This week’s Wednesday gardening guest blogger is D.S. Venetta of BloominThyme, who lives in Central Florida with her husband and two children and part-time Yellow Lab””Cody-boy! When not whacking away at her keyboard crafting her next novel or spending time with her kids, you’ll find her in her organic garden chasing grasshoppers and plucking hornworms. When she’s not knee-deep in dirt or her imagination, D.S. Venetta contributes gardening advice for various websites and schools. It’s a busy life to be sure, but at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses (or rosemary!) and be kind to Mother Earth, then she’s done all right.
What? Do those two things even go together?
They sure do when you’re gardening with kids, that is. Children know how to have fun and that includes in the garden. From bugs to worms, seeds to harvest, kids can find joy in most anything. So why not when growing beans?
Building a bean fort is WAY fun and totally EASY. First on the list is building a framework for the project. You can use an existing fence fine, or build a fort completely from trellis material purchased from your local hardware store. Better yet, pull a few sticks together and make your own trellis! Enthusiasm 101.
Now I’m no engineer–but I do understand the concept of four walls and a door and that’s all you need to get started. Place your walls upright and secure together using twine. For added support, consider digging a shallow foundation or trench to root your trellis walls before tying the framework together. This will help to stabilize the structure.
Next up, the roof. More trellis material can be used as roofing, or perhaps PVC pipe. Both will need to be well supported due to their weight. If you build next to a fence, this is problem solved. If not, another idea you should consider is to weave twine across the top. It will allow bean vines to climb and crawl as directed and provide all the roof shelter you need.
Once your roof and walls have been assembled, your fort will look barren but beautiful. If you really want to get sophisticated, how about adding a weed paper bean fort floor? Now we’re talking!
To complete your project, plant beans every four inches around the base of your fort, and water in well, same as you would in your garden. Now, stand back and watch your fort come to life!
|Be sure to check out D.S. Venetta’s new gardening book for kids, “Show Me The Green” which is available on Amazon.com!|