Organic garden update - building bean frames and harvesting the winter onions

Bean frame

The winter onions are out at last leaving room for squash to spread - phew.  If you remember a week or two ago we were panicking because we needed to transplant the squash and we thought the onions would be out in time to free up the space.  We had to plant the squash between the onions. For a recipe for onion soup with garlic croutons please see

winter onions

Our self-pollinating runner beans were ready to transfer to the allotment last weekend so we set out to build a bean frame.  Purchasing bamboo sticks and twine from the local garden centre (we needed 18 x 6ft sticks and 4 x 3ft sticks because we were building two bean frames - we have a lot of bean plants!!!) we set to work inspired by a neighbouring allotment owner (it's how you learn!!). 

Becky constructing the bean frame

Using a trowel we dug 3 holes for the sticks in a line about 2 foot between each hole.  We pressed a stick into each hole and filled the holes in.  Just under 3 foot directly opposite each of the sticks we dug three more holes and repeated the process.  Using lengths of twine we tied the sticks that we opposite each other together. Another stick was secured between where the sticks crossed and two more lengthwise about 6 inches up from the base.  Secure the smaller sticks at either end of the bean frames. about 6 inches up.  Now to plant the bean plants INSIDE the bean frame.  Plant one by each upright stick and another between the sticks including the ends.  For extra purchase for your plants tie lengths of string between the top cross stick and the bottom sticks which were placed 6 inches from the ground. Surround the base of the bean frame with cling film. This is to give the bean plants some warmth and protection from wind and also from pests.  Now your bean frame is finished. See above for the finished article. We had winds of 41 miles an hour forecast yesterday. Let's hope that our frames were strong enough to withstand them!!

Happy gardening!

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