First of all I should not be blogging right now. I have a list, longer than Santa Clause's, of things I should be doing. But blogging is so much fun and I couldn't pass this one up.
I have just been to my FIL's and he has the neatest garden. I have been wanting to share it with you for awhile now, but I didn't have my camera and just telling you about it wouldn't do it justice.
He has several raised gardens. He made beds out of 2 x 4's, put good top soil in them, covered them with black plastic (farming, hardware or garden supply stores), then poked holes in the plastic where he wanted to plant something. O.k. that's not so unusual. But what he did for his green beans is...
He used cattle panels (farm supply store) and made an arch. He put a stake on both sides of the arch so that the bottom wouldn't kick out. Then he braced them on the inside with string so that it wouldn't start leaning when it became heavy with the green bean vines. (He also used this for his cucumbers.)
This is the arch from an angle.
This is the arch straight on.
This is the string bracing on the inside of the arch.
This is the inside of the arch. Most of the green beans just hang down. Very easy to pick. There are a few on the outside, but they are easy to pick too (he has plenty of space to walk around on the outside of the arch). He said the string braces on the inside are a little inconvenient (you have to step over them or go under them), but I've picked several green beans and it is not that bad. And since I am in the shade (of the green bean vines) it makes up for any mild inconvenience.
It's beautiful and practical.