Pole-type snap beans, with their long, trailing vines and plentiful harvests, are a happy addition to any vegetable garden. Pole beans need a sturdy trellis or strong stakes for support. Plant your beans after the last frost and when the soil has warmed to at least 65 degrees F. Pole beans don't mind cool nights, but the slightest bit of frost will kill them. Their ideal growing conditions include full sun, well-drained soil and soil pH above 6.0. Do a series of plantings throughout the summer to ensure a steady bounty.
As a Teepee
Grow pole beans and make a secret hiding place at the same time. Using six strong wooden poles or branches (bamboo stakes are ideal), form a teepee tripod and secure it at the top. Plant five or six pole beans around each pole but one, and let the plants climb way. By mid-summer, the poles will be covered and you'll have a hidden entrance to a green getaway. For additional color, sow morning glory or black-eyed Susan vines with your beans.
In a Container
Pole beans grow well in containers, but they will require strong support from a pole or trellis. You'll need a fairly large container, at least 12 inches wide and preferably 24 inches wide. Plant your pole beans like you would in the garden, but mulch heavily with compost or wood chips. One of the best varieties of pole beans for containers, according to Texas A&M Extension is Blue Lake.
As Garden Art
Make a piece of garden art and call it "Mrs. Green Beans," the centerpiece of your garden. Place a tall stake in your plot, with a terracotta pot lashed to the top. Paint a woman's face on the pot, fill it with potting soil and plant flower seeds, like nasturtiums, for her hair. You also could fill the pot with pre-started plants like lamb's ear or moss rose. Form a frame for her skirt with eight garden stakes 2 feet from the center pole. Slant the stakes inward and lash them to the center pole with garden wire. Plant your pole bean seeds around the stakes and watch her skirt grow during the summer.