Building A Better Bean Trellis


It sure is an easy way to build a trellis for beans. You just put a stick horizontally in the top and tie everything together in the joints. You let each of the 10 plants run up each bamboo stick and it will soon look like this:

The problem is that the beans are hanging inside this monster, like in the drawing below, looking in from the side of the bed:

Reaching in, finding the beans and cutting them loose is hard to do. (Having a cat hiding inside the bush pretending you are a bird is also kind of problematic – it will cost you some blood unless you’re wearing gloves ;-) ).

A better way to build a bean trellis is like this: (and this is now seen from the end of the bed)

This will cost you 5 more bamboo sticks and one more hour of building but harvesting beans will be much easier. And the yield will even be a little higher since you’ll be able to grow beans on the horizontal sticks too plus more sun will reach the leaves.

Update 2009-02-28 20:24:

Another drawing seen from the corner of the bed:

(Totally Commodore 64 graphics, I can’t help it ;-) )

The top horizontal sticks with beans are not on the drawing, just to keep it more simple.

Are my drawings making any sense to you? Please let me know in the comments section below.

Update 2010-02-04:

Adele sent me the following two photos of a new beautiful bean trellis that her husband built according to the trellis plans above:

The palm leaves on top of the trellis in the second photo is for shade during midday. The trellis is 3 feet by 12 feet (90 cm x 4 m). Rocks are used instead of planks as sides for the raised bed below, since termites are common in this particular location. Yard beans and pickling cucumbers have been planted – the bush near the end is basil.

Very nice! :-D

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8 thoughts on “Building A Better Bean Trellis

  1. Help! I am trying to understand your drawing here! how would this work in a row?? My beans are going to be in two rows…about 12 ” long…I dont really understand ,,,would I have to do this at EVERY set of plants????

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  4. So how many seeds do you plant around each pole? Do you also plant seeds around the horizontal poles? could you use wood instead of bamboo? How do you secure the poles into the soil?

  5. @Mary: Just 1 seed by each pole. You could try 1 seed per horizontal pole, but I find that runner beans can’t really figure out how to grow in a horizontal direction (which seems weird). Using wooden sticks instead of bamboo is great too. If your trellis is built in a windy place you’ll probably have to secure it to the ground with strings, like you would secure a tent.
    Different types of trellises can be found in my ebook – check out this blog post: http://happyfarming.com/2010/10/08/get-my-ebook-and-email-newsletter-for-free/
    More about wind: http://happyfarming.com/2010/08/26/wind-and-blight/

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