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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in Woodland Care.

In this Badge Bit, you will construct a tomato cage and a pole bean trellis from twigs.


(source: Craig Dobson)

Here are some related videos that may be helpful.

How to make a willow obelisk plant support



From the video description:
"Watch master craftsman Jenny Crisp as she shows how to weave a tall plant support or obelisk. She makes it from freshly coppiced willow in spring, in a few easy steps. Filmed at our home garden, Stockton Bury. Find lots more great how to videos, gardening tips and advice at www.theenglishgarden.co.uk"

How to weave a garden obelisk



From the video description:
"In this video ,I will show you how to make a quick and easy obelisk using willow."

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are to:
     o construct one five foot tall tomato cage with jute lashing and no metal
     o construct one eight foot tall pole bean trellis with jute lashing and no metal

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must post completion pictures of:
     o one five foot tall tomato cage (completion pic)
     o one eight foot tall pole bean trellis (completion pic)
COMMENTS:
 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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My submission.

I have made three been trellis frames, and one sturdy frame for watermelons to climb. I didn’t build a tomato cage as I don’t have need for one right now.

All sticks were harvested from with 50m of the site . The heavier wood is a from a thicket of dogwood, which serves as a windbreak around the garden. I coppice patches of it each year to use for sticks, and to stop it invading my growing area.

The bamboo cane from one of two clumps that have been here for at least 15 years, before we got the property. I had to learn about bamboo growth habit, and figure out how to prune these. I got a huge number of useful poles from it. Here the garden center sells bamboo poles at about £1 each for 6’ of longer. I think I saved about £100 by cutting my own.

The string is a biodegradable jute twine.

719CD2F0-9BA0-4B47-A66B-5AA30C0E4295.jpeg
Bamboo clump part way through pruning
Bamboo clump part way through pruning
AC241F64-AC8A-4ABA-BC26-848804B2898C.jpeg
French bean frame from dogwood
French bean frame from dogwood
BDB57EAF-9BC1-49DB-9974-BE6A704AAE04.jpeg
Runner bean frame in dogwood - these suffered from rabbits
Runner bean frame in dogwood - these suffered from rabbits
4AF6B5B0-DD9E-4014-9245-AD9169F41E71.jpeg
Bamboo frame for ‘firetongue’
Bamboo frame for ‘firetongue’
7CE58251-4F00-4E82-B5E3-6F3A477113FC.jpeg
Some of the collected poles
Some of the collected poles
DEB135DF-B8F1-4B98-A51D-EBDACF892E18.jpeg
Diagonal bracing to form triangles for extra rigidity
Diagonal bracing to form triangles for extra rigidity
 
Michael Cox
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Hmm. These are the right way round on my phone. I’m not sure why they are wrong when uploaded, or if I can correct them. Any ideas?

I have somehow missed my extra watermelon frame. Will have to take an extra photo later.
 
Michael Cox
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Approved submission
The missing cage. It will have watermelons, but is functionally the same as a tomato cage - possibly more robust!
EF8B7261-0E5E-43EF-A313-01B38C616245.jpeg
[Thumbnail for EF8B7261-0E5E-43EF-A313-01B38C616245.jpeg]
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!  (and I hit some secret buttons to get the photos right side up)

 
steward
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Approved submission
Tiz the season to make trellises and cages (okay, some of these were made last month. I've just now gotten around to posting them!)

First off, the trellis! This is made with bamboo (that grows wild on my property) and twine, and it's for peas and beans to grow in my keyhole garden (same garden as is pictured 3 years ago in my Permaculture Playground and Diner thread)

the trellis!
should have had my kids take the picture of me next to it...


A few weeks after that, I went and chopped down a bunch of wildhazelnut branches and rods. Tip for building with sticks/bamboo: Always get more than you think you'll need. You'll always wish you had more!

SO many hazelnut branches!


First I stuck the upright straight-ish rods into the ground

upright rods


Then--starting at the bottom--I wove one row at a time with the thin hazel twigs. Hazel is SO MUCH nicer to weave with than bamboo. I highly recommend it!

Finished tomato cage! Made entirely out of hazel--no twine


I had a few leftover hazel rods, so I used them and some bamboo to make another tomato cage. I'm interested to see which style works best: The above one that is narrower at the bottom and wider at the top, or the below one that is wide at the bottom and narrow at the top.

Second, bonus tomato cage. I used thin bamboo and hazel to basket-weave each circle in the cage. I used a small amount of twine just to tie the top together
Staff note (gir bot) :

Opalyn Rose approved this submission.
Note: I hereby certify this badge bit complete.

 
pollinator
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I built the bean pole in the spring, and with summer fully upon us, it was time to contain the tomatoes, which had plans for sprawling everywhere!

The person for scale is 180cm (5' 11"), so both are plenty tall! The photo of the bean pole was taken a while ago--the scarlet runner beans have now reached the very top--what keen plants!
mb-bb-woodland-straw-twigconstruction-1.JPG
Hedge pruning -- generated plenty of sticks
Hedge pruning -- generated plenty of sticks
mb-bb-woodland-straw-twigconstruction-2.JPG
Tying up a large bean pole
Tying up a large bean pole
mb-bb-woodland-straw-twigconstruction-3.JPG
Finished bean pole trellis with runner beans
Finished bean pole trellis with runner beans
mb-bb-woodland-straw-twigconstruction-4.JPG
Preparing tomato cage
Preparing tomato cage
mb-bb-woodland-straw-twigconstruction-5.JPG
Finished tomato cage with strung up tomatoes
Finished tomato cage with strung up tomatoes
Staff note (gir bot) :

Paul Fookes approved this submission.
Note: Congratulations. I certify this BB complete.

 
pollinator
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Does the twine have to be jute, or would another natural twine do? I have some handspun hemp twine, and some super scratchy wool yarn that could be used.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm pretty sure any sort of natural string/twine should do! I'm pretty sure the term "jute" in this case just refers to natural twine or sturdy natural string/yarn.
 
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I'm enjoying learning to make 100% natural garden supports. My lashing and knot skills are still not up to my own standards, but I'm working on that.

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are to:
    o construct one five foot tall tomato cage with jute lashing and no metal
    o construct one eight foot tall pole bean trellis with jute lashing and no metal

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must post completion pictures of:
    o one five foot tall tomato cage (completion pic)
    o one eight foot tall pole bean trellis (completion pic)

I have made one five-ish foot structure (perhaps a little over) and one eight-ish foot structure, again perhaps a little over. I'm usually about 5 foot 10 inches, and these are my selfies with the structures in the background. Since they're in raised beds about 1.5-2 feet above the ground they may appear to be even higher, since I'm standing in the pathways.

5 foot tomato cage (with a tomato growing in it)




8 foot bean trellis (with peas planted for the winter growing season)




Staff note (gir bot) :

Nicole Alderman approved this submission.
Note: I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete! I love the smiley faces!

 
Nicole Alderman
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For fun, and hopefully for inspiration to others, I thought I'd post some more of the tomato cages and bean/pea trellises I've made!

I'm really enjoying using hazel that I coppice off of my hazelnut/filbert tree. It bends SO NICELY! I don't have nearly as much of it as I have bamboo, so I do use a lot of that, too.

There was a random willow(?) tree growing right next to my wellhouse that needed to be cut down. That worked marvelously for making these tomato cages:

woven tomato cages


To make them, I put the upright posts into the ground (or woodchip if--like in this case--I'm building them one place to move later). Use lots of uprights--this makes it a LOT easier to weave! Then I get two of my longest, most flexible pieces and start kind of basket weaving them around in a circle. By basket weaving, I mean I criss-cross each hazel rod around the uprights. They usually don't reach all the way around the cage, so I weave in a new rod as my first one starts running out.  I often take some skinner rods and go around again, jsut to make it more secure!

This is a great intro into basket weaving:



The fun thing about weaving the tomato cages is that it can go a little free-form. I found I could kind of weave together the tops of the cages to make back supports. One tomato cage I kind of spiraled up with the weaving. There's lots of options! You don't need any string or fasteners, either (though, I will admit to having used string the first few times I made tomato cages!)

When I ended up weaving the tops of my cages, I realized that I could do the same with my trellises. This made them so much more secure!

When you weave the tops of the trellis in an arch, it makes it more secure, and I think it looks cool, too!


You might not be able to tell from the picture (if you click on it, it will get bigger, though), but the bottom few rows of my trellis/fences were woven with bamboo &/or willow. As I got higher up, I switched to just string, because the peas like growing better on that, anyway. I also put rows of veritcle string between the bamboo rods.

In this trellis, I was running low on nice trellis material, so I just used a few bamboo rods for the verticals and twine for the horizontals as well as many verticals. This worked great for my peas!

 
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Hi, not sure if this is the best forum to pose my question! Or whether it would be better to start a new thread. Anyway here goes….

My problem is a plague of young pheasants late summer into autumn until the shooting season starts. They love all the overwintering crops I try to grow so if I don’t fence them off I don’t get any!  At the moment I use a selection of plastic wire fencing with bamboo canes to support it, not easy to put up, not very attractive or environment friendly.

I have been wondering about trying to create moveable hurdles using hazel or willow, probably about 4ft by 2 ft that could be easily pushed into the ground and moved as needed. Along the lines of the willow obelisk in the first video above, but in the form of a rectangle. My question is would this structure be rigid enough as unlike an obelisk it wouldn’t have the inbuilt rigidity of the circle. I would want to minimise the number of horizontal ties so as to get maximum light through.

Has anyone tried anything like this? Any comments welcomed.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Chris Whitehouse wrote:Hi, not sure if this is the best forum to pose my question! Or whether it would be better to start a new thread. Anyway here goes….

My problem is a plague of young pheasants late summer into autumn until the shooting season starts. They love all the overwintering crops I try to grow so if I don’t fence them off I don’t get any!  At the moment I use a selection of plastic wire fencing with bamboo canes to support it, not easy to put up, not very attractive or environment friendly.

I have been wondering about trying to create moveable hurdles using hazel or willow, probably about 4ft by 2 ft that could be easily pushed into the ground and moved as needed. Along the lines of the willow obelisk in the first video above, but in the form of a rectangle. My question is would this structure be rigid enough as unlike an obelisk it wouldn’t have the inbuilt rigidity of the circle. I would want to minimise the number of horizontal ties so as to get maximum light through.

Has anyone tried anything like this? Any comments welcomed.



I haven't made them myself, but here's a thread on making mobile hurdles/wattle fences. I looks like if you make a wattle fence on a stand, you can then place it where you need it, and it might stand up without being pushed into the ground too far if it's lashed to other fences, or to a stake in the ground?

It might be good to reply to that thread to bump it again and see if someone else knows more!
!
 
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For the main supports, I used an unidentified weed that produces 4-7' shoots. The 8' trellis is 2-3 sticks lashed together to get the height. To connect everything, I used grape vine and a little honeysuckle. It was all things that needed cutting or pruning.

There is a metal wire behind the 8' trellis, but it's not supporting the trellis at all. I'm just not ready to remove the wire from around the garden until I have other trellises or fencing to deter deer. I followed Nicole's advice and connected the tops into arches, which helped with support. (Thanks, Nicole!). To keep it in place, the trellis is shoved into the ground, and there are more support sticks attached with grapevines on the front and back.

The tomato cage is around a small mulberry tree. It will hopefully deter deer and stop my husband from mowing it down.
PXL_20221213_152111615-2.jpg
5' "tomato" cage
5'
PXL_20221213_151927396.jpg
Cage is around 5'7"
Cage is around 5'6"
PXL_20221212_153610445-2.jpg
8' trellis
8' trellis
PXL_20221201_220150195.jpg
Trellis measures just over 8'
Trellis measures just over 8'
Staff note (gir bot) :

Cam Haslehurst approved this submission.

 
He baked a muffin that stole my car! And this tiny ad:
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
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