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Visible Means of Support ...

Posted by Alison Mundie on 20 Jun 2008 at 04:33 PM

Planting out  French beans on the 3x3 plot today in a fairly strong wind on our open site brought home forcibly the need for good, strong supporting frames for climbing veg to grow over.    The beans - a type of borlotti bean to supply beautiful red-splashed pods for eating as well as beans for drying - will grow up hazel poles with brash (branchy material from birch and beech mostly) from the woodland here at Harlow Carr.   Hazel pole bean tunnels have peas and runner beans rambling over them. 

Elsewhere in the kitchen garden, a wavy framework made of standard 8ft garden canes, interwoven with Cornus (dogwood) coloured stems will support another climbing bean growing among sunflowers.  The Cornus stems are tied in with a type of florists wire to secure them - the black Cornus kesselringii stems look great against the red Cornus alba.  Canes have been cut to different heights to form curves. 

To support sweet peas grown for cut flowers, ½ dozen largish branches of beech have been stuck in the ground then the top and side branches interwoven & tied together to make a strong-edged growing structure - the sweet peas seem to like it & you don't need to tie in so often as the tendrils attach to the branches!   These are just some alternatives to metal and net structures, and can look less obtrusive.  Also great fun to make ....


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