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The easy-to-make, easier-to-use bean sticker.

In Mississippi, "sticking beans" means setting bean poles. But no matter where you live, if your soil makes the job a chore, here's a way to do it with water power

"I want you to stick them beans today."

It was the annual chore I dreaded all year. These were orders from my father and I knew I had to carry them out.

Central Mississippi has a strip of soil running across it known as the Jackson Formation. It's that stuff that swells up when it's wet and shrinks up when it gets dry. When wet, it builds up on your shoes like glue and houses tilt. When dry, the ground cracks like a car windshield in a head-on collision, and you can barely drive a nail into it.

In the spring when the ground begins to dry out there is about one day when you can plow and the soil will pulverize. One day sooner and it is too wet and one day later it is too dry. Some folks say that you really have only about one hour and if that hour comes during the night you just have to wait until the next rain to try to plow.

Hydraulic bean sticker

Somehow my father usually got the garden plowed and planted and left the rest to me. He'd just lean on the fence and give orders like, "Stick them beans." "Stick them beans" at my house 60 years ago meant "stick them beans."

We had one axe, which was dull, and sticking beans involved taking that dull axe and walking a mile to a sweet gum thicket and hacking down and trimming and dragging back to the garden 10 to 15 sticks at a time. The next step was to take a model T back axle, drive a hole next to each bean plant, and insert the stick. It always took several trips to complete the job.

These days, as a senior citizen, back yard, raised bed gardener, sticking beans is one of the easiest of activities. First I go to the farm supply store and buy the sticks (20 to 25 cents each). Next I hook up my homemade hydraulic bean sticker and proceed to place the sticks about as fast as I can walk.

We live on the city water system and have good water pressure, which is essential to the sticker working.

Instructions for hydraulic bean sticker

Purchase 3/4 inch galvanized piping in the following lengths and threaded on both ends:

1 36" piece

1 12" piece

1 8 " piece

1 2 " piece

I cut-off valve

1 tee

1 cap

1 hose connection

Screw the 36 " piece in the center of the tee, screw the 8" piece into one side of the tee and the 12" piece capped into the other side. Now put in the cut-off valve, then the 2" piece, then the hose connector.

To operate turn the water on and press the probe into the ground.

I also find this tool valuable in deep watering my fruit trees and vines.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:setting bean poles
Author:McCrory, M.E.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Nov 1, 1993
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