How to Make Plant and Garden Stakes

Help small and fragile plants grow up strong with these solutions.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Pantyhose

Give your young plants and trees the support they need. Use strips of pantyhose to attach them to your garden stakes. The nylon’s flexibility will stretch as your seedlings or saplings fill out and mature — unlike string or twine, which can actually damage plant stalks if you tie it too tightly.

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Pencils

Got a small plant that needs some support? Don’t know if it needs watering? A pencil can help with both problems. It’s the perfect-sized stake for a small plant, tied with piece of old pantyhose or a cloth strip. Or stick a pencil in the pot of that houseplant to see if the soil needs watering yet.

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Toothpicks

If the stem of your favorite plant has folded over, it by no means dooms the plant. Straighten the stem and support it by placing a toothpick against the stem and wrapping the toothpick on with tape. Water the plant. Keep your eye on the plant — depending on how fast it grows, the stem will regain its strength and you’ll need to remove the splint so you don’t strangle the stem.

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Twist Ties

Twist ties are handy for securing a drooping plant stem to a stake or holding vines to a trellis. Don’t twist the ties too tight, because you might injure the stem and restrict its growth.

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Umbrellas

The wind caught your umbrella, turned it inside out, and ripped the fabric. Before you toss it into the trash, remove the umbrella’s ribs. They make excellent supports for top-heavy garden plants, such as peonies.

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