Allsop Premium Grow Stake: Product Review
A unique plant stake that does much more than just hold up a plant
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Think you’ve heard of every way to stake your garden plants? Well think again.
Allsop has just come up with the Premium Grow Stake, a replacement for bamboo canes, wooden dowels, plastic coated metal stakes, fiberglass and aluminum rods, and any other kind of stake you can think of.
Allsop is traditionally not known for its gardening products. If you’re as old me, you can remember the vinyl record and cassette cleaners that the company was famous for. Since then the company has branched out and started a division known as the Allsop Home/Garden group – which produces products for the gardener and landscaper. They range from solar-powered glow lights to flexible wheelbarrows, tarp haulers, Master Gardening Stakes, and now the Premium Grow Stake.
The company’s other, high tech division has graduated into manufacturing computer monitor stands, earbud cases, mouse pads, solar lanterns – and a bunch of other high tech stuff.
The Premium Grow Stake arrived packaged in copious amounts of bubble wrap and placed in a tough cardboard box. I think I could have shipped china teacups in this expertly packaged box and there would be no broken pieces when the delivery guy threw it in his truck.
Allsop’s Premium Grow Stake is nothing like a traditional plant stake.
First, it’s made out of high strength aluminum (not bamboo, plastic coated metal tubing, wood, or fiberglass).
Secondly, the stake has a shaft within a shaft that shortens the stake or lengthens it to fit the height of the plant. In other words, it telescopes.
The stake is adjustable from 32” – 60” tall (this is the only size they currently make), making it suitable for pretty much any mid- to large-sized plant.
Then there’s the adjustment knob that holds the telescoping pole at a certain height. This is handy for adjusting the height of the stake as the plant grows – something you won’t find in a traditional stake. It also makes it possible to fit the stake to the appropriate height from the moment you plant the stake into the ground.
The Premium Grow Stake has a unique, adjustable “foot” (kind of like an upside-down ski pole basket) that’s flat on top and tapers like a funnel into the ground. The stake foot is fully adjustable so you can drive the stake as far into the ground as necessary and then lock the foot in place. This foot adds additional stability to the system – something that you won’t find with a traditional stake. It’s especially good for plants with heavy tops like small sapling trees, tall flowers and top-heavy veggies like tomatoes.
The stake also has two plastic sliding anchors that move independently up and down the telescoping shaft. These act as tie-downs for gardening twine or some other method of securing the plant to the stake. The anchors have rings molded into them, making it easy to thread gardening twine through them. They also act as a cleat to wrap around the opposite side of the ring that touches/points toward the plant.
I used gardening twine to tie off a citrus tree. The cleat design made it easy to attach one end of the twine to one side of the ring and wrap the twine around the other side of the opposite ring, just like a boating cleat. There was no need to tie down/knot the twine using this method of attachment.
Finally, there’s a flexible wire that protrudes out of the top of the pole. The wire is about 2.5’ long. When I received the unit the wire was fully inserted into the stake. All I had to do was take a cover knob off the top of the stake and pull out the wire to the desired length and put the cover knob back in place.
The wire is used to create a hoop around the plant’s top to steady it. The wire tip of the hoop wire is bent so that it will hook around itself, creating a secure wire ring around the upper portion of the plant – typically around the beginning of the limbs/foliage of a tree or the heaviest part of the plant.
WHY REPLACE WHAT ALREADY WORKS?
First, let’s keep an open mind. Traditional staking material will likely never go away (due to its lower price), but new materials and technologies are beginning to make inroads into the gardening market. I think Allsop is onto something here. They wanted to make a stake that has a lot of features that a traditional stake does not.
How many times have you broken off or bent stakes because the stake material was too flimsy or the ground was too hard? How many times did you wish you had a stake that would grow with your plants as they grow? The Premium Grow Stake addresses these with its telescoping design.
IS THE COST REALLY WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
Not all gardeners are going to go right out and replace their bamboo, metal, wood, aluminum, or fiberglass stakes just because a new technology comes around. A single Allsop Premium Grow Stake costs about $27.94 (at time of publication). A bag of bamboo stakes is considerably less expensive for more stakes.
But consider for a moment the idea that a new technology can pay for itself over time and may in many cases be easier to use and better for the plant as it grows. Here are some reasons why the Premium Grow Stake is a good option:
- High strength aluminum lasts for years and won’t split or check like bamboo or wood stakes.
- If appearance is important, then the sleek good looks of the Premium Grow Stake make it a good option.
- It’s stronger than other materials so it can be driven into the ground without breaking off.
- It telescopes, unlike traditional stakes, making it much more versatile so it can grow with your plant.
- The supporting base makes for a more secure and steady planting pole than traditional staking methods.
- The adjustable hooped ring at the top of the stake holds heavy plants upright without a lot of effort in tying lots of string and knots around a single stake and looping the twine around the plant.
- And, as an added bonus, the movable tie-downs also reduce the amount of time it takes to secure the plant.
If time is money, then the Allsop Premium Grow Stake takes a lot of time out of traditional staking and thereby saves money in the long run. It’s kind of like investing in solar energy to power your house. The upfront cash-layout is expensive but the long-term payout outweighs the initial cost.
The one area that I found difficult to adjust was the wire loop at the top of the stake. The concept is excellent, but the execution was a little difficult. The wire is very stiff and maybe it makes sense to be so, but it was harder to bend around the top of a plant than I had anticipated. The “hook” in the end of the wire (so that it could be secured around itself) was a little finicky to get in place properly. But once I did, it worked fine. I think I would have experimented a little more on a smaller gauge wire that was a little more flexible and had pretty much the same support.
Outside of that, the Allsop Premium Grow Stake is in a class all its own. It’s not a traditional stake and shouldn’t be compared to them. But I do think some of the benefits of the Premium Grow Stake outweigh the price differential. Would I trade in all my traditional staking systems for Premium Grow Stakes? No. But I would definitely purchase a few of them for prized plantings that can grow up to 5 feet or taller.
The ease at which the Allsop Premium Grow Stake accommodates growth, upper canopy support and stake rigidity (with its unique ski-pole-like base support and easy depth control of the pointed aluminum pole) outclasses conventional stakes. It definitely won me over when staking a new kumquat tree with a very heavily fruited top canopy. Over time I plan to invest in more of the Allsop Premium Grow Stakes, but only for those applications where I need a completely flexible and adjustable growing system that cannot easily be replicated by a traditional stake.
The Allsop Premium Grow Stake has a one-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects and workmanship.
The Allsop Premium Grow Stake uses a novel design that makes it a worthwhile purchase for staking larger, heavier plants. I like the adjustable telescoping pole that moves as the plant grows (you’ll have to manually adjust the stake to accommodate the correct height). The adjustable tie-down cleats are a nice feature and make it easy to secure tree trunks, stalks, and other plantings without tying a lot of knots. The 2 ½ foot wire atop the stake is an excellent retaining system but is in some need of improvement to make it more easily adjustable. All in all, I liked the product and would not hesitate to recommend it where special staking needs are required.
WHERE TO BUY
The Allsop Premium Grow Stake is available on Amazon.
Last update on 2023-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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