Monday, June 21, 2010

Bean trellis Part 1

My current project is assembling a bean trellis for yard long pole beans. Let's look at the progress so far.

I roughed out the calculations and figured that a 20' piece of rebar could be cut at 11' 5" allowing for a short 8.5' vertical with the longer piece at an angle. Putting both into the ground 1.5', I would end up with a triangle 7' high over one of my walkways for beans to grow on and a nice shaded area to attempt to grow cool weather crops during the summer.

I used 1/2" no grade rebar for this project spaced at 5' giving about 15' of trellis for the four posts. Climbing a ladder to pound posts is always interesting. This time my 16 month old daughter decided to surprise me by climbing the other side causing a few moments of panic as I jumped down to make sure she didn't fall. After letting her climb the ladder another dozen times, she got bored and decided to play in the dirt letting me get back to work. ;)

With the rebar in the ground, it looked like this:>Beans can be planted at any time at this stage.

The next step is to tie the rebar together with wire to give it some strength. (Though using thicker rebar or tube-stock driven deeper may allow a "floating" trellis. May have to try this later. Please let me know if anyone has done this before!) I used aluminum electric fence wire to tie them off as non rusting wire seemed like a good idea. Though I think it will work, it does not have the strength I expected. In the future, I will use the standard steel stuff the rusts rather than aluminum wire.

When tied off they look like this: (rake in the picture for size reference)

The next step will be taking the used fencing I have and tying it to the rebar. Many things can be used for the trellis gridwork (snow fence, string, most any fencing, sticks, wood, conduit, pvc pipe, etc.). I just happened to get the wire free for taking it down and the farmer switched from hogs to cattle and the short fencing was in his way. Free is very good!

As I have a tutoring client today I had to cut progress short. More to come!

BONUS Section:

This weekend I had one of those WOW moments in the garden when I was struck by the beauty of what I saw.

Pictured is the brilliant flower of an "American Flag" leek (onion relative) surrounded by carrot blossoms. What makes this even more rare is that carrots and leeks only bloom in their second year. Both plantings were seeded last fall, tricking them into flowering for this show.

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