Monday, May 14, 2012

Vertical Insanity

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I got my green beans in the ground over the weekend,
and I'm glad that I did because the weather made a turn for the worse.
I've seen a lot of ideas for vertical growing out there,
and as someone trying to optimize space in a city lot,
I'm overall a fan.
However, there seem to be a ton of fancy schmancy trellises out there (I'm looking at you Pinteresters)
made of all kinds of weird things.

While I appreciate the creativity,
I thought I would show you all how I built mine.
It's far from creative, but I would argue that it is what I have found to be most practical. :)

Growing pole beans is the bee's knees when it comes to saving space in the garden. They grow up, not out, and since they're so nice and tall, you can plant plenty of things in front of them,
and still have access to the plants when it's time to pick.

For my trellis, I only used things that I had at the house, scrap wood and such,
and even if you had to buy these materials, they are super cheap.

I had this fence panel left over,

so I cut one panel down using my circular saw to make three tall stakes.

I stuck them in the bed toward the back edge.

and attached bamboo at the top and bottom horizontally.

See how much room I have left over in the beds? Perfect.

Then, using a natural jute rope, I weaved up and down to create my trellis.
Up and down. Up and down again.

I know these pictures are brown on brown on brown,
but hopefully you can see everything alright.

I really like this method because at the end of the season, once the plants have stopped producing,
I can just cut the rope with the plants,
and since it's natural,
I'll just throw it all into the compost.

I've planted bush beans in the past,
but like I said, if you want to optimize your space,
I really like pole beans because they take up very little space in the garden,
and they're easy to grow as long as you give them something to grab onto.

I'm planting a Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean this year (there's a joke there somewhere).

I like to soak the beans in some water overnight before I plant,
and then just scatter them in rows below my trellis.
This variety is meant to be planted about 3 in. apart, but I went heavy and I'll thin them out later.
I've had bad luck with green beans in the past, and sometimes, not a lot germinate.
This way, I should have plenty, and if I'm lucky and a ton come up, I'll just thin to 3 in. between plants.

And that's it!
I'll let you all know how successful these are as the season continues.


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