Monty Don reveals the garden job you need to do today to avoid a 'disaster zone overnight'

This garden task will keep your plants from collapsing and protect them from the unpredictable UK weather

 picture of Professional gardener Monty Don and sweet peas to support Monty Don's plant staking advice
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With gardens in full bloom, we might forgiven for finally thinking all that hard work is over and done with. Monty Don is here to tell you that might not be the case. 

Working hard to incorporate your favourite garden trends into your space is a truly rewarding task, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that you need to take precautions to protect it. Yes, when our flowers are happy and towering there's still work to be done, to ensure they stay that way. 

Even with the weather hotting up there's no escaping the unpredictable UK weather with its heavy summer showers and powerful gale-force winds. So to keep your garden from falling victim, Monty Don says it's time to stake. 

Monty Don's plant staking advice 

We were once again all ears when the expert shared his monthly advice on this July. As always, he begins his post with a quick reflection on the gardening conditions behind us and what we are dealing with in the present. 

"Roses are still looking good at the beginning of the month and the clematis switches from the big blooms of the early summer types (group II) to the more abundant, albeit smaller flowers of the viticella and other late-flowering (group III) ones. Tender annuals such as cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers and tithonias hit their strife and crocosmia, agapanthus, lilies and dahlias are all summer-flowering bulbs that enrich the borders," he says. 

And whilst we've learned how to prune our rose bushes and figured out if we should deadhead the clematis, what other jobs must we crack on with this month to get our garden growing at its best? 

According to the gardening professional now is the time to be staking your border plants. 

Monty explains, "The extra warmth of July often leads to a flush of lush growth that plants cannot support. The result is that borders can start to fall all over the place, plants outgrowing themselves and toppling chaotically - especially if lashed by rain, winds or thunderstorms and what was lovely profusion can become a disaster zone overnight." 

No one wants their charming cottage garden turning into a disaster zone, luckily Monty has shared his method for keeping your garden protected and happy.

"So it is good to have some brushwood such as hazel pea sticks or metal supports ready and to gently work round the borders easing plants upright and providing the underpinning that they need," says Monty. 

He continues, "But without reducing the border to a stiffly corseted state that loses all the charm of midsummer bounty. Ideally, it should not look as though you have done anything at all."

Pack of 40 Willow Pea & Bean Support Sticks (90cm): £14.99 at Amazon

Pack of 40 Willow Pea & Bean Support Sticks (90cm): £14.99 at Amazon 

These sticks of a great amount of support for plants, they can be cut shorter or tied together to elongate. And because they're made of all-natural materials they won't become an eyesore in your charming garden. 

picture of peonies held up with bamboo and twine

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When growing some of the best plants every garden needs we can often forget they need a little help after they've reached their peak. Monty says that species most in need of support are taller growing annuals such as Ammi Majus, sunflowers, cleome, cosmos sensation, tithonias and Leonotis. 

He says, "As these are planted individually it is hard to support them in the gently bolstering fashion that suits a large herbaceous perennial, but they can be staked to half their height and tied with soft twine so that they can still move gently but not collapse completely." 

If you need us we'll be frantically tying our beloved flowers down so the wind doesn't steal them away. 

Whilst you're out in the garden why not try out some of Monty's other great tips and tricks? He recently shared his expert compost tips and also his advice for pruning rambling roses

The Gardening Book by Monty Don, £14 at Amazon

The Gardening Book by Monty Don, £14 at Amazon

Benefit from having all of Monty's wisdom at your fingertips by buying his latest book to use like a garden manual. From growing vegetables to planting a wildflower border this book gives you the basics to grow over 100 varieties of flowers, shrubs, houseplants and more.

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.