Our backyard has a very low-maintenance, privacy-giving vinyl fence. Those good points do, in fact, outweigh the bad points, but it is still quite plain and ugly. I have been trying to come up with ideas of what to plant in the 23-inch wide strip of ground between the driveway and the fence that would be tall and very skinny enough to camouflage it. We pile snow on this strip in the winter so it has to be an annual, or at least a perennial that I can cut all the way back. Why not make it something useful or edible? This year, I came up with pole beans.
I planted the beans about the end of May. They came up right away and so we needed to get some sort of trellis in place so they could do their camo thing.
My plan was to tie up some string to the tops of the fence posts. Drew took it a giant leap further by using scrap wood (that I had been hording since the home addition) to frame up a support system and outfit it with string down to each little plant. Because he had a big role in the culture of these beans, he took to calling them “Navy beans”. In reality, they were Blue Lake pole beans.
Then we watched them grow.
(Wow! That was 19 days between pictures. We could see them changing day by day during this period.)
Still no beans to harvest yet, but they were close at this point.
August 12: Bean harvest started.
August 23: Too many beans to eat. Full camouflage.
And finally October 12: Very tired of eating beans.
This was my first serious attempt at growing pole green beans. Like I said, the variety was Blue Lake, and they were pretty tasty as long as I picked them very early before any bean bulges started to show. Otherwise they were stringy and tough. I froze what we couldn’t eat, although I think frozen green beans might be a hard sell on Drew.