Sunday, May 24, 2009

The New Bamboo Bean Trellis

Last year I grew the pole beans on the trellises I made out of 2x2's and trellis netting. They grew great but it had a few short falls. First being that it was not tall enough, they grow 6' or taller. The second and worst short fall was taking them off the trellis netting in the fall. They really wrap tightly and it took forever to clear them out. So with the bed expansion I did this spring I decided to build a different trellis for the beans, here it is:

It is made out of bamboo and compostable string for the beans to climb on. It was really fast to put together, it took maybe 15-20 minutes and was really inexpensive. Best of all in the fall I can just snip the string and put the whole lot in the compost. It is also reusable asides from the string and will last at least 5 seasons. The one I built is about eight feet high, five feet wide and one foot deep. If you are lucky enough to have space it would work great spread across a 36"-48" bed. Here are some closeups of how it is put together encase you want to try one yourself:

First I could only find 6' bamboo poles so I got 2 extra to extended them. This was done by drilling a hole through both pieces, the string was then threaded through the holes, wrapped and tied. These poles ended up being about 9' long leaving extra length to sink in the ground.

Then two poles were sunk into the ground at the width you want the trellis and then pulled together at the top. I then just wrapped the string tightly and finished with a square knot. This was then repeated on the other side. Once both sides were in place the top rail was pushed into place to add support and a place to run the string.

The last part of the frame is to install two horizontal piece of bamboo across the front and back. Like at the top I just wrapped the string around a bunch of times and then tied a square knot. With all the frame together I then added the string about 6" apart. I started by tying the string around the back piece of bamboo, then I wrapped it around the top piece of bamboo a few times and finished it by tying it to the front piece of bamboo.


  1. Wow that trellis is just so cool, and will actually work! My snow peas just outgrew their trellis, oops, so they're on their own. Serves than right for growing so tall in the first place!!!

  2. Great trellis! I completely agree -- use the compostable twine. I found out the hard way last year when I used the nylon stuff...

  3. Love the idea of compostable twine.

  4. What an elegant and workmanlike design! I bet this will be a real work horse all year for you and then be much easier to take down this fall. I love bamboo in the garden. It's such a useful item to have on hand.

  5. Lovely work! I am jealous of how much space you have hehe good work though very well done.

    Oh! Would you be aware of any Ontario laws that might be useful in acquiring a piece of any city land to allow city veg gardeners an allotment?

    The US has them, the UK has them now I'm suspecting we might too. It's to late for this growing season (or almost) but I am leaning towards researching this.

  6. I just have one complaint. I need to see the full view so I can copy it correctly :~)

  7. Ooops, it's the first picture. I just carved out a spot for pole beans that this will fit perfectly into. I've got everything on hand to copy your idea. Thanks for posting.

  8. I went twine also this year, and like you realized I was going to need a lot more height. I chose redwood 1x1s, and nailed them to an existing fence, with crosspieces.

    Then twine in zigzags. The beans are already as tall as me in spots. Height is good.

  9. Prue - The do grow pretty fast once they get going. They should be fine if they grow a little taller then their home.

    Judy - It is a pain, I ended up stipping a few strings that I still need to repair. This way should be much easier, that's for sure.

    Rosemary - Thanks.

    KitsapFG - I like having bamboo around too, it's so useful and cheap.

    Lilegyptiangoddess - I'm am not sure if there is any way of getting the government to help with starting a community garden. You should give it a try next year, it would be fun.

    Cheryl - I changed the overview photo today, the old one was a little washed out. Good luck with your trellis.

    Stefaneener - Your redwood trellis sounds nice. Your lucky to have tall beans already, I am just about to plant mine here in zone 6a.

  10. Thanks for sharing your design. I'm going to grow some pole beans for the first time in a few years and I need to construct something to fit a limited space. Good luck with the beans!

  11. Great idea! Ah, I remember lashing from boy scouts. I have GOT to brush up on my knots. Good luck with your beans. I just learned from Judy to pick them young. Go figure.

  12. That's a great idea. I'll try this next year for my beans and I may just adjust this for my cukes as well!