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    How to Make a Bean Teepee for Your Pole Beans

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    How to Make a Bean Teepee for Your Pole Beans

    I love growing beans, but bean trellises can be cumbersome and difficult to build. Bean teepees, on the other hand, are a creative and efficient means of supporting your pole beans. And they’re easy to build!

    Pole beans need to twine some kind of a support or pole, so giving them a teepee to grow on will make a nice addition to your garden. Beans germinate and grow quickly, so it won’t take long to enjoy your work!

    In this article, we’ll talk about how to build a bean teepee for your pole beans. We’ll also talk about the best types of beans for your bean teepee and the supplies you’ll need to build it. Finally, we give you some of the great benefits for why you may want to build a bean teepee of your own. But first, let’s take a look at what a bean teepee really is.

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    What is a bean teepee?


    A bean teepee uses a teepee-shaped frame as a support for your pole beans. As the bean plants grow, they twine up and around the teepee frame, creating a shade cover that looks like a teepee. Bean teepees can be pretty much any size you want, depending on the space you have available and the number of plants you wish to grow.

    The best pole beans for your bean teepee


    You can use just about any pole bean or runner bean on your teepee. Bush beans won’t grow tall enough, so don’t choose bush bean varieties. Instead, try some fun, interesting beans, especially if you have kids! You might want to try some of these heirloom varieties:

    Supplies needed for your bean teepee


    You really don’t need a lot of supplies when you build your teepee. In fact, you can use just two things: poles and string. But, of course, you’ll need your favorite pole bean seeds, too. And you may need some garden amendments if your soil isn’t great.

    • Poles. These could be bamboo, PVC, garden stakes, or even something that is lightweight aluminum. You don’t need to go out and buy fancy poles if you don’t want to. Just don’t use anything too heavy and make sure it is safe. Smaller teepees only need 3 or 4 poles, but if you want larger teepees, you may want to use as many as 10. Most pole beans grow 6 to 8 feet tall, so this is a good height to make your teepee. Also, if you want more space between your vines, you can use fewer poles, but if you want your teepee to be more solid, use some additional poles to fill it in.
    • String or twine. You’ll need string or twine to keep the tops of the poles together.
    • Pole bean seeds
    • A sunny space in your garden or yard
    • Soil amendments, such as compost or organic matter

    How to Build Your Bean Teepee

    1. Find the best spot for your teepee. Choose a location that gets full sun with well-draining soil. Beans can tolerate a little bit of light shade, especially in hot climates.
    2. Prepare your soil. Turn over your soil and mix in plenty of aged compost, just like you would for pole beans or bush beans.
    3. Lay your poles down in a neat pile. Wrap your twine around the top of the poles, about 6-inches to a foot from the top of the poles. Wrap the twine around tightly and then tie it off so that it holds the poles together in a bundle.
    4. Lift the poles as a single unit and stand them up in the center of your space. You may need two people to do this. One person can steady the poles while the other works on the next step.
    5. Pull the bottom of one pole out at a time to make a leg of the teepee and push it into the soil. Work your way through all of the poles, making sure they are evenly spaced and creating that rounded teepee shape. Make sure your teepee is sturdy. You can add more twine at the top if needed.
    6. Direct sow your bean seeds 1 inch deep around the base of the teepee frame. Plant one row of beans on the inside of the teepee, approximately 3-inches apart. Plant a second row on the outside of the teepee, also three inches apart.
    7. Keep the soil damp but not soggy while the beans germinate and begin to grow. It takes about 7 to 10 days for the beans to germinate.
    8. You may need to train the beans up the poles as they grow.

    Bean Teepee Benefits


    Why should you build a bean teepee? There are plenty of reasons you might want to put one – or several – in your yard or garden.

    • Bean teepees make great use of vertical space. They are an efficient use of space in small gardens, so if you don’t have a lot of room to grow beans, you might want to try a teepee instead of a trellis.
    • Easy to harvest beans. You’ll be able to pick beans inside and outside the teepee, making them easy to reach.
    • Creates shade for cool-loving crops. If you don’t grow the teepee too thickly, you can use it to provide mottled shade for cool weather crops such as lettuces.
    • It’s a fun hiding spot for kids. If you have kids, they may just love playing in the shade of your bean teepee. It’ll make a cool hiding spot that also grows food!

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      2 thoughts on “How to Make a Bean Teepee for Your Pole Beans”

      1. Nice article, thanks. I noticed the pics using tree branches as poles, and it prompted me to mention that I have used natural vines and thin roots for lashing things occasionally, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here as well.

        If we lash the poles while snuggly together, then when we spread them out it will make a good tight wrapping. And as long as they aren’t TOO thin, they ought to hold up for at least one season.


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