Friday, May 11, 2012

My Cheap Green Bean Teepee

I dig gardening.  This year, I expanded my garden.  I haven't measured it, but it's pretty big.  Well - for where I live.

There is said garden this year.  Where the grass is, is my expansion area.  I threw down some wild flower seeds there.  

So my mission this year was to build a green bean teepee to get the kids into the gardening a little more.  Of course, my cheap self didn't want to drop money on this thing.  I Googled different ways to make a green bean teepee, and the best resource I found was from Tee Riddler at Veggie Gardener.  He used Bamboo he picked up cheap at K-Mart but that was still too expensive for me...

I went into my basement and found some moldings that I got off of Freecycle about 3 years ago.  We were thinking of using it on home improvements, but decided that it wouldn't really go where we wanted it.  So it's been in the basement collecting dust.  

So I took 3 of the moldings and my husband's jigsaw and I cut them down the middle to have 6 stakes.  These are 8' moldings and 8' seems to be a good length for making a teepee.  

After I had my 6 8' long sections for the teepee - I marked about 7" on all the sides.  When digging, you want to put them about 6-9" into the ground.  This was my guideline so they weren't all uneven in the ground.  

I didn't take pictures of the next steps.  I know, I suck.  I dug 6 holes and put the 6 pieces of wood in the holes and made them nice and tight in there.  I then used my kid's picnic table as a ladder of sorts.  I brought two of the sticks together to make a small "X" on top.  I have a lot of yarn I bought years and years ago and used that.  I used a lot of yard to secure the two poles together.  I then grabbed two other poles and secured them to the "X" I previously tied.  Then did it with the last set of two poles on top.  I then wrapped a lot of yarn around the whole thing.  Sometimes interchanging through the poles if that makes any sense.  At this point, you will be able to tell if your teepee is very secure.  Mine was.  

I then took rope and weaved it through the poles - leaving one side open for the "door" of the teepee.  If you don't need a "door", you can just put string along all sides.  

There is the final product.  My son is 6 years-old and probably just a smidgen over 4' tall.  So you get a sense of how tall this thing is.  Probably about 6.5' since I buried about 7" and they're tilted in.  I bought Kentucky Wonder Green Beans which are great pole beans.  I am going to soak them overnight and plant.  You don't have to soak green bean seeds, but it helps speed up germination.  I hope to have a picture of my teepee full of vines later this summer to share with you.  

Total Cost out of pocket:  $1.28 for a pack of seeds.  If you don't have spare moulding that you can cut up laying around, any wood or long pole like thing will do.  It's best to keep it anywhere from 5'-8'.  5' might be on the small side, but you can make do.  You can also use sticks.  I'm hoping the yard holds up, but twine is recommended (I'm cheap though and didn't have twine).  

***UPDATE*** September 2012:  Here's a picture of my Green Bean Teepee Success!

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