(for beans, and peas, and cucumbers, and sweet potatoes, and peppers and…)
It used to be, that when I wanted to do something in my yard (usually once or twice a year), I would take a trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy whatever it was that was supposed to be amazingly beautiful and come home and stick it in the yard.
Nowadays, things are different.
Yard beautification just isn’t in the budget. But food production is!
I see the yard in a whole new way. I don’t get sucked in by the commercials suggesting I “play in the dirt” and go buy shrubs, flowery things, fancy hose reels, and weed killers.
Now, I share seeds with friends and find old pots to grow our vegetables in. Now, I take over the decorative trellis by the street with colorful climbing peas instead of clematis vines. Now, I make every effort to use what we have before running out to buy the newest doodads and whatnots I saw in a tv commercial.
Go Big Or Go… to the farmer’s market?
(prepping the garden for Spring)
The last couple days I’ve been busy getting the garden ready for Spring planting. Now that I have learned a few different methods of preserving, I am not afraid to plant more than we can eat. In fact, I’m trying to plant even more than I will preserve for ourselves, just to share with others. So this year I’m not restricting myself to the established garden area. I’m using whatever sunny space I can find around the yard to plant our veggies.
I took a trip to Lowe’s for some organic soil to start pots and freshen up our garden. We established our main plot a few years ago with composted horse manure. That stuff is delightfully free for us, and the family barn is just a couple blocks away. While at the store, I also grabbed a couple cheap clay pots for the girls to paint. One of those is already painted and planted with marigold seeds my sister saved form last year.
I try to shop at our local hardware store as much as possible, but unfortunately they aren’t stocked on what I needed this time.
One great way to save garden space is to grow up instead of out.
The other item of business this week has been planning the trellises for the climbing peas, beans and also the cucumbers that I started indoors last week (using this method). I may get into The Man’s metal shop to make a steel trellis if he finds some material for me to use. But today was all about the bamboo.
Today’s trellis is for peas and/or beans in a flower bed at the front of our home. I wanted it short and long, and I will plant seeds on either side of it. I haven’t had any success with beans or peas in the backyard, because the wild rabbits get them every time. But I never see rabbits in the front yard.
The trellis I made today was completely free.
FREE BAMBOO – Our church has a massive bamboo forest that we scoured for fallen, dry stalks last week.
FREE TWINE – Those horses that provide us with compost eat lots of hay, and hay is bound with twine. I re-used the hay twine to bind the bamboo together.
I did a google search for techniques on binding the bamboo together (there are links at the bottom of this post), but I didn’t take a second look at them when the time came. I relied on memory of what I read, so I don’t know how strong my lashing technique is. Alas, it’s just peas. They can’t weigh that much, can they?
Stuff I used:
- fallen bamboo (look for good strong pieces, not brittle ones)
- hay twine
- a hack saw
- a hammer
- a lighter to melt the knots on the man-made plastic product that the hay twine is made of
(Our hay used to be bound with natural sisal-like twine, but I guess that stuff is being used to make expensive scratchy rugs nowadays)
I used a hack saw to cut the bamboo to the correct lengths.
If you cut just above the joints, the pieces will be solid at the top instead of hollow, so water won’t pool up in them.
I set the poles out the way I wanted them…
Last, I tapped the poles into the soft ground with a hammer.
I’ll be planting beans or peas on either side of the trellis. Here’s hoping the lashes hold. My knots seem pretty secure, but I’ll be sure to recheck a tying tutorial before making something for the heavy cucumbers! Here’s a few articles that might be helpful if you’re interested in different bamboo trellis techniques:
-If I had a wider bed for this trellis, I may have used a style like this one. The spiffy waxed twine the author found is cool, too.
-The tripod method at Organic Gardening uses zip ties! I may strengthen my lashes with those if they don’t hold.
(I did make one of these tripod trellises later. You can view it here)
-There are oodles of tying techniques grouped together at WonderHowTo.