Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to use twine to train plants against a wall

Yesterday I posted about our garden beds going in.  We purposely planted the blue lake beans, cucumbers, and zucchini against the fence wall because they can all grow vertically.  Husbando bought me this awesome book for Christmas a few years ago called Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.  He has great tips for gardening, planting and harvesting, along with how to vertical garden some plants that tend to sprawl (like squash).  He recommends a nylon mesh to hold the squash which I have no yet put in the yard yet, but I did start with the easy one--twine training for the beans.

1)  Scissors;
2)  Twine;
3)  A square dowel the length of your garden bed;
4)  Lots of nails (depends on how many plants you have and how many nails you need to place dowel)
5)  Hammer;
6)  20 inches of picture hanging wire (or other bendy wire--you can use something from jewelry making too, or you could use string too).

 1)  Cut your twice so that it's about twice the length from where you are going to place your dowel to the base of your garden beds.  Cut as many pieces as you have plants to train.  I had ten blue lake beans so I cut ten pieces of twine.

 2)  Wrap and knot the twine multiple times around the end of the dowel like this. 
 Do the same for the other end so that they are about equal looking:
Here's Ralph helping. 
 He LOVES that straw.
 3)  Continue to tie all of the twine to the dowel in about equal lengths.  This is what it should look like (it doesn't have to be perfect):

 He's been hunting something in that corner.
 4)  Place nails about an inch below the top of the fence where you are going to hang your dowel.  I think I only used two nails, but if you have a longer dowel you may want to use more.
 This is what it looks like when it's hung on the nails.

 5)  Time to secure the dowel to the nails with the picture hanger wire.  This was not the finest work I've ever done but you get the idea--it needs to be secure, not pretty.
6)  Move all of the twine so that it's behind the garden bed.  Every where there is a plant, hammer a nail into the wood behind it in the garden bed.

 7)  Pull the twine pretty taut and wrap and knot it around the nail like this:

The twine should be straightened out like this so the plants have somewhere firm to trail.

And the total project didn't cost anything because I already had all the supplies.  YAY!  Happy gardening.

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