Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bean Poles

I planned to get copper tubing to make a trellis for the green beans; I had no idea how much copper tubing costs, it was way beyond reasonable for a vegetable garden. My friend Sue used concrete reinforcing bar (re-bar) to trellis her beans and cucumbers, I decided this would work for my beans, but wouldn't look as pretty as the copper would have...

I needed the re-bar right away since the beans were growing a foot a day. I called both Lowes and Home Depot, both had the re-bar (about $2.50 for a 10' length), but neither of them would bend it for me, but my sister has a re-bar bender/cutter that her husband uses for work; it is nice to have family with tools! While my sister helped me bend it we talked about how the copper would have been nicer looking but not worth the cost...Then my sister came up with the idea of spray painting it! What a simple solution, why didn't I think of it?

I bent the re-bar into an L shape and spray painted it a metallic bronze color (to match the powder-coated livestock tanks we use for raised beds) and stuck the L's in upside down attaching two of them to make an upside down U. I put three of these U's in a bed and then added some jute twine for the beans to grab onto. The beans are climbing fast and look good too! I think wire would Look nicer than the twine...Next year wire.

In the fall / winter I will use the re-bar structure to hold plastic or frost blankets to protect the vegetables from the cold. With cover we can grow cool-weather crops year round.

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