good or bad idea??

subie101June 25, 2009

first year growing beans. but i tried a different way of growing beans, it seemed like it would work in my mind but i'm having doubts as it grows.

i made a "trellis" in a circle maybe an 18" diameter of rolled fence about 5'6" high or so. i cut some holes in the side for hand access. i planted bush lake (about 12) on the inside of the trellis because they bear fruit faster than pole and started them a few weeks early. on the outside i planted Kentucky pole (about 12-15). but the pole have lapped the bush beans pretty badly and seems like the bush beans won't get enough sun. that being said the bush look great, good color but under the leaf canopy of pole beans and the pole are really starting to climb now.


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Do the bush beans get light through the holes? could you cut the holes bigger and let the climbers grow up where it's not cut and still give light to the bush beans. What I would be most concerned about is lack of air circulation to keep fungal diseases away, so cutting the holes bigger could help that way too

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 2:06PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Your idea is basically a good one.

One improvement would be to add another cylinder of fence at the top to make it taller. Many pole beans will exceed eight feet. But there is no need to make it taller than you can reach.

Also, plant only pole beans on the trellis and don't plant so many. I think six plants would be plenty. You will be surprised at what a mass of foliage they will produce.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 6:09PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

I do something similar (with branches) but i put a crop that requires less sun or tolerates less heat on the 'inside'. If you want to do all legumes, perhaps you could extend the pea season by placing bush peas on the inside. You could plant them first, and before the sun gets to them, grow the pole beans, this way you can get peas longer.

I have just harvested potatoes I had in a semi raised bed surrounded by pole beans that started to climb. Now they have covered the whole trellis, but it is warmer, so I just planted carrots there (on the inside), and a little patch of 4 season lettuce on the shadiest part. I might be pushing my luck, we'll see.

I also have a bed that has less dense pole beans and I could put a warmer weather crop on the inside, enough sun gets there. I have not figured out what yet, but I am leaning towards eggplants. Does anyone know a reason not to mix eggplant and pole beans? Right now I have some wanna be brussels sprouts there (no sprouts, they are being harvested for the leaves soon). Hey, I did get a few little cauliflowers though! back to beans....the beans are now surrounding the sprouts, the timing was intended so that the sprouts should have been done already, but this did not work out.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 8:40PM
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