sturdy materials for bean frame

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al78

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sturdy materials for bean frame
« on: September 03, 2021, 20:32 »
I constructed a bean frame out of bamboo canes for the climbing French beans (taking up two beds, up, across, down, so I could walk under it to pick beans) and reinforced the supports with canes at an angle to introduce triangles into the structure (which theoretically can't be distorted). Last month when the beans were producing prolifically it showed signs of distortion under the weight of the plants and crop, so I reinforced four of the vertical supports with shrub posts hammered into the ground and tied to the bamboo canes with cable ties to hold the bamboo cane supports vertical. I have recently been away for a couple of weeks visiting and looking after my father and I come back to find they have cropped prolifically again (and the beans have got huge because of the time away), and the structure has partially collapsed under the weight. The cable ties holding the canes to the shrub stakes have snapped and half of it has partially flopped down. I can only get under it at one end. The canes have been heavily bent not quite to the point of snapping but they are not far from that. This is the second consecutive year a bean frame construction from canes has collapsed (last year I made a simpler A frame that couldn't take the weight). Does anyone have suggestions for stiffer and stronger materials I could use to build the frame next year, or even suggest a way I could build the frame stronger with canes, although I think bamboo canes are not up to the job the way they keep bending almost in half.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2021, 20:38 by al78 »

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AnneB

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 21:50 »
I have found a sturdier construction using hazel poles.  The difficulty is finding a reasonably priced supplier in your location

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mumofstig

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2021, 22:46 »
Roofing laths from a builders merchant make a strong frame, but they seem to be expensive nowadays  :ohmy:
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Potty Plotty Lotty

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2021, 22:37 »
or even suggest a way I could build the frame stronger with canes, although I think bamboo canes are not up to the job the way they keep bending almost in half.

I make more of an X frame rather than an A frame with bamboo canes for my beans which does works well on my not particularly sheltered site. The beans get a bit congested at the top but picking is still OK.

Bamboo canes vary in quality too so it's worth paying a bit more for the thicker canes.


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mumofstig

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2021, 10:32 »
This is an old, and long, thread, but there are some very strong examples in it like this one..
https://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=50801.msg213011#msg213011

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al78

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2021, 15:16 »
Thanks for the responses. I have re-erected the collapsed end and supported it using fence posts (with a metal spike that goes a good 18 inches into the ground) with the weak bamboo canes cable tied in several places up the post. If I put two more posts at the opposite end, that should hold it up pretty solidly. Next year I am tempted to make the whole frame out of fence posts screwed together with 90 degree brackets, then drape the bean netting over the frame, then nothing short of a hurricane will bring it down.

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Nobbie

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2021, 10:34 »
I think you should be able to make a strong enough frame with just bamboo, I think the trick is to put in lots of diagonal cross bracing between the uprights of the A frame and tie them in regularly. Maybe use a couple of your fence posts for each end as you’ve already got them.

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snowdrops

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2021, 10:57 »
Search on here for munty  frame, I find it ideal, we sink in 10ft round posts on either end of the tall side & shorter ones on the other sides, I have long pieces of aluminium that we screw to said posts. Then on the short side near the ground I cable tie thick bamboo poles, and tie strings to the bamboo where I plant the plants, these strings go up around the aluminium on that side & over the top to the tall side. Think a tall goal post & a short one, connected by the strings. My munty frame spans one of my paths so I can pick the beans that dangle through with ease. We do brace the tall posts to the aluminium to give it strength. Fingers crossed no fails yet in over 10 years.
I did use to make an x frame of bamboo canes but the x was at the bottom not the traditional top. I then used to loop a piece of nylon string between opposing canes at the top so as the weight of the beans got heavier they pulled against each other, that was quite good too .
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rowlandwells

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2021, 17:41 »
we always build our bean frame being an x frame of around 20ft long using 4/4 post's 8ft long sunk in the ground at intervals up the rows with roofing laths screwed on top and bottom then tying  the bamboo canes to the top laths we bought the bamboo canes some 20 years ago they where thick canes a bit pricey I thought at the time but they have lasted many crops of beans and they never blow over come what may

I have built  bean A frames  in the past and they to worked ok but we found one X frame was good enough for our needs these days I've also grew beans up scaffold netting  but it wasn't as good as my bamboo canes

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Russell Atterbury

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2021, 15:32 »
I'm hoping rowlandwells can post a picture of his bean frame. It sounds like something to consider in future years.

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rowlandwells

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2021, 17:45 »
I'm ot very good with posting pictures I'm afraid Russel but when my daughter comes visiting again

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rowlandwells

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2021, 17:58 »
 so start again as I'm not very good at posting pictures on line  when my daughter comes visiting again Il see if she could post a picture so you can see for yourself Russell how its constructed and believe me it will never fall down through weight or wind

I've had many  plot holders admire my bean frames i know it takes time to put up and take down and many say that's to much trouble to build one like that but the proof of the pudding is in the eating it stands there not to move  :D :D

PS
 Il see what i can do with the post picture Russell




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jambop

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Re: sturdy materials for bean frame
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2021, 19:41 »
I use bamboo grown in my garden can be anything up to two inches diameter but nearer an inch overall never have a problem with using them.



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