Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Grow Bean-Pole Teepees

Ask your child to help your harvest the crop.

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For children, there is something magical about a secret hiding place in the outdoors. There will be enough room inside your bean pole teepee for tea parties and playing house as well as enough room outside for a bumper crop of vegetables. The bamboo framework of the teepee saves space and keeps the vine plants organized while also providing unique visual appeal. When the bean plants stop producing at the end of summer, wrap the frame in white lights to make a beautiful focal point in your backyard.

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Find a suitable plot for the teepee in your backyard. You'll need to make a circle at least 4 feet in diameter, so plan accordingly. The beans will need to be in full sunlight and prefer well-drained soil.


Till the earth in a circle. Beans need well-drained soil, so mix peat moss into the earth if the dirt contains a lot of clay.


Cut lengths of bamboo to your desired height. Push the bamboo poles into the circle a few inches apart. Leave a doorway a few feet wide partway around the circle so you can harvest beans from inside the teepee.


Pull the bamboo poles together at the center of the circle. Weave twine between the poles, pulling them together tightly. Knot the twine several times to secure the poles.


Plant several bean seeds at the base of each pole. You can plant all the same kind or a variety of species.


Train the beans up the pole as they grow. The plants will take 1 to 2 weeks to sprout. Once the beans are a few inches tall, gently wrap the plant around the pole. The plants will continue to wind their way up the bamboo throughout the growing season.

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