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Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Posts Tagged ‘green beans’

Building a String Trellis For Peas and Beans

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Support for Sugar Snap Peas to grow on.

I’ve tried all kinds of ways to provide support for climbers, like sugar snap peas and green beans. Most of them have their drawbacks. Last year I created a framework of long bamboo poles. That worked pretty well except that even though I made it very tall (about 6 1/2 feet) the peas grew even taller. It became a balancing act trying to keep the whole thing from toppling over. I had re-bar stakes to support it but it just wasn’t enough. Besides, until the peas got tall enough to hide some of the bamboo, it seemed a bit of an eyesore.

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Sugar Snap Pea Vines reach 6 feet

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Detail of support for peas.

This year I decided to try and make something a little more permanent. I got some of those heavy metal fence post that have little nubs on them. I had to get up on a tall ladder to pound them into the ground deep enough (about 18″-24″).  The little nubs all along the length of the posts let me decide where I would tie the twine. I strung heavy twine horizontally in several places, both high and low. Then I strung string vertically between them. I left a tail on the string at the bottom for the peas to attach to and begin their climb. I almost strung wire for the horizontal support but thought I’d try the twine for this year. It seems like it would be easier to clear out at the end of the season instead of pulling all the dead vines off the wire. I guess I’ll soon see if the twine is going to be enough support for the heavy vines.




Don’t Want Pesky Pest and Damaging Diseases In The Garden?…Follow These Tips

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Green beans growing and maturing with new onions coming up in front.

Okay, all gardeners get pests and even disease sometimes. Oh, the aphids were bad last year.

There is a lot we gardener can do though, to help prevent a lot of our problems in the garden. Most of them are just good gardening practices, and we probably already do most of them. Just thought I’d list them so we can see what we might be neglecting.


  • Make sure your soil is healthy. Put nutrients (compost) back into it each year. Healthy plants are much more resistant to diseases and pests.
  • Don’t plant the same vegetables in the same place each year. Rotate, rotate, rotate. Keep the bad guys guessing.
  • Plan your vegetable garden well. Plants need lots of sunshine and good air circulation. Over crowding hinders both.
  • Don’t neglect your plants. Checking them regularly allows early detection of any problems.
  • Don’t water the foliage late in the day, as it needs time to dry out before night to prevent fungus and mildew.
  • Keep garden tools clean. Rinse the dirt off and store them away. If you’re working with diseased plants, it’s a good idea to disinfect the tools with a little bleach water. Clean hands and garden gloves as well after working around diseased plants.
  • If you have plants with disease, do not compost them. Put them into the trash bin.

Hopefully this years garden will be pests and disease free.

Wouldn’t that be so nice?


Finding Room To Grow Vegetables

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Rhubarb, chives and bell peppers growing in flower bed. Corn in raised beds with squash and pole beans. Peach trees beyond.

Would you really like to grow vegetables but you just don’t have the space?

Guess what? You can grow a lot of vegetables in a very small amount of space. They don’t even all have to be in the same area. You can tuck vegetable plants in among your flowers or shrubs. Just make sure it is a place that will get lots of sunshine. Most vegetables can be grown in a space as small as a square foot. Some, like lettuce, can be grown in a narrow strip 6″ wide. Vegetables that take more than just a few plants, such as beans and peas, can be grown in a little larger areas. Even then, you’d be amazed at how many peas and beans a 2′ x 6′ bed can produce. Vegetables such as squash can be planted in a 1′ x 1′ square, if they can be allowed to spread out a bit.



Vegetables suggestions for small spaces:

Cucumber – bush or pole type, which can be grown vertically if given support

Beans – bush or pole type, which can be grown vertically if given support

English peas – can be grown in rows and kept very vertical with support

Lettuce – can be grown in narrow strips or small square areas (Romain grows sort of vertical while Bibb grows low)

Kale – grows well among other plants or in a row

Swiss Chard – can be grown tucked into flower beds, in small square areas or in rows.

Spinach – very beautiful foliage that can be grown with herbs or flowers

Cilantro – does well grown in flower beds

Beets – beautiful leaves with red veining and you can eat tops and roots

Basil – beautiful plant that fits in well with flowers or shrubs

Parsley – beautiful foliage that works great in flower beds or with shrubs

Summer squash – beautiful plant, large leaves can take up lots of room

Peppers – bell peppers or hot peppers, very ornamental plants that look great in flower beds

Eggplant – beautiful plant that will look great mixed in with the herbs or flowers

Radishes – low growing and very easy to grow, (let the kids help)

Tomatoes – can be grown vertically with support and can fit into a relatively small space

Green onions – always useful to have on hand and they don’t take up much room

Also see Page: Container Gardening > Grow Vegetables in Pots :

How do you find the room in your yard for a few more plants? Walk around your yard, paying attention to empty areas that might be 1′ x 1′ or how about a 3″ – 6″  strip that you could put in a row of lettuce, radishes or green onions, which are very ornamental with beautiful foliage. If you’re planting lettuce, don’t plant it all at once. Stagger planting every couple of weeks to prolong your harvest time. Also, one way to harvest lettuce, don’t pull up the whole plant, just cut outer leaves off each plant

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Tomatoes and Petunias share a bed

and the plant will continue to grow and produce.

What about along a sidewalk or pathway? If you can squeeze a plant in here and there, you will be amazed at how much food can be produced. Is it possible to extend an existing flower bed out 6 – 12″ to plant some low growing plants like lettuce or beets?

Do you have lawn growing right up to a fence? How about clearing a 2′ – 3′ strip along the fence and planting vegetables. The fence would provide a convenient support for the taller vegetables, such as tomatoes or beans and cucumbers, at the back of the garden and then you could plant many different kinds of vegetables in front of those.

No yard? No problem. You can grow quite  a lot of vegetables in containers, whether on a patio or deck, along the sunny side of your house or just out your back door.

Don’t plant and forget. Make sure the plants don’t have to compete with weeds for nutrients or moisture. Be sure to keep your vegetables picked so that they will continue to produce. If you’re going to be away when they are producing, ask a neighbor to pick for you to keep them in production.

As you assess your yard and garden,  decide on what you want to grow and where in your yard would be the best place to grow it. Now is the time to make all those gardening plans so when the warm weather comes, you will be all ready to get stated.

Get creative and have fun!

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