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5 Easy Ways to Trellis Pole Beans in the Garden

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Pole beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the home garden, and they do require some support. Thankfully there are options for how to trellis pole beans in the garden! 

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these simple techniques will provide your pole beans with the support they need to thrive. From single pole trellises to charming teepees and garden arches, we’ll show you how to create a sturdy foundation for a successful bean harvest. Let’s get started!

Benefits of Growing Pole Beans

When considering the benefits of growing pole beans, you’ll discover many advantages beyond just a bountiful harvest. These vertical-growing beauties not only maximize your garden space but also provide a visually appealing backdrop with their climbing bean vines. 

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By growing pole beans, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a more efficient harvest due to their ease of picking and reduced strain on your back. Additionally, pole beans have the added benefit of being able to produce over a longer period compared to bush beans, ensuring a continuous supply of fresh, delicious beans throughout the season. 

The vertical growth of pole beans also promotes healthier plants by increasing air circulation and reducing the risk of pests and diseases. And beans of all kinds are also nitrogen producers, which is essential for the soil in your vegetable garden. 

For gardeners looking to add variety to their pole bean harvest, there are several popular pole bean varieties to consider growing. Here are some of my favorite types of green beans:

  • Blue Lake Pole Beans: A Classic! Blue Lake Pole vines can grow up to 12 feet long, and due to their growth habit, they require some kind of growing guidance such as poles or strings.
  • Kentucky Wonder: Also known as “Old Homestead” before 1864 as “Texas Pole” Kentucky Wonder is a classic, popular pole bean that appeared sometime in the 1850s. 
  • Scarlet Runner Beans: The scarlet runner is a visually stunning vine plant that produces beans, as well as small, red, heart-shaped flowers. The rate at which these vines grow is impressive; they can get up to twenty feet in length in a single season!

By choosing the right pole bean varieties for your garden, you can enjoy a diverse range of flavors and textures throughout the growing season. Plus, you can try new pole varieties each year, along with a classic, until you find one that your family loves best. 

Now, let’s talk about a support structure for these pole beans you’ll be growing. Pole bean supports come in a variety of styles, so choose the one that suits your space best. 

A-Frame Bean Trellis

An A-frame pole bean trellis system is one of the most basic ways to provide support for any pole bean plants. These can be purchased commercially or put together at home using wooden stakes or bamboo poles. 

For purchasing pre-made a-frame trellises, check out this metal A-Frame Trellis from Amazon which has great reviews and seems easy to set up. 

For making an a-frame trellis on your own:

Building an A-frame pole bean trellis is a great way to support your climbing beans and maximize garden space. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Materials Needed

  • Two 6-8 feet long wooden poles or bamboo stakes per side (total of four)
  • Garden twine or wire
  • A small piece of wood or metal brace for the top (optional)
  • A rubber mallet or hammer
  • Zip ties or strong twine for securing the top (optional)

Instructions

  1. Select the Location:Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. Ensure there’s enough space for the A-frame to stand and for you to access the plants easily.
  2. Prepare the Poles:Use four poles of equal length (6-8 feet). Bamboo stakes or wooden poles work well. If using bamboo, ensure it’s strong enough to support the weight of the bean vines.
  3. Position the Poles:
    • Step 1: Take two poles and position them so that they form an A-shape. The bottom ends should be about 3 feet apart.
    • Step 2: Cross the top ends of the poles so they overlap by about 6 inches.
  4. Secure the Tops:
    • Option 1: Use strong twine or wire to tie the top ends together where they cross. Wrap the twine tightly and knot it securely.
    • Option 2: For added stability, you can use a small piece of wood or a metal brace to attach the top ends together. Drill holes through the poles and the brace, then screw them together.
  5. Repeat for the Other Side:Repeat the above steps to create the second A-frame structure with the remaining two poles.
  6. Position the A-frames:
    • Place the two A-frames opposite each other in your garden, spaced about 4-6 feet apart (depending on the length of your garden bed).
    • The bottoms of the A-frames should be firmly pressed into the soil for stability. You can use a rubber mallet to gently drive the poles into the ground if needed.
  7. Connect the Tops:To provide additional support, you can run a horizontal pole or strong twine between the tops of the two A-frames. This will help keep the structure stable and prevent it from collapsing inward.
  8. Add Vertical Supports:
    • Run garden twine or wire vertically between the horizontal top support and the ground. These vertical lines should be spaced about 6-8 inches apart to give the beans plenty of climbing space.
    • Secure the twine at the top and anchor it into the soil with garden stakes or small pegs.

Pole Bean Teepee

One popular option for supporting beans in the backyard garden is the bean teepee. This is perfect for raised bed gardens, row gardens, or even several containers. 

Teepees can be made using a number of supplies from bamboo poles, metal stakes, or wooden supports, along with twine or wire. You can find full instructions on how to make your bean teepee here

You can also enlarge the base area of a teepee to create a bean house, which is such fun for kids and adults alike. 

bean teepee

Garden Arch or Obelisk Trellis

For an elegant and practical addition to your garden, consider incorporating a Garden Arch or Obelisk Trellis. Not only do these structures provide the necessary support for your pole beans to thrive, but they also add a visually appealing element to your garden space. 

The curved lines of a garden arch or the vertical height of an obelisk can create a stunning focal point while maximizing growing space for your pole beans. You can choose from a variety of materials such as wood, metal, or even bamboo to complement the style of your garden. 

I personally use this garden obelisk from Amazon, and it’s five years old and still going strong! 

And once you’re finished growing beans, you can trellis any of your favorite vegetables on this more permanent fixture in the home garden. 

3 sisters planting method

Plants that Can Trellis Beans

If you’ve ever heard of the three sisters gardening method, then you may already know that plants can be used to support one another. In the sisters planting method, corn, beans, and squash are grow in a plot together. 

​The squash grows low and wide; the corn grows tall and sturdy, and the pole beans use the corn stalks for their support. This is an old-school method that is still perfect to use today. Be sure to use a bean variety that won’t grow too terribly tall, since you don’t want it to completely overtake the corn. 

​Other trellis options for Pole Beans

Gardeners are often known for using what they have on hand, so don’t be afraid to simply use anything that can take the wind and weather to trellis your beans. Here are some options:

  • Tomato Cages: This would be a solid support for beans that won’t grow as tall. 
  • Cucumber trellis: Typically an A-frame that’s a little lower, this wooden framed support would work perfectly well for beans. 
  • Cattle panel arch: If you have some cattle panels or other long metal grid material, use it along with a few poles to create an easy bean support system.

In conclusion, whether you opt for a single pole trellis, a pole bean teepee, or a garden arch, you’re sure to find a sturdy support system for your pole beans in the garden. By selecting the right trellis option, you can maximize your bean harvest and create a visually appealing garden space. 

Get creative with your trellising methods and watch your pole beans thrive. Remember, a strong support system leads to bountiful rewards in the garden. I’d love to know if you have used other materials for your own pole beans; be sure to comment below and share!