Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The stakes are high!

Realising that the little Manzanilla trees of last year have outgrown their bamboo stakes, we decided to upgrade to two hardwood stakes per tree. I really don't like it when trees are tied up against one stake, not being able to move or "breathe" at all. The trees have to toughen up at some point, and giving them a bit more leeway seemed like the logical option. Trees are in any case not supposed to be staked indefinitely. Just the first couple of years to keep the roots intact while they develop strong stems that can withstand gusty winds. What you don't want is "root-shake" - the tree swaying in the wind until damage is done to the roots. And since we are about 2kms, as the crow flies, from the wind farm, wind is unavoidable.

The downside of two stakes per tree was that we immediately doubled the expense. We saw an advert in the Organic NZ magazine by Growing Things and decided to give them a go. They sell, amongst others, hardwood stakes that are untreated (organic if you like) and should last 10 to 15 years in the ground. At least that is what they claim. Mike Ponder, in his book "The Good Oil", mentioned that the hardwood stakes they used only lasted a year in the ground ... I really hope this is not the case.

Gerry helping to carry the stakes to our car.

Gerry and Jan between heaps of different stakes at the Growing Things warehouse. 
I think the ones we got are beech wood.

Hammering in 200 stakes in one morning is no easy feat! It resulted in a number of nasty blisters. :-}

1 comment:

  1. 13 March 2012
    As it turns out, the hardwood stakes did not even last a year - Mike Ponder was right. All that money and effort down the drain. Is this yet another case of not learning by someone else's mistakes? :-}