Are you one of those that make a continual effort to maximize their narrow patio?
Do not worry because even tiny spaces in your new or old home can be used for urban gardening! If you have read our previous articles on gardening, you know that we have been trying to come up with as many creative ideas as possible to make use of your vertical space.
DIY bamboo teepee supports for your precious pea plants.
We made plans to build supports for the peas we planted in the shallow galvanized containers (they are commonly known as utility pans or livestock feeders).
For time sake, we went ahead and planted the pea seeds to get them started, being aware that we would be able to build supports later on once the plants had sprouted.
When the peas sprouted and began to resemble the classic vine shape, we decided to build out the supports before it was too late. After all, we had long sought to build out elaborate garden teepees, so we needed to get a little creative!
Here is a look at the DIY version we made for our own urban setting:
So, this is just what we needed over the weekend to finally start a project that we wanted to take on for months in a row:
List of supplies:
• large planters
• dirt & potting soil
• seeds (from preferred climbing plant variety)
• power drill and metal bit
• all-purpose jute twine
• 6 feet bamboo stalk
The versatility of this idea is what makes it such a cool one to try it out.
This project could be done in so many different ways — from changing up the planter through the variety of vine plant and to the design of your supports.
You’ll simply be spoilt for choice!
And here’s how it all went down for us:
Our unanimous choice were the utility farm pans because of their wide and shallow nature, especially because peas have shallow roots and “crawl” up vertically as they continue to grow, which is perfect for vertical gardening.
In order to transform these handy containers into planters, we flipped them upside down and drilled boreholes into their bottoms to allow for proper plant drainage.
Then we filled each pan with a thin layer of mulch (again, for drainage purposes), followed by a mixture of dirt and potting soil.
Then 4 more holes were drilled along the outer top rim at equal distance to create what would later become the 4 anchoring corners of the teepee supports.
This step could (and probably should!) be done before putting soil into the planters, but the soil did help to keep the containers down.
After the drilling had finished, we planted pea seeds on either side of each hole around the edge of the pan and 4 in the middle, “marking” the middle with a piece of mulch so that we’d later know where to place the bamboo support.
We went with an organic variety of garden peas we had bought at our local garden center and planted them in this formation to further position them for climbing up the jute supports.
A hint: When planting seeds, it is a good rule of thumb to simply lay the seeds over-top your soil and gently push them down only as far as the depth of the actual seed is — you can see where we pushed the pea down and simply pinched the remaining soil back over it to lightly cover.
Next, we placed on the upper deck level with our other container plants and watched and waited as the sun and watering did “their thing.”
Once the peas began to sprout and take hold, it was time to build out our supports. We had picked up two 6 feet stalks of bamboo at our local garden market (it is even better if you can cut some down from the local forest) and we sawed them down to our desired size, then gently sawed 2 perpendicular cross hatched notches into the tops of each stalk. Look at the picture below:
After initially knotting the twine through one of the holes in the planter, we slid the base of the bamboo stalk into the center of the planter (right where we had previously marked with a piece of mulch).
One held it steady while the other one measured and cut pieces of jute twine long enough to tie through each of the drilled holes, string through the top notch of the bamboo stalk and tie tautly through the hole across the other side of the planter.
A hint: Cut the jute twine longer than you think you’ll need to account for tightening, you’ll need to make sure your support twine and center bamboo anchor are taut and held in place.
And that was it! We successfully made our own versions of teepee bean supports that worked finely with our own urban setting.
Advantage: One great part about making them in containers is their mobility. We will be able to move them as we need and get more acquainted with where optimal sun can reach them.
For the time being, they went right back up to the sunny part of the deck to keep on growing.
As the plants get larger, we will “guide” the vines along to grab onto the jute twine supports and then they will simply crawl on up those twine “spider legs” all on their own.
At the end, we were so glad we were actually able to create something like this to work with our space that turned out to be so cost effective and pretty simple to make.
Now, we’re even more thrilled that we’re at the stage where we can simply maintain the plants as they grow and wait for those garden peas we’ll soon be benefitting from. And we are definitely inspired to try additional designs for other vine plants as we get them going, for instance tomatoes or cucumbers.
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