Ask a Question forum: Bamboo Stems as Stakes....

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Name: Meridie Fricker
50km south of Canberra, Austra
Loves heritage roses and heirloom v
meridiefri
May 29, 2014 10:07 PM CST
I have some bamboo stems I'd like to trim to use as stakes, but I don't want to blunt my secateurs.....what should I use instead?
Meridie
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
May 30, 2014 5:06 AM CST
Welcome! meridiefri. I would think that a good pair of secateurs (pruners, clippers etc.) should be up to the task of cutting Bamboo.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
May 30, 2014 5:10 AM CST
Mine do. I find that easier than other methods.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
May 30, 2014 6:30 AM CST
Make sure your stakes are dead before you set them in the ground or you will grow more bamboo.
Porkpal
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 30, 2014 6:45 AM CST
I use the secateurs for the pieces no larger than about 3/4's of an inch - anything larger gets my anvil pruner or bypass lopper.
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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - May 30, 2014 6:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
May 30, 2014 6:48 AM CST
Is this really bamboo or cane? Cane makes much better stakes. I have used both and have a good supply of them. I no longer use bamboo for anything. It is either too large or rots too quickly. Cane lasts much longer and is just the right size for staking. Bamboo also takes an awfully long time to "cure".
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
May 30, 2014 6:51 AM CST
Porkpal, the remedy for that is to make sure you plant them upside down Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
May 30, 2014 7:36 AM CST
Yes, loppers/bypass pruner is usually needed for larger culms of bamboo. At least here.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 30, 2014 10:54 AM CST
Welcome Welcome! to ATP, Meridie! I have large bamboo and small bamboo. I cut the small (1/2in or so) ones with my loppers. The culms of my large type are nearly 2in. diameter so much too large for pruners, even the big loppers. I use my DH's Sawzall (not a chainsaw, but a reciprocating saw with a nice size blade about the size of a large knife) for those. Works great and I can cut them at a nice angle so that they are easy to put in the ground. If you don't have something like that, a hand saw such as you'd use for wood will work fine, but be a little more labor.

Ken is right, bamboo does take a very long time to cure, and if you don't cure it, the part that's in the ground will rot quite quickly. I don't worry about this too much as I have a lifetime supply. I just use them until they rot, then cut off the bottom part and use them again another year.
Elaine

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 30, 2014 1:58 PM CST
I use loppers for most and a hacksaw for the larger ones. I let them age/die/dry before sticking them in the ground. The up-side-down thing is a good suggestion, thanks @Dutchlady1 Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
May 30, 2014 2:21 PM CST
When I was using the bamboo, I cured it completely and never saw one sprout. They rotted within a year though. I mainly used them to stake large plants, something like my plumeria. Now I have gone to metal stakes for those larger plants. I use the cane for orchids, fiddle leaf ficus, and bromeliads. Those plants don't get too large and the cane works well for them. The cane does not seem to rot nearly as fast as the bamboo but perhaps that's only because I don't put the in the ground. They are only used with potted plants.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Meridie Fricker
50km south of Canberra, Austra
Loves heritage roses and heirloom v
meridiefri
May 30, 2014 7:44 PM CST
Thank you Everyone! Very useful information. I found the bamboo dumped with old plastic pots behind an apartment complex, where some one moving house had jettisoned their gardening gear. So some pieces have started breaking down around their bases, some not.... I intend to use them for vegies in about 3+ months time. (It is the first day of winter tomorrow.) What is the difference between bamboo and cane?
Meridie
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
May 31, 2014 8:06 PM CST
Ken, what is "cane"?

Am I really the only one who doesn't know?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
May 31, 2014 8:12 PM CST
Well, cane is similar to bamboo but it is smaller. It may be in other regions of the US but it is pretty prevalent here. It typically gets 1/2" to perhaps 3/4" in diameter. This is what fishing poles are made from. It makes excellent potted plant stakes and like bamboo, it must be cured from its green state.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 31, 2014 8:13 PM CST
http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-bamboo-...

Sorry, cross-posted.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - May 31, 2014 8:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 31, 2014 8:17 PM CST
Kind of what I said, Greene. *Blush* Good (technical/scientific) info though.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jun 1, 2014 5:29 AM CST
Thanks so much Ken and Greene.
Two sides of the story that makes the explanation complete. Thumbs up

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