Green Beans Growing Fast


I planted a new crop of green pole beans back in March around the first day of spring. I planted seeds that I harvested from dried bean pods on the Italian beans growing in our garden last year. I also planted some blue lake pole bean seeds that I bought from a local store.

The seeds sprouted in about 2 weeks and have grown incredibly fast since then, especially in the past few weeks. They have already grown several inches up the support from where they were just a few days ago!

In the past few years since I started growing beans again, I have been growing each group of beans up a single pole. The problem with this technique is that when the beans get large and heavy they tend to slide down the pole. For years, my mom used chicken wire held up by 2 poles on each side to support her annual crop of pole beans. But when the beans get large and heavy by late July, the chicken wire support begins to sag down in the middle.

This year, I decided to use a different technique. I nailed two 6′ tall wooden posts to the edge of one of our raised beds. Then, I screwed small hooks into the posts near the tops of the posts. I then hung a wire frame on the hooks. The wire frame is made up of rigid metal wire that is about 2 mm thick. I think it’s the type of wire frame that’s used in supporting concrete.

The wire is flexible enough to bend, but only with sufficient force. I can bend it with my hands, but it probably won’t bend under the weight of the beans. It’s not flimsy like chicken wire, but it has wider openings between the wires.

I bought a 4′ x 8′ piece of this wire frame from a local hardware store for about $8. I mounted the bottom of the wire frame about 12 inches off the ground. Beans don’t usually need support until they are about a foot tall. So far, our new bean support system seems to be working well.

May 09 2009 11:04 pm | Beans