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The Best Way to Build a Structure for Pole Beans

By Bobbi Keffer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Green beans are available to grow in the garden in two types--bush and pole beans. A pole bean is a true runner vine, meaning that it will grow and climb, if given support, making it the perfect option for smaller growing spaces. A simple support that's easy to set up, store in the off-growing season and can be fun for the children in your life is a pole tee pee.

Locate a spot in your garden to construct the tee pee. Consider areas where children can access easily without possibly trampling on other plants, if applicable.

Dig out a circle 3 to 4 feet in diameter with your spade, loosening the soil to a fine powder. Mix fertilizer or compost in, turning until well mixed about 18 inches deep.

Push the ends of your poles a few inches deep evenly spaced around the circle, leaving an opening between two poles for an entrance, if applicable. (Make sure your entrance is located in an easy-to-access area.)

Cross the poles at the top and tie together with twine, string or gardening tape. Loop twine, string or tape weaving in such a manner around each individual piece until firmly secured. Jiggle the structure-- especially if it will be used by kids-- to test the security and tie more, if needed.

Plant beans, a few inches deep, near the inside of each pole to allow for room for hoeing, if needed. Plant two or three beans at each pole.

Water thoroughly. Seedlings should form in seven to 10 days.


Things You Will Need

  • Spade
  • Fertilizer or compost
  • 6 to 9 tall bamboo poles or thin lumber pieces, 6 to 8 feet in length
  • Twine, string or gardening tape
  • Pole bean seeds
  • Water


  • Seedlings may need training on the pole to start off. Tie onto the pole when a few inches tall by looping the pole twice and then loosely around the plant. As the runners grow, they will loop up the tee pee on their own.
  • Pole beans will grow on any type of support-- including up the side of growing corn stalks!
  • Intermingle flowering vines such as nasturtiums or black-eyed susan vine at the base of the same poles for a color boost.
  • Trim runners once they reach the top of the poles.
  • Pick beans regularly to ensure continued flowering.
  • Beans should be available to harvest until the first hard frost in fall.


  • Make sure your seeds are pole variety and not bush.

About the Author


Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University to study education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills reusing, recycling and reinventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.