Protect your vining plants from ground-dwelling animals by giving them a bamboo trellis to climb. Send pole beans scrambling up homemade tepees for an easy bean harvest and a striking vertical presence in your yard.
Pole beans are among the easiest legumes to grow, especially when trained up a trellis to reduce bending and stooping at harvest time. A strong support is essential for a productive pole bean crop. For each trellis, build a quick, inexpensive tepee. Wind twine around the poles from top to bottom to create a ladder for the vines in your edible garden.
Tips for Great Beans
- Moisturizing: Beans thrive when they receive at least an inch of water a week—especially when they are flowering and developing pods. When watering, avoid getting the foliage wet, which encourages disease. Water plants early in the day so any wet foliage dries quickly. Help plants retain water by spreading a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of young plants.
- Crop Rotation: Discourage disease development by planting beans in a different part of the garden each year. Diseases that overwinter in the soil will not hinder beans planted several feet away.
- No Fertilization: Beans are generally very productive without fertilization. Excessive nitrogen results in copious amounts of leaves and few bean pods. If your soil is lean on nutrients, incorporate a 2- to 3-inch-thick layer of well-decomposed compost into the top 8 inches of soil in early spring.
- Harvesting: Continually harvest ripe beans to encourage the plant to produce more fruit.