the $4 DIY bean trellis

It’s an insane heat wave over on our end. So what do I do? Garden. Because, you know while drinking copious amounts of lemonade and feeling like jello, that’s what a sane person does during a heat wave. After sitting in your kids splash pool of course.

I sat there staring at my peppers all last week being annoyed that they were hogging a prime fence backed, 8 hour sunlight spot in the garden and they really shouldn’t be there.

Alone that is.

I was like hey why not have another bean trellis to join them?

So a trip to Home Depot and the Dollar store this is what I picked up

  • 2, six foot bamboo poles at $1.29 each
  • twine at $1.25 for a 50 foot ball

Then I got my scissors.

I went to my garden and stuck in the bamboo poles where I needed them to be. The first photo shows them and it is approx 3 feet in width (36″).

Bamboo of course naturally has these ridges (bumps?) in the poles. **When choosing bamboo** try to find ones with ridges, that when the poles are standing next to each other, are in the same spot side by side. If not you’re going to have your twine going diagonally. This doesn’t bother me. It may bother you. Also try to find ones with a ridge close to the tip of the bamboo pole for your top twine line.

These were the last 2 decent poles in the store so I pretty much got what I could get.

I then took my twine and started tying on the bottom first. I tied the twine around the ridge on the left bamboo pole and went diagonally to the one the right pole.

Then I tied twine across the top.

This will give you a rough ‘stable’ parameter to work in for the middle twine tying part.

Go back to the bottom. Repeat diagonal ties. All the way up

The great (important) thing about the bamboo ridge/bump is that it prevents your twine from sliding down. So you don’t need any hooks or nails into the wood.  Technically you can just do one tie on the bottom and then wrap your twine around a ridge on the opposite pole and interweave it up that way. I chose not to just in case a piece of twine breaks, as then I’d only have to replace that piece, not do the whole long strand – which would get a little insane if your beans were already on it.

This was my high tech method of securing the poles to the fence. A thumbtack. They were doing pretty good standing on their own though, I just did that to tighten the top line more.

Then I took the twine and tied 4 strands of it from the top twine to the bottom one. Sorry if it’s hard to see. Here’s the cropped shot.

And you’re done.

Another important thing is to leave some distance from the back of your garden bed frame (if you’re doing this in your garden bed) so that the beans can interweave themselves into the twine as they grow. If you put it too close to the frame, you’ll have to manually push back the ones you plant in your rows ways in front of the trellis.

At least this is what I’ve learned the hard way with the other bean trellis. So give it some space. It’s not ‘necessary’ but I’ve found it makes it easier, especially when you’re planting several rows.

NOTE – If you are not doing this trellis in a garden bed near a fence, I highly recommend getting 2 bamboo sticks per side, and creating an X / teepee tip (that you can tie together with twine). This will ensure its stability when holding the weight of your beans and remain standing.

Like the ones below.

I did another inexpensive trellis (these cost me $2 each at the dollar store) as I am going to attempt to to grow my acorn squash upwards and to create some shade for the spinach. I flipped 2 peak style wire trellises upside down and tied them together at the top with garden wire. From what I’ve read, squash tends to grow good on a triangle shape like this.

Just don’t do this in a heat wave. I’m pretty sure I’ve scared off the birds with my sexy raccoon eye smeared mascara.


  • Reply
    June 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

    You are a gardening goddess! Great tips for the beans and your squash trellis is great. The only time we grew squash it ran and took over the whole space. Obviously we didn’t know what the heck we were doing… learned lots since then. I love a garden… and yours is sooo fine!
    Those raccoon eyes are a sign of a woman who’s getting it done! And if it keeps the birds away I need to put away my waterproof stuff and get to sweating!

    • Reply
      June 21, 2012 at 11:14 am

      LOL!!!! I need that laugh this morning after bikini shopping with a toddler in tow. That could be a blog on it’s own.

      • Reply
        June 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        Bikini shopping with our without a toddler leaves me in tears. Tears from laughing and from crying! AHHHH… Why do the mirrors lie to me? At least having a toddler in tow would distract me from my reflection. HAVE FUN!

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