Building Pea and Bean Supports in the Garden

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If you’re growing climbing peas, beans, cucumbers or any other vining plant, you’ll need to build supports to help them grow skywards. Providing support also means you can pack more sprawling plants such as squashes and melons into your space by training them upwards instead.

In the video, we demonstrate how to choose the best supports for your garden and give step-by-step instructions for creating the ultimate pea and bean frame. We've also included the video text below, at the request of our readers. After you watch this video, why try our Almanac Garden Planner for free here: http://gardenplanner.almanac.com/

How to Build the Best Supports for Climbing Vegetables

Climbing vegetables trained up supports are easy to pick, need less weeding and can be used to create an attractive leafy backdrop or windbreak for your plot.

Canes, Poles and Stakes

The very simplest supports include sturdy stakes, poles and bamboo canes. Push them securely into the ground at the base of plants to offer an immediate vertical hook for vining veg to grip onto. You may need to tie in young plants to their supports at first to encourage them in the right direction.

Canes or poles can be arranged in traditional rows with a horizontal cane linking the tops to create a rigid structure. Tie in the canes where they cross with string, twine or wire.

Or why not create an attractive wigwam or tepee? Space four to eight canes or poles around a circle marked out in the ground. Tie the canes together about a foot from the top using string or wire. Bamboo and willow wigwams are perfect for climbing peas and beans, while taller, sturdier wigwams made of thicker poles are recommended for heavier climbers such as squashes and melons.

Trellising

Trellis panels can be screwed to walls and fences, or left free-standing by attaching to upright posts. Use them for growing beans, peas, squashes and more. You can make your own out of wood, or for a contemporary look use thick-gauge galvanized wire mesh panels.

Make your own mini-trellis by tying lengths of cane together using wire or string – perfect for individual squash or marrow plants.

Our online Garden Planner includes a selection of structures, from arches and arbours to willow wigwams. To drop one onto your plan simply click once to select, move the mouse to where you want to position it, then click and drag to place. The corner handles can be used to expand the structure to the correct area.

The Best Bean Frame

We’ve discovered the ultimate solution for growing beans, using bamboo canes positioned in such a way that the pods hang outwards, away from the frame, which makes them much easier to spot and pick. The stems are also less likely to grow into a thick, tangled mess.

To make the frame you will need the following materials and tools:

• 2x lengths of timber: 2in x 2in x 32in
• 2x length of timber: 1in x 2in x 5ft
• 2x lengths of timber: 2in x 2in x 7ft 4in
• 2x 4in screws
• 2x 2.5in screws
• Screwdriver
• Drill with drill bit to match width of the screws
• Sandpaper
• Pencil
• Tape measure
• 12 or 14 bamboo canes, 7ft long
• Garden wire or string

Start by sanding down any rough edges to the timber using the sandpaper. Now join together the top of the frame, screwing the 5ft lengths of timber to the 32in lengths. To prevent the wood from splitting, drill pilot holes one inch in from both ends of the two 5ft lengths of timber. Screw these to the ends of the 32in lengths using the 2.5in screws.

The rectangular top of your frame is now ready to screw to the 7ft 4in uprights. Measure and mark halfway along the two 32in sides of the top section. Drill pilot holes through these two points. Screw the top section to the uprights using the two 4in screws.

Next, dig two holes to accommodate the uprights. Then lift up the frame and bury the uprights into the ground, backfilling the holes and firming in with your boot to get a good, tight finish. A hole that’s at least one foot deep will work best.

Set the bamboo canes at equal distances along both sides of the frame. Push them into the ground to get an even finish along the top of the frame, and tie them in with wire, twine or string.

Now plant your beans, one to each cane. It won’t take long for the stems to latch onto the canes and begin twining round.

Climbing vegetables are a must for gardeners looking to pack more into their plot. If you’ve got any ideas for home-made supports please do share them by dropping us a comment below.

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