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!
Pole Bean and Cucumber Support Ideas
I'm looking for some new ideas on pole bean and cucumber support.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'd love to see a photo, gardadore. It's a little hard to picture...
I'll take one tomorrow! I'm not very adept at posting photos on DG so maybe it's time I learned!!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
oh, that's not good. I'd plant more, and attach them to a stake before they reach your support.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
This message was edited Jun 2, 2011 12:21 PM
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.
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!