It has long been a mystery to me why the majority of gardeners secure the canes at the top. Far better to cross them half way down, as this is so much stronger, and the beans grow more free.
My OH asked me tonight why I crossed the canes so low. That way all the beans hang on the outside and you can see them easier.
If you cross them too low they may snap with the weight of beans hanging on the outside, and they will be vulnerable to strong wind. The strongest construction is if they cross nearer the top with a wide-ish base.
I'm always amazed by the huge rows most people seem to grow (on my allotment site at least) Maybe some have large families who all love beans, but most seem unable to keep up with production and the plants are soon left with toughening beans on them.
Maybe that's so they can save the seed and sow a huge amount the next year.
One tip I find useful is if you're making a wigwam structure for beans, leave one cane out so access to beans growing inside the wigwam is much easier.
Figrat, you could be right!
Verdun, I agree a healthy row of beans does look good. Maybe some people just like to see a huge row of them? No reason why they shouldn't grow them just for that, I grow plenty of plants just to look at. ( I'd still call a 20' row huge!)
I always grow lots of beans, apart from last year when they didn't like the weather. When we get loads I always find that there are plenty of people who can't be bothered to grow veg who are quite willing to take them off my hands.
This is what I constructed a while back for beans. It gets quite windy where I am. The wire was just lying around the plot for many years.
Nowt like recycling! say I
better than recyclin!
For pea's I'm trying canes crossed in the middle this year with a wooden rectangular frame at the top, which the canes are attached to, to strengthen the structure. This has two long wooden lattes nailed to the middle of the shorter sides and driven into the ground by about 1ft. Read about the idea in a book. There are 5 canes either side.
I also grow beans up one side of three arches over the garden path. The other side has a selection of climbers. Sounds like a lot of beans but I grew 2 to 3 plants of different coloured pods last year and had a colourful display of purple, green, yellow and red/cream pods reaching over the arches creating a lush green canopy.
I've discovered some new varieties to try this year, Lablab beans have perfumed flowers which flower in different colours so ideal for growing by a path. Black eye cowpea's leaves are edible, can be cooked like spinach and the beans dried.
What's happened to the good old Streamline variety of runner bean this year? Have they become obsolete? Am now regretting not saving the seed from year to year. Just goes to show, it makes sense to save favourite varieties of seed in case manufacturers decide to discontinue them
I have runner beans growing trellis and evetually over an arch at the edge of the drive . will replace with rapberries in the autumn but hopefully will make a nice living screen to border the lawn if too many grow will give away.
I've planted sweetpea with peas this year on canes which cross in the middle and noticed this evening the sweetpea are a tab bit confused as to which cane to grow up were the canes crossand needed a helping hand so have been tied in to the right one.