Bamboozled

Because we grow a squarefoot garden in raised beds with paths between, the plants in the garden are trained upward.  To effect this we make bamboo structures specific to each crop so they can climb.

Garden with Bamboo Trellises

 This is a frugal venture that only costs time and a ball of jute twine.  The bamboo comes from a neighbor’s grove which needs thinning regularly to keep it from encroaching on the street.

The veggies that require trellising are pole beans, tomatoes and cukes. Each is a little different.

The pole beans get a tall A-shaped structure with twine bars to let the vines climb up it or a teepee shape.  Either works very well but the A-frame keeps the vines more organized when you go to pick the beans. If the frame wants to list to one side, we tie it to a vertical stake in the corner of the square to give it some support. Here is a photo from a few years ago since we are only growing bush beans this summer. 

Bamboo trellis with pole beans

 The tomatoes are already in 4-foot-tall wire cages so we add a bamboo teepee on the outside of the cages to add support to indeterminate branches.

Tomato cages with bamboo teepees

Once the branches start to grow outside the wire cages we tie them to the bamboo with pieces of old nylon stockings which seem to be gentle to the plant and not cut through the stems.

Tomato growing beyond cage and bamboo support

 Finally, the cucumbers get something similar to the pole beans but a little sturdier since the weight of the hanging cucumbers can pull the thing down.  (Sometimes we have a serious storm and everything blows down. Usually, you can just set it back up, although slightly askew.)

2 cucumber A-frames behind tomato teepee

 When you go to pick the cucumbers, they’re easy to see just hanging there.

Garden viewed from bottom of the yard

 I’m  eager to watch the vines climb and will give you updates as it happens. 

Garden from the driveway, lettuce in the foreground

 Can’t wait to taste that first tomato of summer.  What’s your garden delight?

Sidebar:  Check back soon for Bamboozling: The Tutorial.

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9 responses to “Bamboozled

  1. Like this method. Looks so organized.

  2. minervasgardenwriter

    Your garden looks great!

  3. very cool I saw something like this on PBS many years ago and always wanted to do it perhaps I will after your great inspiration come visit me at http://shopannies.blogpsot.com

  4. Visiting from Tuesday Garden Party. That’s a beautiful garden! I love verticality and have similar bamboo structures in my garden — unfortunately my bamboo supplier has removed it all from their yard so I’ll have to find another source. I like to put blue bottles and other geegaws on top of my garden poles.

  5. love the tour of your garden!!!

  6. I love this frugal idea. I’ll be looking around for some bamboo to repurpose. Thanks for showing us how to do it.

  7. Very clever. I love this idea. It *almost* makes me want to grow my own bamboo. Of course, I like your idea better of looking for a neighbor with bamboo.

  8. Beautiful garden. Getting ready to create my vegetable garden bamboo supports for the season and stumbled across your site. Thanks for the inspiration!

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