Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Bean supports

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bean supports

    Click image for larger version  Name:	A2165AED-2CF0-4E25-9D97-5AE43589E05C.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	4.10 MB ID:	14307 I’ve agonised this year over how to support my climbing French beans. I’ve traditionally used cane wigwams, but for at least the last two years, high winds have attacked in late summer or autumn and caused wide scale collapse. Wigwams have had to be rescued as far as possible with stakes and guy ropes but apart from dealing with the stress of powerlessly watching treasured beans being battered and collapsing, the guy ropes have often had to cross the grass paths between beds and mowing has become very tricky.

    Russell Crow, of the Bean Collector’s Window, grows his huge collection on single sturdy poles, four plants to a pole. This year I bought some sturdy round wooden poles on eBay, and decided to try this. My main doubt was whether beans would twine round something so thick. They do seem to be managing that, with just a bit more help than usual to get going. They might still slither down and I might have to knock in some nails for more grip. And I’m doubtful about what will happen when they balloon out as they reach the top.
    But to hedge my bets, in another area I stretched my carpentry skills to make a wooden frame to fit on top of four poles and secured groups of four canes to the frame at intervals. I’m interested to see whether either design is effective and withstands autumn gales. Fingers crossed.

    Any thoughts welcome on how likely this is to work, or any alternative ways to make strong robust supports to stand up to very high winds.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	5F8C0A49-6693-4C3B-814B-8156E6962324.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	3.51 MB ID:	14306
    Last edited by Jang; 21-06-2021, 05:15.

  • #2
    I like the look of your frame and thick pole bed, they look robust. How far apart do you have the thick poles spaced?
    I imagine with four beans growing together they should make enough of a mat to hold to the pole in the gales.

    I tried using similar type stakes to you before, but I could never knock them in the ground far enough to hold in the wind when plumped up with beans. I found balancing on a step ladder while trying to hold a post and swing a blooming heavy sledgehammer a step too much. I'd love to know how you got your poles in, please?

    Beans are looking happy.

    Comment


    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      I was lucky enough to have my partner's help. Don't think I could have done it on my own. I held the pole steady and reasonably vertical with a spirit level, while he slogged away balancing on the step ladder.

      I think they were two feet apart down each row and the rows are maybe about three foot six and staggered from each other. I was wondering whether I could get away with a middle row but thought probably not. I tried two at the far end just to see how that goes.

      Yes, relieved that so far the beans do look in good health.
      Last edited by Jang; 21-06-2021, 10:55.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Lol, two people would make it a much more manageable task! What a lovely partner you have.
      Thanks for the spacing, sounds good, I think you were right another in the middle might be too cramped.
      My beans are a bit behind yours growth-wise but starting to perk up after planting out.

  • #3
    Forgot to add-
    This year I'm trying a new method too mostly for the runners. and peas. Not sure if it will work, I'm hoping so, although perhaps not so good for growing lots of different varieties.
    I'll follow your trial with interest, gales knock stuff flat here most years.

    I quite like the Munty type frame/setup, but again not so good for multiple varieties grow outs.

    Comment


    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      You're keeping very quiet about your new method! Good luck with it.

      I looked up Munty. Interesting. In the frame version, I'm again growing four of each, or occasionally slipping an extra or two in. The canes are in groups of four and each set of canes has one variety. I guess they're a bit closer together than the individual poles and the beans might well form a mat when they reach the top, but we'll see how that goes. I've tried to grow contrasting varieties next to each other.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you. I guess I'm unsure about it, particularly as it was unplanned and just a what-if thought. Plus unless you have the items already it would be impracticable.

      That's similar to how I'm growing my beans indoors. I found contrasting varieties are a must, once they get to the end of that pole they really go for it!

  • #4
    Very nice, and a good design for windy areas I'd imagine. The wind will go between the poles, rather than get caught in the 'sail' that forms with other types of frame structures.. in theory.

    The winds here on the coast are brutal, and I'm not satisifed with the so-called X and A-frames. May have to give something like this a go!

    However, I don't think it'd save the leaves from a battering in 50mph+ gusts. Windbreak fabric or some kind of fine scaffolding net may help. I found my peas were protected by being bundled up under bird netting during that storm last month. Any loose vines or leaves that could rub against each other were damaged.

    Comment


    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, food for thought. I suppose wind damage to the leaves might be greater as the wind would, as you say drive between the poles and therefore all round the plants.

      Netting itself seems to cause some damage to leaves as they can get somewhat crushed in the bundle which forms under it. In limiting one danger it’s hard to avoid another, so calculating damage limitation seems to be the best one can go for.

  • #5
    I'm not sure if this is a help or hindrance, but here's my outdoor support for this year - Bean Gate or even Pea-Bean Gate.

    I had some work done here last year and part of that was redoing the field gateways which left me with some old 12' gates plus we uncovered some more hidden in a huge bramble and nettle patch. When the work was finished the gates left stacked up destined for scrap, although they seemed a little too good for that. Fast forward to this year and I was getting a bit stressed on how to support tall varieties, from past disasters I'd decided I was going to try and put some strainer posts in and then use strings for the peas. But then I got this idea that the gates might make a sturdy grow frame.

    The 12' gate at the front of the picture anchors the others which are set out like a great big E. Approx 6' between gate-rows which are then either one or two gates tied together giving a length of 12 or 24 '. The peas are held with strings for support on one side and gate rungs the other. I'll use canes or wood struts to extend the height. Same for the sweet peas. Beans I'm using bamboos in an X shape, canes pushed into the ground and secured to the gate. I'm not sure how much sunshine the area in between will get but it should be somewhat sheltered, here I've popped in a row of tomatillos between the beans and peas. As you can see, not the prettiest.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Bean Gate.JPG
Views:	37
Size:	481.3 KB
ID:	14321

    Comment


    • #6
      That sounds very ingenious, and intriguing. I have a couple of farm gates and am regretting having disposed of one or two others. So my mind is busy wondering whether I could make use of the remaining two or three in a similarly creative way.

      But imma little puzzled. How have you supported the first gate, which is the anchor for the others, or do they all anchor each other? It would be great to see one or two more pictures if not too much trouble.

      Comment


      • #7
        How funny, you have some spare gates too, that'll teach me not to assume!

        Just that, it is all free-standing and with all that weight it is self-supporting (I hope!). Once the first two gates are tied tightly together top and bottom, in my case like a large L (I'm sure there are several ways to start it off), it was easy adding the remainder. It's possible the loose ends might move in a real strong wind but I guess it would depend on wind direction and easy enough to bang in a stake and secure if needed. If it works it will be easy enough to move about in sections, change the shape or perhaps it can just stay where it is.

        I took a few pictures before, but I don't think they make it much clearer, I'll check through and if not I'll take some more. The trouble I found taking a picture is the size of it makes it hard to get it all in the shot.

        I think two gates would work nicely as a V , T or L.
        What about a three as a T or Y? All should be quite balanced. To start I thought of doing a square or triangle to make it super stable but decided the lack of access would make it annoying and impracticable.

        Comment


        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the further elaboration and possibilities. The ones I have aren’t exactly spare. I’ve left them in place as open gates which symbolically beckon into another area even though the fences they were part of have long gone. They’re not fulfilling any real function and could be redeployed but I’m quite attached to them where they are.

          The overriding reason I have for not really being able to use this approach though, is that I have narrow beds of just under 5’ wide. Even the V would be a squash I think. But I love the idea and will continue to juggle in my mind with possibilities. I think it will work very well for you and very satisfying to upcycle.

          I chuckled at the thought of building a square and then being shocked to find one couldn’t get inside!

        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          Could you make a bed under them and then use them during the summer season to grow a climbing crop. Squash or achocha dripping from a gate in the middle of a grass/wildflower paddock (if indeed that is where they are, just my imagination) would I think be fun or look stunning with yellow and purple podded peas etc. A novel look and use.

          I know, my thoughts to begin were focused on secure shapes safe from gale damage!

          You are right, not much use for a bed system. Though perhaps you could summer borrow them from their location and somehow incorporate them in adjoining beds to make a walk-through growing arch?

      • #8
        Walk-through growing arch. Wow! What an amazing idea! I shall give that serious thought. And I also very much like your idea of bedecking the gates where they are with yellow and purple podded peas etc. One gate is very much amongst trees and the other partially shaded so that might work against the idea, but I shall go out and look at them in a new light now!

        How lovely to have a fresh creative approach.

        Comment

        Working...
        X