Growing up instead of out means you can grow more food in less space. And vertical gardening is perfect for growing veggies, such as peas and pole beans, that naturally want to climb. But they need your support.
A sturdy trellis is easy to make and offers all the support beans need. All you need to do is wait for the produce to roll in.
Make a Support System for Beans:
Step 1: Cut wood
Cut the following pieces from four 1 x 2 x 12’ cedar boards:
- Four 6’
- Four 4’
- Two 2’
Or, ask the Lumber Associate for assistance cutting the wood before you bring it home.
Step 2: Drill holes
On one of the 4’ boards, starting 1½” from one end, mark every 5” until you’ve reached 1½” from the other end. At each mark, using a 7/32” bit, drill a hole in the center of the wood, for a total of 10 holes. Repeat with remaining three 4’ boards.
Step 3: Assemble sides
Lay two 6’ boards down 4’ apart. Place one of the 4’ boards on top of two of the 6’ boards, aligning it so that it crosses the 6’ boards 2” from one of their ends. Pre-drill holes with a 1/8″ drill bit where the boards cross, then attach boards with 1¼” coated deck screws.
Align another 4’ board 8” from the other end of the 6’ boards, drill pilot holes, and secure in place with 1¼” screws.
Repeat with the other two 6’ and 4’ boards, so that you’ve created two sides of the support structure.
Step 4: String twine
Begin stringing by poking twine through the bottom hole closest to the left side of one of the support sides. If it’s difficult to get the twine through, wrap the end with a small piece of packing tape to stiffen it and keep it from unraveling.
Pull twine up to the top board and push it through the second hole to the right. Pull twine back down through a bottom hole, skipping one hole each time. Continue this way, alternating top and bottom, skipping every other hole, until you reach the last hole on the top at the right.
String the twine through it, then down through the bottom hole immediately below it. Begin stringing back to the left, through the holes you skipped the first time, until you get back where you started. Pull the twine as taut as possible. Cut and tie the ends together.
Repeat for the other side of the support.
Step 5: Attach sides
Stand the two sides of the support upright and lean them against one another, so that their vertical pieces overlap at the top and stand a little more than 2’ apart at the bottom. Approximately 2 ½” from the top, where the two sides intersect, drill 1/8” pilot holes and secure together with 1¼” screws.
Step 6: Complete the structure
Place a 2’ board so that it spans the space between the two sides and even with the lower 4’ boards. Drill 1/8” pilot holes and screw in place using two 1¼” screws. Repeat for the other side.
Step 7: Place in garden
In a location that gets full sun and has well-draining soil, dig four holes about 4” deep for the legs of the support. Set the bean support in the holes you’ve dug, and replace dirt to help secure it in place. Plant your peas or beans approximately 6” from the bottom of the support. Water well.
Tip: If you use a biodegradable twine like sisal, you can just snip and compost both the vine and twine at the end of the season.