Ask a Question forum: growing pole beans... what happens at the top of the trellis?

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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Jun 27, 2016 8:45 AM CST
Sorry for the stupid question. I can guess the answer. I have a trellis up against the fence between my yard and my neighbor. The beans just grew straight up the poles, didn't even bother putting out much for leaves, just a single vine straight up. So... when they get to the top... I'm hoping they will not decide my neighbor's yard is better. The trellis is about 6 ft tall. Any chance they will stop going straight up and leaf/flower more?

I'm thinking I might've gotten Jack's beans....
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 27, 2016 10:29 AM CST
Robyn, I think I would lean those poles out away from the fence a bit. This will give the vines room for leaves all around, and also prevent them from climbing through the fencing to give your neighbor their beans.

They also need air space around the leaves to prevent fungal problems down the road.

Once they get to the top they will flop over and keep growing, probably. Twining around each other is pretty common. YOu'll just need to flop the mass of leaves etc. over onto your side of the fence. If it's the sunny side (which it looks like it is) they will want to be on your side anyway.
Elaine

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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Jun 27, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Thanks. Hrm... I had actually put that bamboo up to be the trellis, which works great for peas and cucumbers, less great for beans and my malabar, which need bigger gaps to twine around. Thus I put the individual bamboo up because I needed something there. lol, gardening on the fly. It isn't very sturdy though, for leaning away from the fence. I'll have to think of a way to make it more solid. If I didn't have it tied to the main trellis right now, it'd just fall over.

And it is north facing, so not really the sunny side. Just in the morning when the sun comes up they get about 5-6 hours of direct sun. I'll see what I can figure out to make them sturdier to stand on their own.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jun 27, 2016 11:00 AM CST
Ah no, no chance they will stop. Pole beans do love to climb. The growth habit you are describing is normal. Mine are doing the same. The flowers come along those long stems.

But if they have no place to go once they reach the top they will sorta vine around themselves.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Jun 27, 2016 11:11 AM CST
Enlarged your picture. Look just like mine!! Hilarious!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Jun 28, 2016 2:09 AM CST
robynanne said: The beans just grew straight up the poles, didn't even bother putting out much for leaves, just a single vine straight up.


Really this is exactly the way pole beans grow. Starts off looking much like a string. But the leaves and then flowers do come off that vine and it fills out. It will get leaves, you'll see.

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