Monday, April 23, 2012

Building a Bean Fort

via pinterest
Have you seen all of the adorable bean tee-pees on pinterest lately? As soon as I saw this I knew I would just have to come up with something for my own little gardeners to play in during the warmer months. This perfect combination of  whimsy and organic gardening, I set to work figuring out just how we could fit our very own bean hut in our small back yard.
Because of our soggy North West climate we decided to use a sturdy oak pallet for the floor of our hut. We also decided to plant the beans in pots rather than directly in the ground. This will be handy at the end of the season since we can just disassemble the entire thing and store the pots until the next growing season. Also, in pots the plants will get warmer, and hopefully have more growth in our very cool climate.

A Bean Hut for the Kiddos

Rather than build a round tee-pee we opted to build a rectangular hut around the shape of the pallet. We are hoping this will make the interior of the fort bigger (so more monkeys can fit inside) without damaging the bean plants or taking up too much of the lawn. 
 With our location chosen we gathered our supplies- a pallet, 6 bamboo poles, twine, (4) 2 gallon pots, and 2 packs of seeds. We decided to plant both sugar snap peas and pole beans since we would have ample growing space for each.

First we leveled the pallet and made sure it was snug. The we leveled the ground under the pots to assure the finished hut would be sturdier and able to handle the kiddos knocking it around a little.

The best part about this project is that the little ones can help with every step. Here is my little helper mixing my soil and planting the seeds with me.

While Masie and I played in the dirt, Jess and Orion added the bamboo poles to the pots and lashed them together with twine. The boys also strung twine between the poles for the vines to climb up. we even got got some instant gratification by planting the little bean plant my son had been growing at school.

Be sure to tie your new little sprouts to the bamboo pole to show them where to climb then sit back and watch them go!
I cannot wait for the boys to enjoy their hard work. I can just see them now playing in their hut and snacking on fresh beans in the summer sun. 

What gardening fun have you been up to?

& peas
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