I bet you are wondering how in the world you can make stakes to stake up your vegetables and flowers without buying any. The string you are wondering about, too. Right? There is a way, but it may be too hard and tedious to do. If you cannot spare the time to look for it then you won’t want to do it at all. You would probably be better off working the two to ten hours overtime if what I am about to tell you does not appeal to you.
How did farmers do it before there were the materials we had today? What did they use? Makes you wonder doesn’t it? As I said, you may find this too hard to do, or maybe you will feel ashamed about how I let you in on how to save some money. Maybe you don’t want to save money.
The stakes are the easy part. If you have a truck or car there is an option, but you will have to swallow some pride. You can go around to places that have palettes out behind them, and ask if they have any broken ones they do not want. After a few tries, you will find someone who may give you an entire bed full if you have a truck. This is also a good way to get into the stake business.
Once you get the palettes home, you will need to take them apart. Here is a little secret to that will help. The large boards can be used as a border for your gardens or whatever you want to do with them. The longer and flatter boards can be split down the middle. I cut mine with a fine tooth handsaw after I scribe them with a knife on both sides. If you don’t have a hand saw, you can really waste some time trying to hack down the middle of the board with the claw part of your hammer. Skill saws (electric saws) cut the time down really fast.
Are you too embarrassed to go ask for palettes? This was not my situation, but it helped before I ever got my first vehicle. Whenever I trimmed down branches out of my tree, I would cut them in the lengths I wanted with not too much width to them. Then I would treat them all over for a couple of days with varnish or lacquer. I would use anything that would seal the wood so that it would last longer.
After they dried well all over, I would then either hammer in three to four of these stakes around the plants depending on how much area they took up. I would make certain that they were well into the ground and would not come out so easily. When the stakes were in all that was left was the twine or rope.
Ahh! This is the fun part. How do I do it? You may or may not believe it.
Have you ever noticed a certain plant that grows almost everywhere? It even grows up against your house, around your trees, and in your garden no matter how hard you try to get rid of it. Yes, they are vines. Really, you can make rope or string with them. How? Let’s find out.
Say you need, oh, twenty feet of string. This means you need sixty feet of vine. That is if the vine is not quite a sixteenth of an inch thick. Strip off all the leaves being careful not to break the vines. If you have to piece the vines together tie them in a double knot so they do not come loose. Now you are closer to having your own string rope.
Nail three nails close to each other on a piece of wood or a stick, and secure it so it will not move too much. Tie one end of each vine to the nails, and straighten out each vine separate from each other for right now. At the other end, take a stick, nail, straw, etc, pull the ends of the vines together, wrap around the ‘holder’, and start twisting the vines either clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Do this until you get it wrapped well and somewhat tight. Be careful about making it too tight because it could break on you while twisting it up. The tighter you can do it will be better in the long run, but do this knowing you could break it at anytime. Once you have it twisted well untie it from the nails, and tie up each end so that it does not unravel. Now you have your string rope!
Tie off your stakes however you see fit. Just remember that you can waste this string very easily if you don’t plan it out well in using it. I like to use nails to secure the first tie off to.
How I do this is I determine about one half to two thirds the height I want to stake off, and hammer a nail on the side that faces the plant so that when I walk by it will not tear my jeans in the future. Then I tie off one end of the string to one nail, wrap it around once or twice, and encircle the entire plant outside on the stakes.
Voila! You are done!
Now you may think I never did this, but I still do. If you are the type of person who can weave grass or bamboo, then you pretty much know how to make your own string as well, and know what I am talking about. Good luck in your garden!