First time growing pole beans

rathbass1April 20, 2007

Hey everybody, first time poster and gardener - wanted to grow some beans, as they are delicious, and pole beans, as they are constant producers. But I have a few questions -

I am curious to know if any type of pole would work for my beans - I have a few 7 foot tall metal poles from a gazeebo my parents broke down, and wanted to know if that would work - or would it be too slick for them to climb?

Also, I think I have read to maybe plant 3 of them around the base of each pole. As I have a smaller garden, I'm only going to have room for about 3 poles, 3 feet apart - how far from the pole should I plant the beans? And how far from each other? Please forgive my ignorance - any help at all will be useful!


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Aahhhhh! Pole Beans! Theres really no work involved at all. Just plants some seeds and wait. Ha yea right! Growing a small CITY in your garden is just that....Creating a structer of what-ever will support sprawling vines that just wont quit growing.....Latice...a pain....Cow fence..less of a pain...Hummmm how about tee-pees?

This year I made some tee-pee types, and plan on wrapping the whole Sha-bang with nylon netting. Not much work there huh? Some others might re-ply with easier methods, but Ive also found that some Teenaged kids lookin to make a little spending money, might also come into play He-he.....

Good luck with this ....but unless your ready to make Raised Bed, Cow Fence structer...Pole Beans are the hardest, labor-intence, workout that you will endure in Ya me anyway....And Good gardenen to Ya

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 9:59PM
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dixielib(z6/7 Ga)

I always grow pole beans and they aren't really that much trouble. Buy some trellis/netting from a garden center and attach it to your three poles. Then make a row of beans about three inches apart, planted just below your netting. If you can't walk by both sides of your row of beans, try to get trellis/netting that has big enough holes to get your hand through to pick the beans that grow on the back of the trellis. A six foot row of beans should give you a "mess" of beans off and on all summer and until frost.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 9:53AM
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how thick are those poles? If they are not thicker than a hoe handle beans will probably climb them. If you chose to use the poles for the actual support, and you notice that the beans aren't climbing them very well, you can run some twine from the top of the pole out to a peg, just off to the side of it. Then beans can then grab onto the string. I've only had this problem once, and that was in NJ, using pretty thick bamboo poles. I'm still not sure why the beans wouldn't climb, as since then, I've used poles just like it, with the same varieties, and they did.

In a truly hot climate I've seen metal poles give problems because they got too hot in the sun and hurt the plants. But you're in zone 6, so I suspect you'll be okay.

Dixielib's idea will get you a lot more beans in a smaller space. It's up to you : ) May you have a bountiful, delicious harvest!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 12:22PM
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This little set-up wasnt that much trouble, or even that much work, Heck I think It looks like crap, but what the Bleep, let em grow.....I love pole beans! Once again they age me 2 years in 1.

Rattlesnakes on the left, Red commy noodles on the right. Bla Bla Bla.....Beans Jee-wiz!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 10:05PM
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First time poster. I have 10x1.5ft left on the back row of my garden and was thinking "beans". I have one trellis that is 3x6ft. Would pole beans grow to be productive if I laid the trellis sideways to get 6ft. width instead of 6ft. tall? It's a low-budget garden and I live alone (don't need bushels of beans, not buying another trellis). I can always find something to plant in the rest of the row if 6ft. height is suggested.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 7:02PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Pole beans really need to grow six feet and then some. I trellis them as high as I can reach and let them flop over the top of that.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:10AM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

Something a city gardener might have that I've made good use of in the past are the cemented-in poles for laundry lines that used to be ubiquitous.

I ran jute twine down to tent stakes and planted my pole beans on that.

A similar arrangement with tent stakes and trellis netting ran up to plant hooks in the porch beams one time -- took up only 8" at the back of the garden bed behind the petunias.

This year I'm using the same arrangement running up to cup hooks embedded in some wood framing on the house's gable ends.

The traditional pole teepee has a certain charm, but trellis is more practical for a small-space gardener. :-)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 5:18PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

Daryl, Here's an old thread Pole Bean Spacing (by Zeedman) with excellent pics and info. Hope it's helpful

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:47PM
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What if you put that trellis, on its side, and attached to some T posts, so that it is at the top of the T post. You could run strings from the bottom to the trellis and get at least 5 foot of height.

How much height a pole bean requires depends, somewhat on the variety. But all things considered equal, I go with 5-6'.

I do have one pole bean, which if given the support, will easily top 10', but the original source often grew it as a half runner, commenting, "It prefers to be sticked." (Translation: It prefers stakes about 3' high)). This same person sometimes grew it with no support; something I would NEVER suggest for the great majority of pole varieties. I haven't gotten up the nerve to try this one without support.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 11:05AM
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I have a bad knee so I grew pole beans in a half barrel at the back of my deck and strung them up with twine looped around the post on the deck. I have 3 barrels and put 4 hills of 4 beans each. I had enough beans for 2 of us and some to give away and freeze. It was neat picking some from the top of the deck.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 7:38PM
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