Sunday, March 15, 2015

How to Build a Green Bean Tee Pee

Deciding of what type of trellis to build for my beans and tomatoes is my current challenge. I have tried various types of trellises and this year I am making a new type of bean tee pee. Well, it's new for me. I wanted to use materials that I already have instead of buying new supplies. I have these round garden poles that are coated in green plastic. They are 8 feet tall. I discovered that a PVC coupling fits perfectly on the end of the pole and it doesn't slip down because of the raised ridge inside the coupling. Drilling holes in the coupling allowed me to tie twine to it. This is how I was able to attach 8 strings to the top of the pole without them sliding down.
Place the coupling in a vice and use a relatively large drill bit.
Drill through both sides of the coupling.
Now drill another set of holes to make 4 holes.
The coupling slips easily onto the end of the stake.
Actually I decided it would be much easier to cut the twine and tie it to the coupling before attaching it on the pole. It was at least 90 degrees in Los Angeles this weekend, so the idea of standing on a ladder and fiddling with all that twine just did not appeal to me. In the cool garage, I tied the twine onto the coupling, taking care to bundle the long strands so they did not get entangled.
I have high hopes for my beans, so I want these tee pees to be as tall as possible. I didn't want to pound 2 feet of the pole into the ground for stability, so I pounded 3 ft long rebar stakes into the ground, leaving about 8 inches above ground. Then I pushed the green pole about one foot into the ground right along the rebar and tied them together with wire.
After placing the coupling onto the top of the pole, I used "U" shaped hooks to attach the strands of twine about one foot from the pole, evenly spaced.
It helps if you compact the soil where you push in the hook, otherwise it will pull out easily.
I planted 3 seeds near each string and I'll thin them to 2 each. 

One tee pee down, 4 more to go. Not today though. It's too hot, and I am going to plant my beans in succession. In a month or so, I'll make the next one. I have space for 5, so if I make one per month I should have beans all summer!

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