Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Simple pea and bean frames...

I thought I'd do a quick post on the pea / bean frames I've been using for a number of years,they are simple to make,and in my opinion a lot less hassle than using netting.

As I said I've been using this way to grow peas and small bean types (French beans as an example) for a number of years and they seem to work well,there are occasions where we have to help the odd plant get hold of the string,but in general they work well.

Here's some I recently put in at our allotment -

Doesn't really get much simpler.

You can see that they are just bits of wood stuck in the ground with string threaded through them,one of the reasons I like them is because when I want to move them I can just pull them out of the ground and roll them up,but I guess you could do the same with plastic netting.

To make them all you need is a drill with a large drill bit (makes feeding the string through easier) a saw so you can cut the wood to length and obviously some wood and some string.

For mine I've been using random bits of wood I had lying about,these bits where from an old pallet and were quite wide,so I cut them in half,and luckily they were already long enough (more or less a metre) so I didn't need to cut them to length.

Here they are ready to be marked out for drilling - 

These six bits of wood will make two frames.

Next I marked out where to drill the holes for the string,I measured a couple of inches down from the top of each piece of wood for the first hole,then I put marks roughly 4 inches apart (about 10cm) down the length of each piece,making sure to leave enough wood to stick in the ground,if you have a square it saves time if you just measure out where you want the holes on one piece of wood,then just transfer the marks onto the other bits.

Marked out - 

Ready for drilling.

Once marked out it was just a case of drilling a load of holes,I used a 12mm spade bit,but a 10mm drill bit would do just as well.

Drilling has commenced - 

Nearly done.

And that's about it really,after I had all the holes drilled I gave the wooden posts a coating of teak oil,just to protect them a bit so they last a bit longer,then I started to put them to use.

I made some for one of the small beds in our garden - 

Ready for peas to climb.

I also planted a few French beans in this bed,and used slightly longer posts - 

All done.

I've only used two posts in the garden beds,because they are only small,for wider rows you'll need to add more posts,which is why the ones I use at the allotment have three posts per frame (one at each end and one in the middle) if I didn't use the extra middle post the string would sag too much and not support the plants,you can also tie strips of plastic or carrier bags to them to help deter birds from pecking at the plants.

Here's the one I put in at the allotment,with what will be another crop of peas,all be it a small crop.

Just waiting for the peas to grow - 

The plot is almost fully planted now.

Thanks for reading.

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