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Simple trellis for green beans

 
Posts: 3
Location: Between Tacoma and Mt Rainier in the Pacific Northwest
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Mike Jay wrote:Hi James, welcome to Permies!  I've done the sunflower stalk bean trellis for a couple years now.  It's nice to be able to grow my own bamboo replacement.  I haven't tried teepees yet but I use them with t posts and wire.

I put a 7.5' t post about every 8 feet in the row.  Then I run old electrical wire along the tops of the posts. Then I lean the sunflower stalks against the wire.  Lastly I use twine and tie the sunflowers to the wire.  That is the least efficient part of the process, I need to figure out a way to make that go easier.  But it does allow for different cool patterns.  In this photo I did a crisscrossing pattern.  Another year I had them start at the middle and flare out as they hit the wire.  One of these years I'll put the t posts and wire in one row and lean the sunflowers over to it from the next row over.  Maybe get a tunnel of beans going.



That's genius!  I've been trying to think of what to use for my trellis this year and at the same time I've been kicking around all the sunflower stalks that I just left lying in the garden after I pulled them up.  
 
pioneer
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Ten years later and your post is still helping people!!  Many Thanks for this.  
 
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Omg, I am loving this.   Thank you so much for sharing. I will try this next time ❤️
 
Posts: 108
Location: Indiana
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For peas I use the metal "T" posts and about 20 ft of the small opening fencing (grid is approx. 2" X 3") and it works great and is more or less permanent.

For climbing tomatoes, pole beans, and gourds I bought 3 ea of the 4 ft wide X 16 ft long heavy duty Cattle Panels and built three arbors spaced about 4 ft apart. These also work great and are more or less permanent. First, I lay out the pattern for the 4 ft bottom width of the panels and I stake each of those on the 4 corners with "T" posts also. I then pick up one end of a long panel and holding that end walk to the other end and then stand it up vertically with the rounded end up. It is easy to "walk" that in between the fence posts and set it in place, but, about 6" up off the ground. This makes an arbor between 7 ft and 8 ft high. Super strong also as I can hold myself up grasping both sides of the arch.

For my freshly replanted and new Blueberries I have about 5 ft in width a series of PVC hoops placed into PVC Sockets set to soil level. Slip one end in and leave in sun for a while then slowly bend the other end down and into its socket. My run is about 22 ft. long. I have an old 4 ft wide burlap covering just the top part of the hoops so the direct 11:00 am to 3:00 pm overhead sun doesn't dry out my plants before they get good rooting going. In winter I've placed a tighter weave tunnel cover over the plants and it works well to give the plants some protection from freezing temps and wind.
 
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I used three sisters, fence, bamboo tripod & wire cages. I use cotton string, never nylon, because cotton will conpost with the vines, nylon is impossble to remove from vines.
I like three sisters with sunflower, bean ideal, have not tried it yet.
 
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Location: Tampa area, Florida - zone 9a
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I have a variation to add to this.  I strung jute in between some of my papayas to form a trellis.  So far, so good!
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Posts: 59
Location: NW Arkansas
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I like to interplant pole beans with corn or okra.
 
Posts: 53
Location: Western PA
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paul wheaton wrote:I was thinking about using baling twine until you mentioned composting all of it.  That makes the baling twine idea not so good.



This year I went with hemp. It stands up to UV radiation pretty well. Whether it stands up to the rest of western PA’s pollution, I’ll have to see. One of the properties the industrial hemp producers tout is UV protection for your skin if wearing garments made with hemp fabric. Colored twine will fade but from past use, the problem I see is from wind, and the constant rubbing of the twine at attachment points. That seems to be the weak point.
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Joe Grand
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Forget the Running beans, I want the papayas trees here in zone 8a, S.C.
 
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Location: Upper Midwest USA
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Four our climbing beans we assemble 6 12ft tall scissor supports (two 12' 1x4's with one bolt near the top) spaced. The stance is about 3 ft wide at bottom. We space the scissor supports every 10 feet along two of our 50 foot garden row, one leg in each row so using two garden rows. We lay long 12+ foot maple poles across the top and wire them tight to the scissors support boards. One or two guy lines to keep the whole 50' monstrosity from tipping/leaning is advisable. Then we have a bunch of roughly 24' sections of galvanized wire, looped and loosely twisted through a single hole in a 1ft wooden stake at each end. you hammer one in, toss the other end over the top pole, and hammer it in. The beans climb the wire great, it's very sturdy (we had plenty of breakage and mending the first year we tried using natural twine. In this style one trellis is supporting beans form both sides for a lot of volume so you have a long triangle tunnel of foliage you can climb through for example. At end of season, you can simply release the wire form on of your ground stakes ( leave the other staked in) and slide/pull all the vines off the free end of the smooth wire and go straight to the compost with it all, and use the wire for years.
 
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Neat Nathan, could you post a few pictures?  Sounds like a good set-up.
 
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Location: Ontario
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My daughter and I put in a bean pole teepee this year. Was saving poles to make a regular teepee just don't have anything to cover it. We used some bird netting at the bottom in an attempt to keep animals away.
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Bean pole teepee
Bean pole teepee
 
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Location: Azusa Ca.
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I found an old brass bed headboard and put it in the garden. Honestly it was so I could set up for who Pea'd the bed jokes.
 
Jesse Glessner
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Jesse Glessner wrote:For peas I use the metal "T" posts and about 20 ft of the small opening fencing (grid is approx. 2" X 3") and it works great and is more or less permanent.

 
pollinator
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- Zone 5a
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James Sullivan wrote:My daughter and I put in a bean pole teepee this year. Was saving poles to make a regular teepee just don't have anything to cover it. We used some bird netting at the bottom in an attempt to keep animals away.



That is so beautiful! I'm inspired to find the right kind of poles and do this next year.

I used the bird netting over my strawberry plants one summer, and after we returned from a few-day getaway, I came back to find a bird had gotten in, but not able to get out again, and had died. It broke my heart a little. Yours might be set up better for possible escape, but I personally decided that day I'd rather share some of my harvest with the critters.
 
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Great post! Thank you so much!
 
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Location: Eastern Connecticut
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James Sullivan wrote:My daughter and I put in a bean pole teepee this year.



What a fun project! I did the same with my daughter last weekend. Had pulled down a few standing dead pole trees in the spring and set out to dry in the sun. Chopped them up in 7' lengths and made it into a tee-pee trellis! Currently has a passion flower on one leg, and the other legs we're deciding on what beans, veggies, flowers, etc. to grow. I hung up some japanese knot weed branches to act as shade before the crops grow, so my daughter can still use it to hang out and read in during the summer.  
 
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Location: New England
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Our old trellises were made of pieces from a TV anntena and paperback spinners cages. They kept collapsing. Then I  found metal screen panels at an antique store. These had square tubing frames. DH screwed them on the bottom to pieces of 4 x 4s and made rebar spikes to push them in the ground. Worked, until they rusted. However they were HEAVY and not suitable for my older self...

Found some smaller metal panels at the dump. I’ve been using these for the past 2-3 years.

Thanks for the reminder! The problem in 2020 was that because these have no footing, they want to collapse. I’ll get DH to make them feet, like the old ones...
 
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Weaving one of these willow "obelisks" might work for peas/beans. Peas tend to like thinner things to climb up, so maybe add vertical strings if using for peas. But, I think beans would love them! (They might be good at containing tomatoes, too!)

 
Posts: 57
Location: Zone 5ish, Ontario, CA
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Great ideas, simple as can be. I do love Sepp Holzer's story of his mother picking out a nice dead branch and driving it into the ground as a trellis for peas. Can't get much simpler than that! I've got lots of english ivy going wild on the side of the house - I was thinking I might be able to strip it back and use lengths of it in place of the string in this design.
 
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I needed a LOT of trellis space. It had to be cheap, fast, and able to handle strong winds. It took some experimenting, but below is a photo of what I eventually came up with. (The angle makes it look weedier than it was. Ignore that part.)

I started with PVC pipes, 10' long and 1/2" diameter. Used a coupling to attach them in pairs to make them 20' long.

Rebar stakes, 24" long, were pounded into the ground 7.5' apart. The hoops were overlapped so that the ends of any given hoop were 15' apart. This meant the peak of each hoop was roughly 5' tall, making it easy for me to reach the top.

When the line of hoops was in place, I attached heavy-duty deer netting. The netting was 7' tall, so I just folded over the excess. I did learn it's best to position the netting so there's a few inches of excess netting at the bottom as well. That makes it easier to secure the edges.

The first ones were held together with zip ties. Every year I try to use more reusable garden ties, but there are still a lot of trellises that end up using zip ties.

If I'm really careful taking them apart, the netting can be reused the next year. So far I haven't had to throw out any netting. Eventually, I'll have some that use wire mesh instead of plastic netting, because I plan to grow vining perennials such as grapes and kiwi. But the ones that get taken down at the end of the year, I'll probably stick with the netting, because it's easier to wrestle with.

This trellis design has turned out to be much stronger than I expected. Some of my squash vines decided to invade my pole bean patch, and there were squash hanging from these hoops that were at least 20 pounds! It also held up under a freak storm that produced hurricane-force winds. The hoops sprang right back up like nothing had happened, no matter which direction the winds hit them from!

So, even though this design uses evil plastic, if you need a trellis that is cheap, strong, and quick to put up, this is a possible option.
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