Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Bean Pole Construction
Next weekend, I'll be planting out my pole beans. In the front garden, I've made a support structure which is formed from bamboo canes. Each cane is about six feet long, perfect for supporting those scrambling runners that will eventually produce lovely green beans. I start by putting the side canes in at a slight angle, and then tying them together at the top with jute twine (to make an A shape). Then, I pop on the top leader cane, make sure my A-shaped sides are evenly spaced, and then lash the into place with more twine. To add structural support, I add a final cane on one side, angling across all the A-sides which gets tied into place. This final cane really helps to lock it all into position. I also find that setting the structure so it is lengthwise running east-to-west helps it not get knocked flat when a big storm rolls out of the west. Once the beans start growing up and filling in, it can get smashed over if we get a near-tornado-type wind gust...and we do get those a couple times in a summer!
I've planted swiss chard and lettuce to the outer edges of the bed, and underneath the structure. By the time the beans take off, the lettuce will be ready to harvest so it's a great short-term use of the available space underneath.
These poles will be home to Lazy Housewife green beans, which are an heirloom bean billed as the first type to be string-less. I'm hoping they're also tasty!