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Vegetable Gardening: Pole Bean and Cucumber Support Ideas

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Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 57, Views: 897
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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 5, 2011
9:15 AM

Post #8541434

I'm looking for some new ideas on pole bean and cucumber support.

For years I've used a standard tee pee for the beans. The past few years I've used a ladder type system for the cukes. But I'm looking to possibly switch things up this year.

So, bring on the pictures!
toni5735
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 5, 2011
1:26 PM

Post #8541865

Hi Mrs_Ed, I grew pole beans last year on some bird netting. I used 4 (8ft.) tomato stakes (the thick green ones you can find at Home Depot or Lowes) and stretched bird netting between them. The stakes were stuck in the ground approx. 1-1/2ft. apart and then a fifth stake was secured with zip ties across the top to hold everything together. It was kind of a makeshift fence panel. We had to secure the top stake to the garage with some string for stability. It was our first year and first attempt at growing pole beans and it worked. The only problem was that I had to seed the beans twice b/c the first time they germinated and then promptly died b/c of damping off (I think). The second seeding took.

The only pic I have is one with the beans already growing to the top; didn't think to take one of the structure itself.

Thumbnail by toni5735
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 5, 2011
1:38 PM

Post #8541895

WOW, those are some healthy beans! I wonder about bird netting, if there will be beans "behind" that are out of reach. Did you find this to be a problem?
toni5735
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 5, 2011
1:51 PM

Post #8541925

We had a little room to walk behind the "wall" but for the most part, the beans were mostly in front and up high. I let any beans that were out of reach dry on the vine for dried beans.
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2011
1:53 PM

Post #8541932

I tried to prevent not being able to get to the beans on the back side by doing this.

Thumbnail by hrp50
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 5, 2011
3:51 PM

Post #8542195

is that two rows?
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2011
9:16 PM

Post #8542966

Toni ~ did you salvage the bird netting to re use?

This year I made a signboard type of cattlepanel trellis. No photo as the beans aren't covering it yet.

And a lady in town had her son make a cattle panel arch. It was mentioned in Texas Gardener. They can walk under (through) it which allows them to pick what is hanging down in the shade.


Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 6, 2011
4:17 AM

Post #8543238

I would love to have the space to do that.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 6, 2011
6:53 AM

Post #8543451

I take 5-6 ft wire fencing which has been sprayed with green plastic (much lighter than regular fencing) and place it into a horseshoe shape. The beans are planted on the outside and inside. I use 3 stakes to moor it - one in the middle curve and one each on the ends. The whole things takes up about just a 1 1/2 square ft. area and gives us green and yellow filet beans all summer. I leave it up and reuse it every year.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 6, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8543477

so, how tall does it end up being?

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 6, 2011
7:08 AM

Post #8543509

We use 8' bamboo poles and place them upright, further bracing them with bamboo poles top and bottom. Then we string twine up and down in a W pattern for the beans to climb. This year we added a tall metal fence post in the middle of each of the two spans to provide further strengthen them because last year our fence run was long and the poles kept falling over under the weight of the vegetation. This year the bean fencing is on rows that are about 13' long, so we used a bamboo on either end with a metal stake in the middle. The fenced section is about five feet tall but the twine doesn't start until about five inches up from the ground.

This message was edited May 6, 2011 10:10 AM
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 6, 2011
7:12 AM

Post #8543515

It's about 6 ft because I hang the fence off the ground to gain some more inches. The beans reach for the first rung.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 6, 2011
8:41 AM

Post #8543687

All very helpful! Thanks.
toni5735
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 6, 2011
7:07 PM

Post #8544772

Wow, aren't we a crafty and resourceful group of pole bean architects! LOL!!!


podster, yes, we did save the bird netting. It took a little extra time getting all the dried vines down b/c we didn't want to tear the netting but got it done. I actually found the package of netting at a garage sale for $1.00 a few years back and had extra tomato stakes so it was low cost for us.

Toni

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 7, 2011
5:55 AM

Post #8545292

I think I've decided on what to do. I'm going to build a small raised planter and run the netting (might get deer fencing) up the side of the garage, Like Toni. I've been looking for something to do in that small space anyway. This will free up my veggie raised bed for the cucumbers and other items.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2011
12:55 PM

Post #8546002

I raise my cucumbers the same way I do the pole beans - just bend a 5 - 6 ft wire fencing into a small circle, cut some of the wires and bend back to make holes, attach a couple of poles (bamboo is fine) and let the cucumbers run up the outside and inside. You can reach in through your holes to harvest! Doesn't take much space - again about 1 + sq ft.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2011
2:39 PM

Post #8546182

I'd love to see a photo, gardadore. It's a little hard to picture...
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 7, 2011
4:51 PM

Post #8546400

I'll take one tomorrow! I'm not very adept at posting photos on DG so maybe it's time I learned!!
VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2011
10:05 AM

Post #8575777

I grow everything in containers, and just figured out how to trellis my cucumber and squash plants. For the cucumbers, I connected three small fan trellises at the corners in this self-watering container. There are two plants, one each of Lemon cucumber and Salad Bush.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2011
10:09 AM

Post #8575785

Here's the squash trellis, a 6 ft. ladder trellis that I tied to the container with nylon rope.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2011
10:10 AM

Post #8575787

Here's a closer view. With the three lashings on each side, it seems pretty sturdy. This is a Gardener's Supply Patio Planter (same size as the tomato success kit), and I just drilled 4 holes in each corner to thread the ropes through. One squash plant on each side: Papaya Pear and Gold Rush yellow.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 20, 2011
2:16 PM

Post #8576134

Here's mine... I'm growing Blue Lake Green beans and Alderman peas... but I'm sure it would work for cucumbers also. I tied three pieces of twine to each rib, and attached it to a stake laid on the ground. The peas are about 1/3 of the way up now, beans about 1/4 of the way...

Thumbnail by happygirl345
Click the image for an enlarged view.

happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 20, 2011
2:17 PM

Post #8576135

Here's the other umbrella stand...

Thumbnail by happygirl345
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2011
8:42 AM

Post #8577487

ooo, i love that idea. and I have an old umbrella like that. I should try it for cukes. Can you take a picture of the stake on the ground?
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 21, 2011
8:04 PM

Post #8578483

Great ideas - I love the umbrella. I finally took some photos of my cages but I have so much fencing because of "critters" that it may be hard to focus in on the details. Here goes! The first photo is of the pole bean fence which is 5 foot wire bent into a horseshoe shape. The thin green stake is holding the back where it curves and the shorter metal green ones are on either side of the front. I literally hung the fence on the two front ones and attached with electric wire. The next photo will show that more clearly.

Thumbnail by gardadore
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 21, 2011
8:10 PM

Post #8578493

In this next one I have a close up showing how the fencing is "hung" on the metal stake. I obviously haven't planted any beans yet and have to dig up the muscari bulbs which have become invasive in this garden!

This message was edited May 21, 2011 11:12 PM

Thumbnail by gardadore
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 21, 2011
8:18 PM

Post #8578519

The cucumber fence is the same material except that I made a circular cage, attached a thin green stake on one side and fastened it at the bottom with the 6" cloth staples. You can also make longer ones from metal hangers which would probably hold more firmly but this works. Then I cut holes in it so I can reach in and get cukes that are inside the cage. To do this you make 4 cuts where the wires cross. You will then be holding a metal cross in your hand. Just bend back the leftover wires. Hopefully you can see how I bend them back more clearly in the next one.

Thumbnail by gardadore
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 21, 2011
8:22 PM

Post #8578530

This is a close up of one of the spaces I created. Hopefully you can see how the 4 cut wires have been bent back. I spaced these all over the cage on each side. If you cut too many of them it will weaken the cage.

Thumbnail by gardadore
Click the image for an enlarged view.

LizaMouse
Covington, LA
(Zone 8b)

May 29, 2011
3:55 PM

Post #8595135

I don't have any suggestions but this is the first year I've planted pole beans and I do have a question. It's probably a really silly question too. Before my beans are tall enough to reach the poles the stems are falling over and breaking off. Is this a problem? I assume (like most other plants) more stems will just come from the sides but as I know zip about beans, I'm not sure.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2011
4:26 PM

Post #8595193

oh, that's not good. I'd plant more, and attach them to a stake before they reach your support.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2011
4:56 PM

Post #8595252

Maybe your support doesn't begin close enough to the ground? My fencing starts about six inches up and sometimes I have to give the growing tendrils a hand at first, but once they connect with it they're fine.
LizaMouse
Covington, LA
(Zone 8b)

May 29, 2011
5:08 PM

Post #8595281

Well rats. I guess I'll plant some more. It took these forever to come up but once they did they grew so fast that they got away from me before I realized what was happening. So it's just one long stalk? No branches?

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2011
5:55 PM

Post #8595396

I don't really know if it's only one leader or not. You'll have to see how it goes. but I'd still plant new ones since you have a nice long growing season anyway.

LizaMouse
Covington, LA
(Zone 8b)

May 29, 2011
8:18 PM

Post #8595677

I did more reading and it looks like I didn't plant nearly enough of them anyway. There wasn't much information on the Burpee seed packet. Thank you for the help. I'm going to plant some more and I'll be ready for them this time!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 30, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8596108

When I plant bush beans, I usually plant a couple of succession crops. But since Pole beans produce more, and are indeterminate, I don't always feel the need to do that. However I thought this year I would plant a second crop.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 1, 2011
6:36 PM

Post #8602738

I wove some strands of cotton twine from leg to leg, pretty close to the ground, for some Snow Peas to get their first leg up.

If I was doing it again, I would leave some "sag" in that bottow row of string, so the first step wasn;t as hard.

But once one gets a fingerhold, its neighbors seem to lean on it to get to the main part of the support.

it may be my imagination, but they seemed to be growing awfully slowly while lying on the ground. Once up in the air, they seem to be growing faster.

Or the nights and days got warmer at the same time!

Corey
LizaMouse
Covington, LA
(Zone 8b)

June 1, 2011
7:55 PM

Post #8602978

I planted them again. It's sure hot here . 102 for the high and not supposed to get out of the 80s tonight. If it's heat they want, they should be happy. My veggies this year are in a hay bale garden. Last year by this time the garden was under water so this year I did hay bales and we are, of course, in a drought. I'm afraid to open the mailbox because the water bill might be in there and I'm not sure I'm emotionally prepared.

At any rate, due to the bales, my teepees are square and I made a big X really low to help the vines reach the poles. They're on their own from here.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 2, 2011
5:15 AM

Post #8603435

awesome! I often use sticks or stakes to get vines to the fence. I still haven't gotten a cucumber trellis in place. I tried the umbrella method shown above, but the umbrella is too huge for my 4 x 8 raised bed, LOL.


Update:
I saw a picture that uses only the TOP of the umbrella. That works great for me, as far as size. Mine is a little more ragged then in this image though!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aga_mum/3636664009/in/photostream/



This message was edited Jun 2, 2011 12:21 PM
LizaMouse
Covington, LA
(Zone 8b)

June 2, 2011
7:14 PM

Post #8605131

That is a GREAT idea to use just the top. But it would be a little big for a hay bale too! I didn't plant cucumbers even though I do like them. I planted a ton of squash and okra though. I wish I had originally done several small raised beds but I didn't anticipate the drainage problem. I hear things grow really well in them.
cinski
Terrace
Canada

June 2, 2011
10:59 PM

Post #8605492

We have a wood frame with nails in the top. We put tent pegs in the ground and put strinp between the nails and the tent posts. Works great!
cin

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
7:43 AM

Post #8606003

Here's my umbrella. notice the decorative duct tape!

Thumbnail by Mrs_Ed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 3, 2011
8:13 AM

Post #8606037

Are all the patio umbrellas made with wooden ribs?

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
8:32 AM

Post #8606069

No, I think the wooden ones are called "market style". I happened to have this old broken one that I used sometimes when doing work outside. My other one is metal.
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 3, 2011
10:30 AM

Post #8606199

Oh! I forgot - I also have cucumbers on an old trellis... the plants are still small, so I'm not sure how they will do... I pushed three of those green metal stakes into the ground about 18 inches, then used zip ties to afix the trellis to the stakes.

Thumbnail by happygirl345
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
11:12 AM

Post #8606266

Good Grief does THAT look nice. look at that drip irrigation!
happygirl345
Pleasant Hill, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 3, 2011
11:59 AM

Post #8606329

Why THANK you... no wonder I wasn't on DG for months...

The good news is that next year, I will simply need to move the legume watering scheme (looped soaker hoses) to the brassica bed (drip), and move the brassica watering scheme to the curcurbit scheme (as you can see - looped soaker hoses).

I was actually SO determined to never have to deal with watering again, I build all of my beds to accomodate the same size hoses. They all look different, but they are all the same length!

It will be so fun to just unscrew the hoses from one bed and move them to the other!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
12:11 PM

Post #8606353

That's really quite impressive.
IowaAnn
Elkhart, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 12, 2011
8:25 AM

Post #8804967

Happygirl, I'd love to hear more about your looped soaker hoses. I'm with you and want to never have to deal with watering! Where did you get your drip hose?
TXbabybloomer
Dayton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 16, 2011
4:39 PM

Post #8811451

When I lived in the PNW I always grew my pole beans with my corn. It always worked as a great trellis. But since moving to Texas, I think I better take some notes here. lol I don't know if beans and corn grow at the same time here. I'm growing my 1st vegetable garden (in TX) this Fall.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

September 17, 2011
6:02 PM

Post #8812696

Saving this thread for future reference!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2012
2:15 PM

Post #9069880

Bump!

Did ya'll have any AFTER pictures of the beans and cukes growing ON the trellises above?

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2012
6:36 PM

Post #9070196

hmmm,

Well mine took off all over the place; I had to put extra fence support. I'l have to go taller this year somehow


But I don't have a final picture, but this was it mid way.

Thumbnail by Mrs_Ed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TXbabybloomer
Dayton, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 5, 2012
1:28 PM

Post #9070934

This will be my first year on my new homestead to plant lots of beans. Money is kind of tight after paying cash for the new place. I wanted something similar to the cattle panel tunnel trellis, so I used a roll of cement strengthening wire and lots of rebar (both of which I already had) to make a similar trellis. It's 35 feet long and 8 feet high. Beans were planted on it 3 days ago, and are already popping out of the ground. I planted several different varieties, and the Chinese long beans and the red yard long ones are already putting on their first leaves! (I soaked all of the beans in water with H2O2 before planting them.) I'll try to get a photo posted soon. I am so far out, that my only connection is a very slow dial-up, and it takes forever to upload photos. ~Diana

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 5, 2012
7:32 PM

Post #9071295

For the cukes this year we plan on getting the builders mesh at Lowe's or HD, since they're the same price. The panels are 42" by 84", so we'll have them standing 7' tall. With a 6X6 mesh, we should be able to reach right through and pick'em pretty easy, and using 5/8 or 3/4 inch rebar pounded into the ground that should be sturdy enough to hold everything fairly well.

I also plan on using this mesh for the tomato and bean plants we plan on growing in the 5 gallon bucket containers. We have some other old storage tubs that have served their usefulness and will be new bean & tomato containers. Has anyone though of using these old tubs for this type of project???

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 5, 2012
8:14 PM

Post #9071374

my sister has a very tiny yard. she grows her tomatoes and other plants in big rubbermaid tubs an has them on wheels. She's pretty successful with that.
Kydaylilylady
Waddy, KY

April 6, 2012
5:52 AM

Post #9071656

Lot's of folks use the cattle panels from TSC or some other farm supply store. One of these days I'm going to get around to doing the same thing!

Janet

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2012
6:22 AM

Post #9071697

I think any strong support that's at least 6ft tall with another 2ft or so in the ground is good for pole beans.

One problem with weaker supports is that when the mesh/netting is coverd in beans, it can act like a sail on a windy day!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 6, 2012
7:57 AM

Post #9071792

I used rabbit fencing for my small area with beans. It worked well. But there was lots of room on the back side (2+ feet) to get my hands in there. I ran some cardinal climber up the fence with it for the hummingbirds.

Thumbnail by Mrs_Ed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

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