I Had To Do Something!
Slam! Bang#*! Kapow~$%!
Gardening and the Chopsticks Bean Pole ~
Shippers often ship heavy things using pallets. Pallets give you a good start on creating a long-lasting trellis for growing pole beans anywhere you have a plot of dirt measuring 4 feet by 4 feet.
Take a center piece, the 4" x 4" x 4', add four strips of your own 2" x 1" x 8' nailing them 4" from the ends of the center piece, between each pair of these vertical poles nail a piece of 2' x 4" about 12" long to keep the vertical poles apart. In the middle of the center piece nail a piece of your own 2" x 1" strip that is 4' long and has two pieces of 2" x 4" x 1' nailed to the bottom of each end so that the strip is perpendicular to the center piece and steadies the structure in the event of wind when the verical poles are eventually covered with the pole beans.
The vertical poles are nailed so as to extend below the surface of the soil about 12" to 14" to anchor the structure in place, and one side of each pair is held apart by a strip of your 2" x 1" x 4' nailed to their side of the 2" x 4" x 1' pieces holding each pair of the vertical poles apart.
The chopsticks bean poles can be painted to better extend the life of the wood, but even left as the bare wood the bean poles will serve year after year for years! And, best of all, you will not have to bend over to pick the pole beans, which except for the vertical poles you will need to buy (plus nails) can be made largely from a shipping pallet.
One Chopsticks Bean Pole in the garden....
Planting those straight rows....
This year I have been doing something different in order to plant straight rows without stakes and string, and I prefer it to any other method.
I have a 2" x 6" x 12' board that is just wide enough to walk on. I place the board on one side of a freshly rototilled row of about 18 inches in width and with my hoe I make a shallow track along the further edge of the board to match the depth the row's chosen seeds should be planted, seed the row and cover with soil, placing a stake at one end, to which I staple a label or the empty seed pack.
I turn the board over away from the row I have just planted, and rototill another 18" separation from that row and repeat the process for the next row, and the next, etc.
In the end, I have 12' rows that can be extended to 24' or 36' with space between for walking and rototilling to hold down the weeds. The rows are straight as a board's edge, and the system allows for planting even when the soil is quite wet.
When seeds are to be planted 4" or more apart, two of us "walk the plank" and the first uses a metal stick to make holes the right depth and distance apart. The second person drops seeds into each hole while the first person returns and uses a hoe to cover the seeds, after which the second person waters the row, if needed. This is a faster process than it sounds, and of course one person could complete this process alone. Spacing of the rows is done in the same way as described previously.
The secret to having a weed-free garden....
The first two sections of this Hub made use of any 4' x 4' spot of soil for raising pole beans or any climbing plants, and covered planting straight rows in the garden.
If you thought you were going to read about having no weeds in your resulting garden without having to control the weeds by hoeing, pulling, or some other labor-intensive efforts, you gave the author more credit than he deserves.
If there is any secret, part of the secret must be fall plowing, and in-season attention and effort.
Remember there was a reason for Adam to survive by the sweat of his brow, and we gardeners are no more immune from such efforts than he was.
© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.