Vertical Garden: Make a Teepee for Your Climbing Beans

 

Warmer soil means it is now time to plant beans in many areas. Climbing beans are quick growing and produce many pods over many weeks for regular picking making them very rewarding to grow. For an alternative to the traditional growing style, why not try a bean teepee?

Basket of mixed climbing beans.

 

Bean Teepees offer a quick convenient way to offer support for climbing or pole beans.

Unlike traditional ridge supported beans, the rounded profile of a tepee means it’s less likely to catch the wind, making it a wise choice for more exposed locations.

You can use almost anything to make your bean tepee; light-weight aluminium or PVC pipes are super durable, while hazel poles offer a natural sustainable option. Bamboo canes are most commonly used for this type of support.

 

Prepare the Ground

Proper soil preparation is essential for strong plants and great harvest. Peas and beans naturally fix nitrogen at their roots, but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a rich fertile soil.

It is good to plant your beans in a spot that gets at least 5 hours of direct sunshine a day.

 

Build your Bean Teepee

The diameter and height of you teepee is up to you, a wide and tall structure can provide enough room within the tepee to serve as a green hiding hole for children.

Aim for a width of at least 3 ft/1 m and set the poles or canes at least 1 ft /30cm apart.

Once the height of your canes selected, push them 6inches/15cm into the ground to anchor them firmly into place. You don’t want your tepee to blow over!

A good way to get an even circle is to use a garbage can lid or a similar object as a guide.

Once the canes are in, tie a piece of string on one of the canes at the top. Then flex the next cane in towards it and tie it into place. Continue tying in the canes until they are all secured at the centre.

To help the beans get a grip at the tepee, tie string horizontally across the canes.

 

Mr-Fothergills-create-your-own-bean-teepee

Plant the Bean Teepee

You could just sow two bean seeds per cane then thin the weakest of the two seedlings to allow the strongest to grow on. Or plant young plants if you are more impatient. For this, dig a hole, put the plant into position and place the soil firmly around the root bulb.

Encourage young plants upwards, by leaning them against the canes and loosely tying them in. Once they settled, they should find their own way up.

Water your beans after planting and keep the soil moist to encourage steady growth.

Check your tepee every couple of days and pick any pods you find that are big enough. Keep on picking and the beans will keep on coming.

 

 

These are just a few tips and ideas to help you create your bean teepee in your garden. If you are planning your own, or would like to share your favourite bean variety with us, comment below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter page.

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