the vegetables’ worst enemies (slugs and snails) and carrot fly if they are above 24” high; they allow for easy access on all sides (make your beds no more than 60-80cms wide so that you can reach the middle easily from either side); they allow you to use the ‘no dig’ method of cultivation which is so much better for the soil.

Raised beds can be made of wood, although wood will eventually rot; sleepers can be used, although they are bulky and heavy to install; we recommend our sturdy, metal planters and troughs which can be put straight onto the ground, filled with a mixture of soil and compost and planted.

What is the best protection for vegetables?

All vegetables benefit from being protected – there is nothing worse than finding a row of lettuce ready to be harvested that has been eaten by rabbits or deer! Netting or Envirofleece is recommended for protecting vegetables against a wide variety of enemies: snow and frost, pigeons and other birds, rabbits and browsing animals. Raise the fleece off the plants (wet frozen fleece on the plants is no better than exposing the plants to the elements) and prevent it blowing away using metal fruit and vegetable cages which slot together over the raised bed and to which fleece can be attached, making a secure protected environment for the plants. An easily-installed option for temporary cages is to use Cloche & Border hoops which can be pushed into the raised bed and covered with fleece clipped to the hoops with mainframe netting clips.

When should I plant my vegetable garden?

Vegetables, like flowers can be grown throughout the year and I tend to grow those that just don’t taste as good when bought. Some of my favourites: start in October or February with broad beans which I like to eat much smaller and younger than the ones you buy; spinach can be sown from January; March/April, when the soil is warmer, is the ideal time for many crops: peas (I recommend ‘mangetout’ which can be picked at every stage of growth); runner beans; lettuce; the last crop to go in is sweet corn which I plant in May/June – there is nothing to match home-grown cobs straight from the plant to the pot.

If you are only growing a few vegetables, consider buying plug plants of a number of vegetables rather than dozens of packets of seeds.

Which vegetables need supports?

All of the taller vegetables need supports. Climbing beans will grow happily up a metal obelisks, they self-twine around the metal legs; cucumbers will climb up a trellis or can be trained along an apple step-over; tomatoes are tied either to wall trellises or are supported with metal canes; cultivated blackberries grow happily up an obelisk; squashes grow beautifully over a metal arch and artichokes benefit from a one-ring metal support which keeps the large leaves off the ground and supports the central stem. Peas and broad beans can be supported by twiggy growth or planted between a pair or metal broad bean supports which both mark where the seeds have been planted and support the plants as they grow. Blocks of asparagus or sweet corn can be held upright with multi-ball metal stakes at each corner of the bed and string wound between them.

What fruits need staking?

Raspberries are among the most delicious home-grown fruit but the canes often flop forwards. Our three-pole raspberry support will hold the vines upright and can easily be removed when they are pruned.

Apples, plums and pears often need support for boughs heavy with ripening fruit – our fruit tree boughs have a Y-shaped cradle to hold up the branches as the fruit ripens.

Apples can also be trained as step-overs (used to edge a border or offer protection at the edge of a change in level) or espaliers with our fruit and vegetable supports: use a one-pole support to train step-over apples and 3-pole supports to train a small espalier.

Looking for something else?

Head back to view all of our collections to see if we can get the right product for your garden.

1 of 3