2022 Little Easy Bean Network - We Are Beans Without Borders

jbosmith

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Wow @jbosmith ! What a fantastic photo! I am fascinated by your bean trellis system. Could you post a little about how you did that? Equally amazing is how utterly weed proofed your garden is!

:bow
I hammer in a 4' cedar stake every 5' feet or so, and then push in a 6' bamboo stake every 2.5'. The cedar is to help the bamboo support the stress later in the summer when the beans are up and this is essentially a 60' long sail against the wind.

I run baling twine horizontally with one string on the bottom, two in the middle, and one on top, and then verticals every 6 inches or so. I tie the verticals to the top string, run them through the middle two, and attach them at the bottom. I twist the two middle strings back and forth so that it forms a weave like you'd use with tomatoes. I use baling twine because the farmers there know I like it and are always giving me partial rolls that got too wet for their equipment or whatever. I have miles of it.

I like this setup because it's cheap, easy, and strong enough to do the job most years. It's also simple enough that if a bad storm breaks a couple of bamboo uprights, it's patchable.

As far as weeds go, this garden is roughly 60 miles from my house at some friends' farm and I see it for a few hours, once every week or two, during prime weed season. I don't love using all the plastic mulch but it nearly eliminates weeds close to the plants, other than a few clumps of annual grass that take almost no time to deal with. The pathways are mulched with that hay you see, and it comes from a big round silage bale on the left. Those tend to be old, moldy, slimey, and full of worms by the time I get them but they make great mulch. That hay is also the only fertility I have to add to that garden at this point.

There's a section on the far right that's covered in landscape fabric. The dominant field grass there is quack grass, which spreads by rhizome. If it gets into the garden it finds those mulched pathways and think they're just a dandy place to setup a home and make babies. It gets past the hand pulling stage pretty quick and there isn't much to do without chemicals or smothering. Some snuck in on that side so I'm keeping it covered for the year.
 

Artorius

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@Artorius Out of 4 packets of Dakota Bumble (about 200 seeds), there were lots and lots of black, quite a few black & white (some speckled, and some with just small flecks of white) and the following:
18 white
10 red and white (purple and white?)
4 solid red (purple?)
3 white with black eye

The package is all ready to go! 🥳 I'm sending all of the seeds in the last three segregations, and selections from the others. Thank you, @Bluejay77!! There will (probably) be a delay in getting it to the post office though as DS will be dropping it off and his schedule for the upcoming week is tight.

@meadow
Great news! Thank you very much. If you like any of my beans, just let me know.
 

Decoy1

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View attachment 49878
Token bean trellis picture, mostly so that @heirloomgal can see what I mean when I tell her how far ahead she is. These are Seneca Allegheny Pinto. The garlic in the background is mine but the stuff in the foreground is the farm owner's.
That really is a work of art. I love it!
But unfortunately I think we must have stronger winds than in New England, as we seem to need thicker posts and more bracing to withstand the occasional gale force winds we get once or twice a season.
 

Bluejay77

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Do rabbits ever bother fairly established beans?
My experience is that at about 30 days there is something about the bean plants that the rabbits don't bother the beans anymore. Perhaps they become to tough or the flavor changes. When I'm growing bush beans and they become 30 days old I can take down all my rabbit fencing at about that point. Now deer are different. I have had deer strip the entire side of a vine of pole beans. Leaves and even with pods with seed formation into the shelly stage. They will nibble down bush beans plants almost to the soil line.
 

flowerbug

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I'm so sorry for you @flowerbug :confused: I hope they move along and find some new things to eat instead of your beans.

i always know that outside the fences is always a risk, but still it does set me back a bit because all of the Santa Bean experiments were in the North Garden and they're gone unless i get a late germinator that decides to come up and survives. i still have plenty to replant for next year inside the fences, but i was hoping at least one plant of each would come through for me this year.
 

flowerbug

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My experience is that at about 30 days there is something about the bean plants that the rabbits don't bother the beans anymore. Perhaps they become to tough or the flavor changes. When I'm growing bush beans and they become 30 days old I can take down all my rabbit fencing at about that point. Now deer are different. I have had deer strip the entire side of a vine of pole beans. Leaves and even with pods with seed formation into the shelly stage. They will nibble down bush beans plants almost to the soil line.

we usually have rabbits around. they will eat the weeds out of the grassy areas once the beans get older. unlike the groundhogs that are tall enough to get to the fresh growing tips of the bush beans the rabbits don't seem to figure that out or are just too lazy. this is ok for us, because it also means they rarely get inside the fenced gardens.

later in the season most of the deer damage in the past for beans outside the fence has been from trampling looking for other things to eat (fresh squash leaves or even young squash fruits).
 

jbosmith

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That really is a work of art. I love it!
But unfortunately I think we must have stronger winds than in New England, as we seem to need thicker posts and more bracing to withstand the occasional gale force winds we get once or twice a season.
That garden is semi-sheltered from strong wind by a greenhouse but it can admittedly still be hit or miss in a strong thunderstorm, especially if it's not brand new bamboo. The top line of twine is all tied on with slip knots just so that if I have to cut it to fix a broken pole the whole thing doesn't fall down. If I stop posting bean pictures in August, it probably means that that trellis is held together with duct tape and bubble gum. ;-)
 

heirloomgal

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My experience is that at about 30 days there is something about the bean plants that the rabbits don't bother the beans anymore. Perhaps they become to tough or the flavor changes. When I'm growing bush beans and they become 30 days old I can take down all my rabbit fencing at about that point. Now deer are different. I have had deer strip the entire side of a vine of pole beans. Leaves and even with pods with seed formation into the shelly stage. They will nibble down bush beans plants almost to the soil line.
That is interesting @Bluejay77 , I didn't know you took the fencing down so early in the season, I thought it stayed up until fall. This is certainly a relief to hear! And thank goodness I have no deer to fend off!
 

heirloomgal

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That garden is semi-sheltered from strong wind by a greenhouse but it can admittedly still be hit or miss in a strong thunderstorm, especially if it's not brand new bamboo. The top line of twine is all tied on with slip knots just so that if I have to cut it to fix a broken pole the whole thing doesn't fall down. If I stop posting bean pictures in August, it probably means that that trellis is held together with duct tape and bubble gum. ;-)
I was going to ask if you have special knots you use! The spacing between verticals is rather perfect, I can't imagine that is real easy to tie in?

Last year I planted a few 1,500 Year Old Cave pole beans in a big wooden box planter, probably 3.5 X 3.5 and it was almost 4 feet tall. I had made a sapling tripod to fit inside and when the beans climbed their typical 7 feet or so the whole thing ( at least 10 feet in the air) became like the mast of a ship. It wasn't long before a tripod leg snapped under the weight & wind and the whole mass dangled precariously sideways. It was sort of :oops:
 

jbosmith

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I was going to ask if you have special knots you use! The spacing between verticals is rather perfect, I can't imagine that is real easy to tie in?
I use the sort of mid-string slip knot where you twist the string into a loop and then pull another loop through it. There may be a better solution but I've tied this one thousands of times and don't have to think about it.
Last year I planted a few 1,500 Year Old Cave pole beans in a big wooden box planter, probably 3.5 X 3.5 and it was almost 4 feet tall. I had made a sapling tripod to fit inside and when the beans climbed their typical 7 feet or so the whole thing ( at least 10 feet in the air) became like the mast of a ship. It wasn't long before a tripod leg snapped under the weight & wind and the whole mass dangled precariously sideways. It was sort of :oops:
I can picture that! The worst for me is when one row blows into another when the beans are growing at top speed and immediately sew themselves together in a tangled mass. Luckily that hasn't happened since I stopped using old, fragile bamboo. There isn't much you can do til it's time to harvest everything at once by cutting the vines down.
 

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