Building a Garden Teepee for Vine Plants

What You'll Need
(8) Bamboo poles, 10 feet long long
Zip tie, 14 inches long
Rubber mallet
Step ladder
White chalk
Planting soil
Plant seeds

Build a garden teepee to raise any type of clinging vine vegetables, like beans, tomatoes or peas. The following steps will show you how to build a garden teepee trellis using bamboo, but you can use PVC or standard wooden poles if you prefer.

Step 1 - Creating the Trellis Trench

Place a stake in the center of the area where you want your teepee trellis. Measure and cut a 4-foot 2-inch long piece of string. Tie one end of the string to the stake and the other to the chalk. Pull the string tight and walk in a circle around the pole, marking the ground with the chalk as you go. When the ends meet, remove the stake and discard the string and chalk.

Along the chalk path, use a spade to excavate a trench 3 inches deep and 2 inches wide. Do not worry about it being level.

Step 2 - Forming the Teepee Trellis

Begin laying out the bamboo poles around the excavated circle. Place one pole at one end of the circle and a second one directly across from it, keeping the end of the poles outside the circle. Place another set of poles at the opposite end and then fill in the spaces between them. Imagine you are creating a crude drawing of the sun with rays.

Climb a step stool and hammer one of the poles 2 feet into the ground and at a slight angle. It doesn't have to be perfect as the ground will give when you bind the poles together. Continue hammering the poles into the ground, always working with the poles directly across from one another.

All of the poles should be touching. Wrap the zip tie around the poles 6 inches from the top and pull it very tight. Clip off the excess plastic.

Fill in the trench with the dirt you removed from digging it out, and tamp it down to help secure the poles.

The teepee trellis is now finished and you can begin using it.

Step 3 - Using the Teepee Trellis

Remember that this trellis only works with plants that cling, such as kudzu, tomato plants, bean pods and peas.

Make a small mound with the potting soil on the outside of the circle behind each pole. Plant about 5 seeds in a circle within the mound. Water it and wait for the plants to flower, then remove the 2 smallest from each mound. As the plants grow, begin wrapping them around the poles to train them to ascend the trellis.