How to Garden Pole Beans


Pole beans are a favorite vegetable for many home gardeners. Unlike bush beans, pole beans need a 5 to 8 foot trellis or other support, as the beans are grown on vines that climb. The trellis system can be anything from a high fence to three poles connected at the top in a tepee fashion. Pole bean plants can produce nearly three times as many beans as the bush variety in the same space, according to Cornell University Extension.

Step 1

Set up your preferred trellis system in the prepared garden space. By planting next to existing fencing, the plants can be trained to grow on the fence. The tepee method is recommended for container gardening.

Step 2

Create trenches 1 inch deep, a foot away from the trellis system you have installed. Use the handle end of a hoe to do this easily.

Step 3

Plant the pole beans seeds 2 to 4 inches apart in the trenches.

Step 4

Cover the seeds with 1 inch of soil.

Step 5

As the pole beans grow to 12 inches or longer, wrap the vines into the fence or around the poles. Once you begin training the beans to the trellis system, they will continue to grow upwards on the fence or poles.

Step 6

Harvest the pods from the poles when they have developed bean seeds inside the pods and are firm to the touch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not fertilize pole beans with nitrogen fertilizer, warns Cornell University Extension.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis system
  • Prepared garden space
  • Hoe


  • Purdue University: Growing Beans in the Home Vegetable Garden (PDF)
  • University of Illinois: Beans
  • Cornell University: Pole beans, green beans (pole), wax beans (pole)
Keywords: grow pole beans, garden pole beans, pole bean gardening

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.