Staking and Pigtails

I’ve learned a lot of new things since I started working at Adams, including the technique of staking and the process of making the stakes. We use both bamboo and metallic stakes to hold up the individual plants as they grow and prevent them from falling over. We also use multiple stakes to prop up plants that grow in a bush, like the balloon flowers (so-called because the flowers look like hot air balloons before they bloom). For the bamboo stakes, we would cut bamboo sticks into various sizes with our pruners, depending on the height of the plant. After we cut the sticks, we would stick them in the soil right next to the plant and attach the plant to the stick with twine. This way, we can prevent the flowers from bending and falling over when the weather gets bad and it rains heavily.

The pigtails refer to the metallic stakes we use. These are different from the bamboo sticks in that they curl at the top like a pig’s tail and we don’t need twine to tie the plants to it. The process we use to make the pigtails is pretty cool. We cut some metallic wire into pieces using the tool in the picture on the left and then we bend the wire into the pigtail shape by wrapping it around a cylindrical metallic rod. The finished product looks like the pigtails on the right picture. These pigtails are very convenient to use and make the garden look a lot more lively and protect the plants from windy weather.

The pigtails after they have been cut and bent into shape.

The pigtails after they have been cut and bent into shape.

The materials we use to make pigtails, minus the rod.

The materials we use to make pigtails, minus the rod.

8 responses to “Staking and Pigtails

  1. Very interesting. Most parks and properties purchase their pigtails to use as stakes, this is the first time I have heard that Adams actually makes their own! Very cool, more parks should be doing that. I’m going to pay particular attention to the pigtails when I am at Adams.


    • Actually, Charlie, when I was staking some of the pigtails, I noticed that there were a few green ones that looked like they were purchased, but we quickly ran out of them the first day we started staking, so the majority of the stakes we use are the pigtails we make at the park. I personally prefer the metallic pigtails that the park makes because they are more sturdy and provide more structural support for the plant.


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