The Q&A Archives: Supporting Pole Beans

Question: I am gettting ready to plant my beans. Hoping for better success than I had last year. First, I planted bush beans and didn't get much from them at all. I am going to go for pole beans this year and am wondering about support. I am on a very limited budget and had thought of planting in hills using tomato cages for support. Will these be tall and sturdy enough? Will I need to stagger plantings or will they produce as long as I harvest regularly? Teresa Carr (novice gardener) Oklahoma City, OK

Answer: The nice thing about pole beans is that they have a long bearing season, unlike bush beans which tend to produce their crop in a short burst. Bamboo is a relatively inexpensive means of support. Tie four or five canes together with twine to make a teepee, and plant the beans around the base. Pole beans grow VERY tall, so tomato cages would be outrun in no time. Get long bamboo canes (7' or more) from your garden center, or contact Gardener's Supply Company ( or 1-800-863-1700) for more information.

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