The time has come to plant the runner beans! They were getting a little too large for their peat pots – you could see the roots coming through the pots.
We had seen other people had constructed frames for the beans out of canes. Before starting on this allotment, I’d decided that I wanted to recycle as much as I could, and not buy anything, unless completely necessary.
We’d had a massive clear out of our shed in the garden and had lots of wood spare, and random things like oars from our old dinghy. I sawed the plastic oar ends off so we just had the wooden sticks left. We also had some wooden studding and plenty of garden string.
The studding was easy to cut at one end into a point that could be staked into the ground. Then I tied two of the oars together in the middle to bind them so that they wouldn’t bend. This I would then rest across two of the pieces of studding to tied the string to at the top. We also had a spare washing line pole lying around. This was extendable, so I adjusted it to the correct width, and then this would also be placed across the top of the studding.
Over at the plot using a medium sized sledge hammer, I staked the studding posts into the ground. One at either edge of the plot, and another in the middle. Once it felt solid, I then moved onto fixing the top pieces – this was simple with just a few screws to ensure they didn’t roll off of the top. We then used string to further secure them to the top.
Using some smaller pieces of wood, with grooves sawn into the edges (about 5mm deep), we screwed these to the bottom of the studding stakes so that each of the three had a piece of wood sticking out in the middle. This would allow us to tie string around the entire of the bottom frame, so that we could then tie string for each running bean to grow up. The string would be tied to the string frame, up, around and over the top pole, and then back down to the other side to be tied off. This was the most time consuming part, but once completed, we had a DIY’d runner bean frame.
We could then plant the beans at the bottom of each string. Check out the pictures in the slideshow for some close ups of the simple construction.