I’ve never grown pole beans and, until recently, didn’t know much about how to build a support for them. My research uncovered everything from bean pole teepees to bean fences. I took a little from each of the solutions I found and created my own design.
My pole bean supports are like mini raised beds. They have a wall/barrier separating them from the ground and they contain potting mix rather than Carolina red clay. A simple trim with a weed trimmer will keep the grass (okay, weeds!) around the planter tidy. I considered building a 2’x12’ raised bed for the beans, but knew it would need a lot more soil than five planters would need. Plus, I just wanted to try something new!
I buried the planters to keep them from tipping over. I also hope that burying the pots keeps them from drying out as quickly as above ground planters.
To build your own buried pole bean support, you will need:
4’ or longer length of rebar
5’ or longer piece of PVC pipe (with an opening large enough to slip over the rebar)
Strong garden twine
Drill and bits (3/8″ and 1/4″)
Here’s how to build it…
1. Drill 3/8” drainage holes in the bottom of the planter, including one in the center.
2. Drill four or more 1/4″ holes in the rim of the planter for the string supports.
3. Drill a 1/4″ hole through the PVC pipe (about an inch from the end).
4. Dig a hole for the planter and bury approximately two thirds of it.
5. Place the rebar in the center hole of the planter and pound it approximately 12” into the ground.
6. Slip the PVC pipe over the rebar (hole at top).
7. Add soil.
8. String the twine through a hole in the planter rim and then through the hole in the top of the PVC pipe. Run the string through the next hole in the planter and continue stringing until complete.
9. Securely knot the twine at the top of the PVC pipe.
10. Plant your beans and watch them crawl up the string!
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