Trellising the Pole Beans

I tried a little different way to put up a trellis for the pole beans this year. The past few years I’ve used Trellinet netting tied to bamboo and metal poles. This year I used some 59″ tall Hortonova trellis material. This netting has a 6″ by 7″ opening, and can be used for a variety of vegetables besides beans, including tomatoes, melons and cucumbers.

trellis for pole beans

trellis for pole beans

I had hoped to find 8 foot tall metal t-posts, and sink them 18 inches in the ground. That way I could hang the trellis at least a foot off the ground and give the beans a little extra vertical support. But the longest posts I could find were 7 footers. So the finished trellis wound up a little shorter than I planned, but it still should provide good support for the pole beans to run on. I set the metal posts about 10 feet apart, and used bamboo stakes in between to add a little extra support. My experience in the past with pole beans is that the more support, the better!

poly rope supports top of trellis

poly rope supports top of trellis

One thing I did different this year was to run some 1/4″ poly rope along the top of the posts to support the trellis. I looped the rope around the t-posts to secure it, using the metal tabs on the post. Then I strung the netting down the length of the row. I secured the netting to the t-posts, bamboo stakes and the poly rope using some coated Twist Tie Garden Wire. I watched a video from Victory Seeds that did a great job of explaining how they set up their trellises for pole beans, and modeled mine much like theirs. I’m not quite as quick as the fellows in the video, but the 50 foot long trellis went up in no time.

detail showing rope on metal t-posts

detail showing rope on metal t-posts

The garden wire I used is UV treated to last longer, and is soft and flexible. It was perfect for securing the netting to the posts and rope. It is my first time using this product, but it will be handy for a lot of garden tasks.

flexible twist tie

flexible twist tie

Right now all I have planted in that row is some Golden Sweet snow peas. I’m going to wait about a week before planting the pole beans. I want to let the soil warm up thoroughly before putting the seed in the ground. I’m planting a variety of snap and shell beans this year, including old standbys like Fortex and Musica plus newcomers (here) like Trail of Tears and Rattlesnake. I did plant some Purple Queen bush beans the other day in another spot. They should be up in a day or two, and with any luck should give us our first taste of snap beans.

securing the netting to the t-posts

securing the netting to the t-posts

I will be sure and post an update later in the season and share how the new trellis is performing. Hopefully it will be loaded up with lots of beans for us to enjoy!



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12 Responses to Trellising the Pole Beans

  1. Daphne says:

    I hope it works out well for you. I haven’t even begun to think about beans. I’ll have to have the trellises up in a couple of weeks.

  2. bunkie says:

    Hey Dave, where did you purchase the netting? I can’t find it on The Victory site. Thanks!

  3. Liz says:

    I tend to put in supports as something of an after thought and I am starting to realise this isn’t the best strategy. I like the idea of having a wall of beans very much so hopefully this year I will manage to sort out the supports before planting…

  4. Very nice set up! You don’t want to swing by here and help put up some fences in your free time, do you? 😉 That poly rope should definitely help prevent the net from sagging once it has more weight on the trellis later in the season. We do something similar with our deer fence. I’m a little envious though. This is the first year in a long time that we’re giving beans a miss. Until we get our wretched voles under control, beans seem futile here now. Looking forward to seeing how your trellis works out though, it should prove to be very space efficient!

  5. kitsapFG says:

    I need to plant my pole beans out soon. The soil is finally warm enough to do so. I have vertical grow supports made from 1/2 inch (10 foot sticks) electricians metal conduit that has been bent and connected at the top – making each of them 4 feet wide and once sunk into the ground – 6 feet tall. The pole beans still top over them by the end of the summer season but they do a great job of providing vertical support.

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  7. bunkie says:

    Hey Dave,

    I was wondering how this trellis material worked for you last year? I tried it, too, and LOVE it!!! When rolling it to put it away, even tho there were lots of tall weeds in it…oops…someone forgot to take it down last fall…it cleared itself with ease!

    Thnks for posting info about it!

    • Dave says:

      It worked great last year, and I’m doing it the same way this year. I’m glad to hear it worked for you!

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  9. Susan Barretta says:

    How do you secure the poly rope at the ends of the row ? It doesn’t knot very well.

    • Dave says:

      You are right, it doesn’t knot well but I manage to tie it to the garden fencing nearby. I’ve not had any trouble with it holding through the season, even when the trellis is weighted down with the bean vines.

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