As I described in a post on how to use stock panels as trellises six weeks ago, we set up stock panels with rebar and a mile (okay, not quite) of twine as our pole-bean trellises this year. While six weeks may not be long enough to dub an experiment a rousing success, I am certainly quite pleased with the results so far.
The green beans are merrily climbing up the sides of the stock panels and up the hanging twine. A few beans snapped off (I suspect the rascally rabbits with whom I have a hate-hate relationship) and died, but most of them are vigorous and gorgeous. The beans want to keep climbing beyond the six feet of height at the top of the curved stock panel, so I have been gently encouraging them to weave amid the tops of the panel.
The resulting appearance of the green beans and stock panels is a whimsical fairy tale somewhere between a gnome’s house and Jack and the Bean Stalk. When we briefly had a 10-year-old foster kiddo with us on respite care, she declared with rapture that the trellises looked like a little house. She’s certainly right: they do. We have created two little houses of green beans, and they’re working fantastically. We have an abundance of green beans, and I’m pleased as punch with them. The bumblebees seem to like the flowers too; I have spotted them weaving amid the strands.
So far, I only have one modification I would make to the trellising system. I did not need to make two legs of twine; nearby plants seemed to enjoy sharing the same piece of twine, and the vast majority of the two legs of twine that went to separate plants ended with multiple plants climbing up the twine, essentially fusing them together. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to reach in amid the plants to harvest, but it’s a snap. Almost literally, you know, since we’re harvesting green beans!
I plan to follow-up an additional time at the end of the season both to inform y’all how easy clean-up is with this trellis system and to proffer a final verdict on them. I can’t imagine much changing my opinion at this point though. They’re lovely and functional. Win-win.