Thursday, June 24, 2021

So you wanna be a bean stalk when you grow up

This year my Fordhook BUSH Lima Beans insist on sending out extremely long, climby stems.  Some almost four feet long  Last year they were tall and bushy and could have used support but they didn't do this... 

One thing I've discovered when growing plants is that if you deny them the chance to grow in the way their passion is taking them - they will quit on you.  There is only so much pruning and discipline you can inflict on a vegetable.  I've had tomato plants just up and die on me because I was trying to keep them to a certain size and space.  And I'm not talking about poor production or pitiful looking plants, I'm talking about Dead.

Sungold Cherry Tomato plant July 2013
suckering indeterminate tomatoes is not always advantageous
In fact, that whole bed of tomatoes was unhappy

You can have years of experience, months of planning and hours of work and suddenly you are faced with a circumstance that requires a lateral move.  So after observing the problem for a few days, I decided I was going to have to hurry up and figure out a tall support for them.  Because this could be just the beginning.  Who knows what they have planned.  

 #1 I have a plan for almost all of my existing supports so I don't have anything tall to span the length of the bed and #2 I have some grids in there already that I think may damage the plants if I removed them at this point.  So I rummaged around and found one beat up T-post and a bean pole.  I could have used two bean poles, but the T-post is sturdier so at least one end of this apparatus is going to hold.  If the bean pole doesn't, I can go buy another T-post and replace it without much trouble.  I used a post pounder to set it so its in there pretty good

Then I strung some heavy jute twine across from post to pole.  But I know that climbing beans feel around for vertical surfaces, not horizontal ones so I added some short pieces of twine tied vertically.  The twine will need to be tightened as it stretches but this will be easy to do because the knots are easily accessible and quick release.

They could just send up some shoots and look a little raggedy or this could be the start of a wall o'beans.  I don't really know what to expect.

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