Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bean trellis Part 2

After traveling this past weekend, I am now back to giving the garden more of the attention it needs.

In the previous post, the skeletal framework was assembled. To complete the trellis, I unrolled the fencing I had and cut it to the length of the barbed wire. (While I could have measured the length, I enjoy building with little to no measurements when I can get away with it. The most advanced measurement tool used thus far has been my foot!)

As a note, it is much easier to plant your crop after putting up the fencing. Wanting to get a head start, I planted first, then hung the fence with enough travel time in between to have true leaves showing. This required me to be very careful to not "bulldoze" my sprouts into oblivion. ;)

I figured the height of my foot near the ankle would be a good height to raise the wire off the ground. With binding wires precut and hanging loosely on the fence and pliers in my pocket, I carefully raised the fence, wrapped the wire around fence and rebar, then snugged the wire up to hold the fence in place with my pliers.

Fence sections 2-5 were essentially repeats of the above. The only difference is not having a foot to rest the wire against. However, loosely wrapping one of the wires around the rebar is a nice hold while the rest of the fence is put in position. Once it is positioned as desired, the wire can be tightened up.

My end results look like this:

(click to enlarge)

So what would I do differently?

1. I would use steel wire instead of Aluminum as mentioned previously.
2. I would make it taller. I calculated that it would be seven foot tall. This seemed reasonable to walk and mow under as I'm 5'10". In the scientist that can't tie his shoe vein, I successfully calculated the height of the trellis, but forgot that the height will rapidly decrease as one moves away from the upright leg of the right triangle. Ducking under rebar wasn't bad, but the height (or lack thereof) became very evident once the fencing was up! Dohhhhh!!!
3. The rebar on the ends tends to pull due to the weight of the fence. I suspect this will not improve once the beans get bigger. Solutions? A. Thicker rebar (maybe). B. Barstock or pipe instead of rebar (expensive unless using scrap). C. Ridgepole (reasonable). D. Guy wires on the ends (reasonable). I had considered using a ridgepole of some sort during the design process to tie all the rebar uprights together, but decided to "see what happens" without it. My favorite solution would still be D simply because I consider tension to be a much more elegant solution than compression whenever possible.

Now the only step left is to wait for the beans to complete my living sculpture! GROW GROW GROW LITTLE BEANS!!!

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