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I have 6 rows of green beans that have now grown to about 12" in height and I want to give them something to climb.

What is the best method of trellising them?

I was thinking about grabbing some more bamboo stakes (Already use them for tomatoes) and putting one at each end of the row with a string strung across and letting them climb up that. Will this work and if not is there a better way to do it?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The classic method for supporting beans is a line of A-Frames with horizontal poles across the top.

enter image description here

Make the structure somewhat stronger than you think is going to be needed. Consider providing more canes/poles than you have bean plants for extra strength. The full mature bean plants are going to be surprisingly heavy.

In the past, due to shortage of canes, I haven't sometimes built it as strong as I should have. Then found it buckles under the weight of the mature plant, and/or that a strong wind has torn some of it down.

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thanks for the advice my current structure is in no way strong enough. Probably need to get some more cane and build a structure like that. –  wax eagle Jun 12 '11 at 11:34

There's a lot of ways to do this, and I'm not sure there's a wrong way. The green beans will climb whatever you put up. You just need to make sure that once they get bigger that the bamboo stakes will be able to support the combined weight of all the bean plants.

If it were me, I would give each plant something vertical to climb. If the only support your plants have in the middle is a horizontal string it will be a little more difficult to get them to go up on their own (depending on how close together your horizontal strings are). So, I would run some vertical strings too...going from the top to the bottom.

Again, if it were me, I would probably build a lightweight wood frame and run horizontal and vertical strings across it every 5-6 inches.

That being said, people sometimes tell me that I tend to go a little "over-board" when it comes to garden utility structures, so you're bamboo stakes may fine as you described.

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I went overboard myself for my peas this year, using a wooden frame and some leftover rabbit fencing. But at least I know it will put up with anything and will last me a few years. –  MichaelF Jun 12 '11 at 1:10
    
@michaelf: That's how I look at it too. I like to be able to use the same stuff over again. –  Shane Jun 12 '11 at 3:16

I have used a steel mesh (approx 3m wide by 1.5m high) that was hanging around in our yard when we bought our house. About 15cm worth of mesh is poked into the soil and then I tied it to four wooden stakes I'd hammered in deeper. I hope it works, as it's my first time growing climbing beans since I was a kid. I'll take a picture when I get a chance and attach.

PS: Hope you don't mind an out of season answer (but it's in season now for Antipodeans).

Update: Picture below

Steel mesh will be used to trellis navy beans

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