How to Grow a String Bean Tent

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Vining string beans climb poles and stakes on their own. There's no need to tie the plants to the support as they twine around narrow poles easily. Create a tent of the long vines for an attractive and interactive garden structure. Children can sit inside the tent surrounded by the greenery of the garden. Only pole or vine bean varieties climb the tent supports so avoid seeds labeled as bush beans. Once summer is over, store the poles away until the following garden season.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Compost
  • Stakes
  • Bean seeds
  • Break up the top 6-inches of soil in the gardening bed with a hoe. Spread 1 inch of compost over the prepared area and work it into the loosened soil. Smooth the soil surface with the blade of the hoe after adding the compost.

  • Draw 3-foot diameter circle on the soil surface with the tip of one stake. The circle provides the guide for installing the bean tent.

  • Insert five 6-foot tall stakes into the soil, spacing them equally around the drawn circle. Gather the top ends of the stakes together and tie them securely with twine, forming the frame for the tent.

  • Sow two string bean seeds at the base of each stake. Plant the seeds 1 ½ inches deep, placing a seed on either side of the stake.

  • Water the soil every one to three days until the seeds sprout, keeping the top 4 to 6 inches of soil moist but not soggy. Reduce watering to once weekly once the beans begin to grow.

  • Pinch off the top of each vine when it reaches the top of the tent. The beans typically take six to seven weeks from sprouting to full tent coverage.

  • Harvest the beans when the pods are still green and tender, before the seeds begin to swell and harden inside the pod. Once the vines begin producing, pick the beans every three days to encourage further flowering and bean production on the vines.

Tips & Warnings

  • Long, flexible bamboo stakes bend easily to form the tent frame.
  • Inoculated bean seeds require no additional fertilizer to grow. Purchase pre-inoculated seeds or coat the seeds in a purchased inoculate powder prior to planting.

References

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