Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bean TeePee Magic


Beans and peas are some of the easiest veggies to grow. Being climbers they always require a frame or trellis to wind their way up as they grow. It's like discovering a magic wonderland underneath the frame work which children are instantly drawn to. Why not make the most of it with a Bean TeePee design!

Why you need to give this a try!

In a Pick 'n' Eat' garden to encourage children to try more veg we need to grab their imaginations and really bring them into the garden with some simple and fun ideas to add something new to their diet. Adults need a little 'visual candy' too.

Sitting underneath in the morning sun seeing the first long green beans in their little curls is an irresistible sight for just about anyone of any age. If you are trying to convince a child to try green beans without success, then let their imagination lead them to their first taste in the garden...raw. Sitting in the seclusion of a bean teepee to try a green bean for the first time is a great sneaky first step to a life long love of garden harvested beans.

As adults, we often think that beans and peas are best presented to children cooked because we can always mush them to make them more palatable if they first refuse to eat them. But in actual fact, kids are much more likely to eat both fruit and vegetables in their raw state.

Do you remember the aroma of your grandparent's garden? Walking past the tomato plants, the cracking open of a pea pod, the smell of freshly harvested capsicums and leeks. What great memories! Beans have that intoxicating evocative smell too.


Growing Tips

  • Beans are best grown in full sun.
  • Beans are not heavy feeders, so if your soil is too fertile it may result in too much foliage and not many beans.
  • Fork over soil and dig a little compost and just a little well rotted manure through to add nutrients.
  • If your soil is heavy clay, lighten it up with some sand or compost. Beans do not like compacted soil
  • Stagger your planting by sowing more seeds every 2 weeks if you would like more than one harvest.
  • Keep your bean plants moist but not too wet. Using a liquid seaweed emulsion regularly.
  • If you get more than 1 inch of rain per week you will not need to add any extra water.
  • Shriveled beans mean that your bean plants have not been watered enough.
  • Remember to crop rotate. Do not plant beans in the same place in the garden to avoid diseases.


Growing Season

Spring to Summer.

Growing Beans, French or Dwarf - In the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Australia Beans may be sown at any time of the year. In temperate areas like Adelaide, the main sowing season is September-early February.


When beans and peas are finished producing, simply cut off the foliage to the ground leaving the roots to compost into the soil to add more nitrogen to the soil for the next vegetable crop to benefit from.

Even if you choose not to grow beans or peas but would like to naturally add more nitrogen to your soil, plant a Green Manure crop (seed packets available at your nearest hardware store or nursery). Snip off at ground level, allow cut foliage to compost on top of soil and work in later.

Here are some great Bean TeePee design ideas to inspire you in your garden...

via - How To Build A TeePee For Your Kids
via - Or how about a Bean HOUSE?

This is how all good gardens should be♥♥♥

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