Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bubba-built-me-something-for-the-garden news

Last week when I realized that shit.shit.shit. the garden was going in at this time last year and I was doing The Science and we were on our way to tomatoes and shit.shit.shit I've done nothing yet it nearly sent me into a full panic.

I began to plan.

I began to track my seed shipments.

I began also to realize that I'd be following all my upcoming long Saturday runs with hours of yard work to catch up, which, YAY because that never tries to kill me or anything.

Thankfully, last weekend (Which is two weekends ago now. Yikes.) I made it out to the back .40 to pull the weeds before Bubba could go at them with the Evil Round-Up. And even though he's a fan of the "just fucking nuke them" strategy, I still have this annoying hang-up that does not allow my brain to justify growing organic things over here while dousing over there with disfiguring chemicals.

I'm an incredible pain in the ass. This is true.

Somehow though, even with my Pain in the Ass status, Bubba still came out to help me instead of letting me pull weeds and think about what I did or whatever you do to kids when you want them to learn a lesson or lie in the bed they made or whathaveyou. That was nice of him, I thought.

So, we pulled most of the weeds (the rest will get demolished when we start redoing the yard - but that's later - focus!) and reacquainted ourselves with Skinny the Apple Tree who'd begun to disappear behind the overgrowth.

Before. Monstrous.

After. Less monstrous. And hey! There's Skinny! (Back corner)
It was a nice time, before I removed the cages from the winter vegs and shifted my focus to the actual garden tasks that needed to take place before I could have my love affair with summer vegetables.

I had to do The Science, for sure.

And I had to turn the soil.

And I had to amend said soil.

And I had to stand and stare at the whole thing a lot because that is my typical method for any exhausting project - to stare when feeling overwhelmed. You can imagine that tackling something like this after running 9 miles can be a little overwhelming since your body is like, BITCH, STOP ALREADY, but your mind is like, BITCH, WE NEED TO PLANT THINGS.

It's an overwhelming time, y'all. And so I stare a lot. It keeps my Crazy on the inside, if only momentarily.

After the turning, testing and amending of the soil in three of four beds (the fourth is still occupied by the fava beans which have not yet done their thing. COME ON ALREADY.), I came to a stopping point that had me stumped.

And after a few minutes (a full hour) of staring at the stumptastic bed, Bubba came back out to see what what was up. Or more likely, he came out to see if I'd had a physical breakdown and was unable to transport my weary body back into the house, but whatever, there he was. And with an unbelievably perfect answer to my stumpy question.

The question was this: How the hell can I build a contraption for my beloved Kentucky Blue Lake beans (Hi, Bean Twin Elizabeth! Are we excited yet?) that is, at once, wide enough to accommodate half of the 3'x8' bed and also tall enough so that the beans can really stretch their legs, all from materials I have on hand?

See? Hard stumpy question, that one.

I have always grown beans and snap peas on 4 ft fences, but that's proven to be too short for them and I've always had to help them out by wrapping their flailing fingers around the top of the fence after about a month of growth, which doesn't do anyone any favors. And by "anyone" I mean me because I need a lot of beans and these short fences make for fewer beans.

I mean, sure, I could go out and procure some fancy pre-built bean pole contraptions or buy long bamboo poles, but that all seemed somehow unnecessary because, in my head, we had to have *something* around this fucking place that could serve as a proper bean support.

Thankfully what I *do* have is Bubba because he thinks of things that don't even cross my pea brain. Things like why don't we use this leftover conduit and wire from the garage project which just happens to be in 10 ft sections and would be ever so tall if constructed properly.


He's vurry smart, this Bubba.

So, after about 30 seconds in his mind (and many days in mine - I'm slow) he'd gotten the conduit down from the rafters in the garage, the ladder up in the garden and BAM! Bean Tepee to the Stars.

To the Stars, y'all. It's very tall.

Oh, and of course, I immediately got out there with my twine, upcycled clothes hanger spikes (I'll show you these some time) and anal-retentiveness to string up the future homes for my beloved beans.

Bubba imagines the beans way up there.

And then, once showered and properly soaking in cocktail hour, I went back out and surveyed my industrial chic bean tepee that could not be finer, taller or more sturdily constructed from materials that we just had taking up space in the garage.

And to think, these were just a few feet away the whole time.

Also, please notice that this is level AS ALL GET OUT.

I love that a lot.

Also, I need daily temps to get to 70 before I can plant a damn thing so I'm trying really hard to be patient with our 65 degree days (I KNOW - IT'S SNOWING WHERE YOU ARE AND I'M SORRY.) because I know we also need more rain and it's also only March.

*Sigh* I'm not long on patience, folks. This is well-known.


  1. Yes! We are getting excited. We are also terribly jealous of your bean towers. Our beans are just going to go into the ground and up the fence, I think. Unless I too can conjure up some bean towers from business I have lying about.
    But first I've got to start tomatoes.

  2. Wow. I'm impressed.
    Did you put red blinky lights on top for the aeroplanes?

  3. Sighing and whatnot over here. I wish it were snowing where I am. If I get any 70 degree days I'll be sure to kick their asses straight over to your place, Finny. i have no use for them since I can't grow stuff because I have no yard and no sunny windows. I hate my apartment. And Las Vegas... More sighing.

  4. Man Finny! That's quite the bean teepee. You're nuts though -- 9 miles would put me in a coma!

  5. LOL Elkit!

    Finny - those are NICE! Super tall, and just imagine how fun it'll be hiding out under there once your vines have covered them.

    I really like your protective cages!

    Oh, and I'm honestly surprised you didn't just turn old running shirts into something for your beans to climb. I'm sure you could've whipped up something with your sewing machine, knitting needles, spare t-shirts, and perhaps an empty tampon box!

  6. Fabulous bean pole idea! I think it might work for other things, too (I'm thinking tomatoes here). And I think I could even get one of my workers to do it for me (I think the younger worker would be more amenable - the older worker gets cranky with my (or your) ideas).

  7. hahaha love jeph's comments.. so true!

    That Bubba is very handy to have around! Tell him he did a dandy job with it.

    Can't wait to see some towering beans on your new contraption!!

  8. Elizabeth - I bet you have something lying around that you can use OR you can do the "helping" of the bean fingers back down and around the fencing when they get too tall. It's kinda fun. Like you're their PIC.

    Elkit - NO WAY! Given our vicinity to the airport, we'd have a friggen 747 in the yard in a minute. And that'd really ruin my summer gardening with all that jet fuel. Not organic.

    Amy - SADNESS! Do you have a community garden? Get yourself a plot! Then we can watch you grow the craziest big tomatoes ever with all that heat.

    Thimble - After the run, the yard work, the shower and the cocktail, I was 100% useless. Believe me. A lot of staring happened.

    Jeph - Oh Jeph - I have plans for the underneath of that tepee and it has nothing to do with me sitting. Lettuce! Lettuce will be growing *fingers crossed* in the shade of the beans. If I don't somehow fuck up the whole arrangement. We shall see. Also, I'm sure I'll involve a Tshirt Invention somehow in the garden. Wait and see!

    Michelle - If you make it super sturdy, you could grow cucumbers up there. Or midget melons. Or tomatoes. OR A MILLION THINGS DON'T GET ME STARTED.

    Mira - Me too. I can.not.wait.

  9. OMG the back 40! That's my dad's term for the yard and he still says it. Awwwwwwwwwwww.

    homesick for my dad's garden.

  10. I stare at things when I'm stumped too. It would be pretty hilarious to see the two of us attempt a complicated project together. Our men would come home only to find us both quietly staring. Though I tend to stare off into space instead of actually at the project. I think it's a sign of genius.

    And I love this. We've got bamboo that is almost that long sitting in our garage. I may have to give it a shot.

  11. Um, that's perfect! Wow. I love it. And I am really envious of the beans. Can't get them going in my tiny space. Hopefully next year with a bit more room, I'll have a bean teepee like you!
    also, what are you doing to amend the soil?

  12. That's lovely! Bubba clearly rocks.

    I wish I had the knowhow to plant stuff, but I get so intimidated! I can crochet you a house, but I can not figure out how to grow my own anything. Alas. :(


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.