How to Build a Trellis for Green Beans
In the garden, the best way to grow green beans is to use some sort of trellis. You can build one out of lumber or PVC, but the cost tends to be prohibitive. Instead of building something complicated, build a simple trellis that can be taken down after the growing season and stored away. All you need are some wooden stakes, and a heavy-duty twine, and your greens beans will take care of the rest.
Notes about Bean Poles
You can make your bean poles out of many different materials. 2 x 2 wooden stakes are popular, but you can use whatever materials you have available. Each pole should be 4 to 5 feet in length, but there are not many other requirements, except that the pole is able to hold the weight of climbing beans. PVC is often cut into sections, and some people use Safe-T posts. For convenience, affordability and many repeated uses, PVC is the lightest and most durable choice.
Step 1: Grooving Bean Poles
To grow green beans using this simple trellis, cut grooves into the poles. Make the first groove 18 to 24 inches from the bottom of the pole, and subsequent grooves every 6 to 10 inches. For wood and PVC, cut the grooves about 1/8 inch deep. Safe-T posts already have suitable places to attach twine. If you are using some other type of pole, use the same distance, and modify the grooving process to match the materials being used.
Step 2: Placing Bean Poles
A bean trellis consists of poles driven into the ground along a straight line over or just beside a row of beans. The poles should be no more than 10 feet apart, but can be as close as necessary. Additional posts may be installed later in the season if needed. To get the best support, place the poles about 5 feet apart, and drive them 12 inches into the soil.
Step 3: Install Twine
Tie the twine to one end of the line, and extend it along the row, tying each post at the groove line. The purpose for the grooves is to hold the twine in place as plants grow heavier. Instead of sliding down the side of a smooth post, the twine will remain locked in place.
Step 4: After the Growing Season
Once the growing season has ended, pull all of the old bean plants off the trellis. Beans are climbing plants and will have tendrils that must be pulled loose. If you pull away the main plant and allow the trellis to stand for a few days, the remaining pieces will become dry, and pull off easily. Start at one end, and pull the poles up, rolling them onto the twine as you go. The resulting bundle can be stored in a shed or other dry place until the following planting season.