For those living in places with critters that will either plow down plants by biting the stem or eating all the leaves, or will choose to dig a plant up just because – plant collars can be really helpful. A plant collar is basically a small circular wall around a plant that acts as a barrier between the plant and the rest of the garden – so that critters outside of the barrier will not get in to eat your plant.
|A plastic collar around one of my cucumbers|
In order for them to be effective, they are usually pushed at least half an inch into the soil. Pushing the collar slightly into the soil keeps it firmly in place and ensures that it will not be pulled elsewhere by the wind or passing animals.
Note – when putting collars around a plant, make sure to examine the soil around the plant, looking for critters that may possibly cause damage. Keeping problem slugs or insects stuck in with the plant will likely result in more plant loss.
Once the seedling or transplant has become large enough to establish itself, the collar can be gently pulled off of the plant. This is done gently, making sure not to pull at the plant roots. After the plants grow large enough to not need the collars, I take them off. At the end of the season, when I no longer have any need to use the collars, I generally wash them off and store them for the next growing season.
|The plastic collars I use for my seedlings.|