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Pole Bean and Cucumber Support Ideas

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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!

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

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
Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

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.

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

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

Thumbnail by hrp50
Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

is that two rows?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

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
Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

I would love to have the space to do that.

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

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.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

so, how tall does it end up being?

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

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

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

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.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

All very helpful! Thanks.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

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

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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.

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

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.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I'd love to see a photo, gardadore. It's a little hard to picture...

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I'll take one tomorrow! I'm not very adept at posting photos on DG so maybe it's time I learned!!

Clifton, VA(Zone 7a)

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
Clifton, VA(Zone 7a)

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

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA(Zone 7a)

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
Pleasant Hill, CA(Zone 9b)

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
Pleasant Hill, CA(Zone 9b)

Here's the other umbrella stand...

Thumbnail by happygirl345
Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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?

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

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
Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

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
Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

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
Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

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
Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

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.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

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.

Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

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?

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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.

Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

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!

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

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

Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

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.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

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

Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

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.

Terrace, Canada

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

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