I apologize this is my second gardening post in the same
week. I just could not wait to share some of the progress
we made today. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow the
garden plantings will be completed. I will share a few more
gardening posts along the way but I promise this site will
not become The Everyday Gardener. 😀
Earlier this week, we built some Bamboo teepees for the Beans
and Cucumbers. I am also sharing an experiment on growing
lettuce in our warmer, Summer months.
How to Build a Bean Teepee Frame
I generally like to plant two types of beans…pole beans
(which are climbers) and bush beans, which are just what
they sound like. They remain in bush form. This year, I am
only planting the climbing variety –Kentucky Wonder.
Those Climbers Need Some Support
In order to grow a climbing variety of bean, or a climbing
variety of any vegetable such as cucumbers, squash, eggplant,
etc – you need a stable form for them to climb upon. I prefer to
use a teepee structure because it offers the most space and does
not take up a lot of the garden’s square footage. I shared what my
new raised garden beds looked like earlier this week.
I have them about 70% planted now.
I actually need MORE plants. I decided to plant the center 10×10
bed half with herbs and half with flowering perennial plants.
(I have a few ideas up my garden glove) 🙂
But first things first, before I could start the actual planting – we had
to get some of the structural features put together.
Building the Teepee
I chose to use bamboo poles. They cost about $4 each.
I could have chosen a plastic pole or a wooden-type stake,
but honestly I love the organic look of the bamboo.
We used a combination of large cable ties and wire to hold
the poles together.
We like cable ties because they are extra sturdy and also, they
can be easily tightened getting a firm fit. Basic wire serves
as back-up to the ties, but I am not sure it was even needed.
We started out by digging four small holes in the gardeb beds.
We placed three of the poles into the holes, about 5″ deep.
Then, we used the ties to secure them all together.
Finally, we planted the 4th pole into its hole and attached to
the other three poles with more ties, creating a sturdy teepee
frame. Soil was filled into the holes and packed tightly.
Once the teepee frames were together, I needed to add something
to allow the beans to climb up on.
Starting at the top, I used a basic cotton twine to wrap
the poles. You want to place the lines relatively close together,
about 2-3 inches apart.
You may want to knot the twine on every other pole to
prevent the lines from sliding down.
I repeated this same technique for each teepee.
Using strips of burlap, I wrapped the cross-section of the poles
to hide the unsightly cable ties.
One teepee will be used for beans, and the other will be used
for cucumbers. We still need to construct a third, smaller
teepee for the squash.
Creating a Lettuce Garden Canopy
This year, I decided to try something a bit different.
It’s more of an experiment than anything, but if it
works I may expand on the idea next year.
Because lettuce and spinach , etc, prefer cooler weather
and does not do well in the hot Southern sun, I decided
to add a “burlap shelter” to plant the lettuce under.
I cut some burlap into 3″ strips.
Next, I laid the burlap on the ground to get a feel for how
large I needed to cut the “shelter.” I cut the burlap slightly
larger than needed. But first, I needed to modify the string
climber lines a bit so I could hang the burlap shelter.
I cut the bottom 1/3 of the strings on the front of the teepee
and secured the cut ends to each side. This allowed me a
better access to the inside of the teepee so I could add the
shelter and also plant and harvest the lettuce.
(That is if this little experiment works) 🙂
Hanging the Burlap Shelter
In each corner, I cut a small hole and threaded one of the
3″ burlap strips I had previously cut. Then I simply tied a
corner of the fabric around each pole.
I repeated with the remaining three corners, and once I trimmed
the burlap strips, I ended up with this cute little lettuce shelter.
Planting the Lettuce
Again, because it is later in the year for lettuce and such, I
did not have much of a choice at the garden center. But, I
did find two of my fave types of lettuce. One is radicchio,
or “ridiculous” as The Hubbs calls it, because he says it’s
“ridiculous” anyone would eat that.
(He is NOT a fan) LOL
As you can see, the burlap shelter is (hopefully) low enough
to provide shade, and tall enough to allow ample filtered light.
The Kentucky Wonder pole beans are very happy sharing
a teepee with the lettuces.
So, there you go. The very early stages of our garden.
It’s the “get your hands in the dirt” stage.
I will be sharing the stages of my garden, and next week,
I will show you my Bee and Hummingbird garden.
Until then… Get Your Hands Dirty! 🙂
Don’t have room for a large garden?
Here is a cute Herb Garden Idea.
And here is a mini container garden…which also serves as a way
to keep gnats and mosquitoes away.
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Thank you for spending a few
minutes of your day here with me.
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