RickRS
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Pole Beans and conduit support

I'm going to try pole beans for the first time this year. Always used bush beans in the past. I'm with a community garden that use 10 x 4 foot raised beds. So thinking of setting up a double row of Kentucky Wonder at the north end of one bed, with metal electrical conduit as the support.

I'll use 1/2 inch conduit. Since it available in 10 foot sections, I'm thinking of using two, bend a 2 foot leg on each, and then use a coupler to join the two for a U-shape that just under 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. If I drove the vertical legs about a foot into the ground and then use some wire for additional support, do you think it will work? Is it reasonable to expect poles to grow 7+ feet in the North Florida heat?

Any suggestions for trellis material for the vines to climb? Would they climb string draped from horizontal bar of the conduit?

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jal_ut
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

Do you have a conduit bender? With a bender you can make a nice curved bend.

Yes, beans will climb a string. I have used baling twine, you know, the kind farmers put in their baler for tying the bales of hay. You can buy a bundle of that from a farm supply store, but it is a lot of twine. Perhaps if you know anyone feeding cows, you can get some used twine?

I think you will have to secure the string top and bottom so it doesn't blow around in the wind.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

greenstubbs
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

I use 1/2" conduit for uprights in my containers for cucks, maters and such. I also use fencing and just tie it to the conduit and has held up for years. For beans I use like 1" wooden poles as they seem to be stronger. You might want to use 3/4" for a little more strength. Instead of bending it, they make 90* corners that screw on both sides and just make a square or rectangle? Here's a pic of what I do, beans in the back left.
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applestar
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

I like those wooden box planters. What are they? Did you make them?

Good idea with the wire fences. I might try that with some of my stuff this year. I've been using the nylon trellis netting, but sometimes, they sag too much and stronger support would be useful. 8)

Oh yeah, note that cucumbers sometimes have a way to growing through the opening of wire fencing and wedging themselves as they fatten up. :roll:
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jal_ut
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

There are some stock panels available that have fairly large openings, 6 inches or so and heavy rods about 1/4 inch diameter. Put these up with some T posts and they would make a great trellis for any climbing plants and are sturdy enough to last likely your lifetime. Check with your farm supply store.

https://stockyardsupply.com/index.php/fe ... og-panels/
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

RickRS
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

Yes, I have access to conduit benders. The head of maintenance where I work has no problem with me borrowing one. I could get 1/2, 3/4, or 1 inch benders. I am aware of the elbow connectors (found both 45 and 90 degrees version), but it adds to the expense, and having a bender available saves a lot.

The 1/2 inch seem rigid enough. Should I move up to the larger diameters?

I tried sisal twine for a Florida weave tomato support two seasons ago. Sisal seem to be the stuff used for baling twine. It didn't hold up with the weight of the tomatoes and the sun and rain of Florida. So if I use string, it will likely be a nylon or polyester. Or small diameter rope, if I stay with sisal. I am thinking about suspending fencing between the conduit, as well.

Just throwing around idea right now. Your inputs are appreciated.

greenstubbs
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

applestar wrote:I like those wooden box planters. What are they? Did you make them?

Oh yeah, note that cucumbers sometimes have a way to growing through the opening of wire fencing and wedging themselves as they fatten up. :roll:
If these are for me? Yes I make the boxes myself. I have a couple designs done, the latest ones use 2x2's and the wooden cedar fencing planks. The insides measure about 18x18x16. They work good if not over planted but they dry out real quick with 90-100*+ temps with 10% humidity that I have.
Because I have to stay on top of H2O, when I see a cuck looking like it will get caught up in the fence, I pull it out!

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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

RickRS wrote:The 1/2 inch seem rigid enough. Should I move up to the larger diameters?
If you are using them as the end vertical supports they are plenty strong enough given that they are well anchored at the top to keep them from tipping. If you are going to use them as the horizontal support I would imagine the horizontal length to be the determining factor for sagging. At 10' or so you should have no issues. Since I didn't have to take Statics and Dynamics for my degree I don't know when sag becomes an issue. If you are worried about it you can certainly put another vertical support in the middle.
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applestar
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

wooden cedar fencing planks
That's a great idea!
I need X-large containers but I'm hesitant of using plastic tubs and nursery containers. I'll need to explore this idea more.... 8)
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Bobberman
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

I like the 3/4 inch conduit best its only about a $1 more. Try this put a five foot section of conduit into the ground about 9 inches every 4 feet then add a 4 foot section of lattice starting a foot off the ground so its 5 feet to the top of the lattice. Use a metal s wire to connect the lattice to the top of the conduit so it extends over the top of the pole about a foot. The metal s connector stops it from slideing down Tie the bottom of the lattice to the pole. The nice thing is you can take it down in the winter easily! Its strong and looks great. You can stain it or paint it white! You will have a 8 foot section for less than $15.
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ness
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

RickRS wrote:Yes, I have access to conduit benders. The head of maintenance where I work has no problem with me borrowing one. I could get 1/2, 3/4, or 1 inch benders. I am aware of the elbow connectors (found both 45 and 90 degrees version), but it adds to the expense, and having a bender available saves a lot.
One plus about the screw on 90 degree corners: at the end of the season, I unscrew them and disassemble the supports for storage.

I run a string horizontally across the bottom, and have vertical strings running down from the cross bar to the bottom string. Kind of a pain to set up each year though. I may get some wire fencing material.
John

Bobberman
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

Conduit and lattice works great together like I described above. I am doing a 24 foot section this year for runner beans and yard long beans!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

imafan26
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Re: Pole Beans and conduit support

sounds great. I don't use anything so elaborate. I just use metal fence posts pounded in every 3 ft and I have used cotton string between the posts and the beans and peas go up. At the end, I cut the string and take everything to the green bin. Cotton string decomposes fine.

Most of the time I just use a folding tomato cage, open it up to make a straight fence, add some rebar for support and the beans and peas climb on that. I don't plant a lot of beans only about 9 or 10. It is enough for what I do with it.

I have a trellis that looks like a 10x10 tent frame. There are three fence posts on each side and conduit is bent to form a peaked roof and inserted in the top of the fence posts. It is covered partially with CRW and tied with wire. It is strong enough to hold squash vines in summer and except for the fact that one side is a little short and I keep hitting my head on it, it works fine.
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