Pole Bean Solution

I've done most of my discussing garden-y stuff over at my food blog, but I thought I'd put this tidbit here.

My peas that I planted in the spring never flourished- I think I harvested like 6 pods or something, it was pathetic. I blamed the shallow container that they were planted in. My fault. Anyway, because I was waiting and hoping for the peas to produce, I put off pulling them up and planting green beans in their place (which was the plan all along). I got the beans planted later than I ought to have, but they seem to be doing fine.

The catch: I thought I had bought bush beans, but, alas, I had pole beans. Shoulda read the package closer. I discovered I had pole beans, first when the bean sprouts shot up then started, all on their own, winding around my balcony railing. "Perfect!" I thought. "Built-in poles!" Well, until they got to the top of the 3-4' railing... then what?

Some of the plants just kind of waved out on their own for a few days while I figured out what to do. When they started wrapping around each other, I knew I needed a plan. Here's what I did:

Can you see it? There was already a hook for a hanging plant or birdfeeder mounted to the top of the balcony. I ran yarn from the railing to the hook all along the railing. The beans did what they do best, and climbed the string very happily. I kind of like the leafy canopy effect it gives the whole balcony, regardless if these plants decide to produce or not.
Here's a few more views of the solution:

As you can see in the last photo, a few plants have already reached the top. I'd say they're plenty tall, so they're going to have to stop there. Besides, I've run out of room! One day, when I'm basking in that luxury home we're currently shopping for, perhaps I'll have proper poles. But, for now, this Works For Me!


ashley@twentysixcats said...

Out of curiosity, how do you make them stop climbing?

Joanna said...

They just... stopped. I thought they might never stop. As it is, when they get to the top, the tips are in the shade (because it's under the balcony), so maybe they can't "climb toward the sun" anymore.

I've read that when you have a garden with plants & typical poles, they overgrow the pole & the plants wind each other and flop into a mess.


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