Children’s Bean Teepee – Instructions For Making A Bean Teepee

Children’s Bean Teepee – Instructions For Making A Bean Teepee

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Children love to have “secret” places hide or play in. Such enclosed areas can spark many stories in their imagination. You can make such a place for children in your garden with just a little bit of work. The bonus is that you can also get a wonder crop of green beans or pole beans in the process. Let’s take a look at how to make a bean teepee.

Steps for Making a Bean Teepee

Growing runner beans on teepees is not a new concept. This space saving idea has been around for centuries. We can apply this space saving technique to making a fun playhouse for kids.

Building the Bean Teepee Frame

To make a children’s bean teepee, we need to start by building the teepee frame. You will need six to ten poles and string.

The poles for the bean teepee can be made of any material but you do need to keep safety in mind in case the children knock the teepee over. The typical material for making teepees for beans is bamboo poles, but you can also use PVC pipe, thin dowel rods, or hollow aluminum. It is recommended that you avoid heavy materials like solid metal or heavy, thick wood rods.

The teepee poles can be whatever length you decide. They should be tall enough so that the child who will be playing in the bean teepee will be able to stand up comfortably in the center. Also take into account the desired diameter of your bean teepee when selecting the size of your poles. There is no set diameter but you want it to be wide enough for the children to be able to move around inside.

Your bean pole teepee should be located in a spot that gets at least five hours of full sun. The soil should be rich in organic material. If the soil is poor, mark out the edge of where you will be placing the bean teepee poles and amend the soil on the edge of that circle.

Set the poles into the edge of the circle and push them into the ground so that they angle into the center and meet the other poles. Poles should be spaced at least 24 inches (61 cm.) apart but can be placed further apart. The closer you place the poles, the more densely the leaves of the beans will grow.

Once the poles are in place, tie the poles together at the top. Simply take string or rope and wrap it around the meeting poles. There is no set way to do this, just tie the poles together so that they cannot come apart or fall down.

Planting the Beans for the Children’s Bean Teepee

Choose a bean to plant that likes to climb. Any pole bean or runner bean will work. Do not use bush beans. Scarlet runner beans are a popular choice due to their brilliant red flowers, but a bean with an interesting pod, like a purple pod pole bean, would also be fun.

Plant a bean seed on each side of each pole. The bean seed should be planted about 2 inches (5 cm.) deep. If you would like a little extra splash of color, plant every third or fourth pole with a flowering vine such as nasturtium or morning glory.* Water the seeds well.

The bean seeds should germinate in about a week. Once the beans are tall enough to be handled, tie them loosely to the bean teepee poles. After this, they should be able to climb on their own. You can also pinch the tops of the bean plants to force them to branch out and grow more densely.

Keep the bean plants well watered and be sure to harvest any beans that grow frequently. This will keep the bean plants producing and the bean vines healthy.

Learning how to make a bean teepee will help you create this fun project in your own garden. A children’s bean teepee is a place where both plants and imaginations can grow.

*Note: Morning glory flowers are poisonous and should not be planted on teepees meant for young children.

Steps for Growing a Bean Pole Teepee

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Pole beans twine up thin supports, making them a suitable choice for a vertical garden. Teepee supports require minimal effort and are inexpensive. Beans grow during the summer and you should plant them after the danger of frost has passed. Most pole bean varieties take 60 to 85 days to reach maturity.

How to Use Bamboo Stalks for Gardening Pole Beans

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Pole beans are among the simplest and most reliable of garden vegetables to grow. Their vigorous vines grow up almost any structure and the tasty pods can be eaten either green or matured into dried beans. Rather than spreading out your bean patch into long rows, use bamboo stalks to create teepee shapes. You'll produce a lot of beans in a small area and possibly, as a bonus, create a playhouse inside for small children or grandchildren to enjoy.

Build your bamboo bean support in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Gather 5 6-foot-long bamboo poles into a bundle. Tie the bundle of poles together 6 inches from one end with garden twine or cotton string. Place the tied poles in a sunny spot in your garden. Spread out the loose pole ends into a rough circle, with the tied ends in the middle, creating a teepee frame with the poles.

Tie a piece of twine to one pole 12 inches above the ground. Stretch the twine to the next pole and tie it off 12 inches above the ground. Continue around with the other three poles. Do not connect the last pole with the first one, but leave that space open. Tie a row of twine around the poles 12 inches above the first row, and continue in this manner until you have twine around the structure every 12 inches to the top, creating vertical support for the bean vines.

Dig a trench around the poles in a circle, 4 inches away from the poles and 6 inches deep. Remove any rocks or roots you find and mix in a 2-inch layer of compost. Do not dig the trench in front of the open space you left between the first and last poles. This space is the opening to the teepee, and should be left unplanted.

Plant pole bean seeds 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart along the entire trench. Cover the beans by firming the soil down and water the trench thoroughly.

Keep the bean plants well-watered by making sure they get at least 1 inch of water per week. Once the vines start to grow, train them up the poles by twining the ends around the strings. They will continue to grow upward once you have established them in the right direction.

Pick the beans as soon as they are smooth and filled out. Keep the beans picked to encourage the plants to continue to produce more beans.

How Build a Green Bean Teepee

Bean teepees are easy to make and will provide support for pole beans or even climbing peas. The rounded shape of a teepee makes it sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, so this is a great choice of support if you have an exposed garden.

Extra-long bamboo canes are most commonly used for making bean teepees, but any other tall supports will work, from lightweight aluminum or PVC pipes to hazel poles.

Build your bean teepee in an area of the garden that gets at least five hours of direct sunshine a day, and dig lots of well-rotted compost into your planting bed before you start.

Building a Bean Teepee

We’re using 8-foot tall bamboo canes to make our bean teepee. This means that even after pushing the canes six inches into the soil and tying the tops together, there’s still at least six feet of cane for the beans to scramble up.

Your bean teepee should be made at least three feet wide, with the poles or canes set about a foot apart. A wide, tall structure allows for a great space within the teepee for kids to play.

Use a garbage can lid or similar object as a guide for your circle. Position the first canes at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, then fill in between. Once they’re all in place, tie a piece of string onto one of the canes, near the top. Then tie the next cane to it, and repeat for all the canes until they’re secured.

To help the beans climb up the teepee, run string horizontally across the canes. For our teepee we’re using three lines – the first about a foot up off the ground, then the other two evenly spaced along the remaining length of canes.

Tip: Our Garden Planner includes a teepee icon that you can add to your plan and customize to the size of your own real-life bean teepee. Refer to the Plant List to see recommended planting and harvesting times for your location so you know when it’s a good time to plant and when your pods are likely to be ready to pick.

Plant the Bean Teepee

Either sow two beans at the base of each cane, then remove the weakest of the two seedlings, or plant robust seedlings that have been raised elsewhere. Loosely tie the young plants in they should then begin to climb without any more assistance. Water beans after planting and keep the soil moist. Once the pods appear, harvest every couple of days and the plants will keep producing more.

It’s that easy! See our free Bean Growing Guide for more planting information.

How to Build a Green Bean TeePee Garden Trellis

How to Build a Green Bean TeePee Trellis
I started my green beans indoors this year, and before I knew it I had 5 inch tall seedlings by the time spring was here. There was no way I could just plant these in the ground and leave them, as they needed something to support their height.

A green bean teepee was the perfect option, not just because they are easy and inexpensive to make, but because they look so flipping cool once the beans grow in. I was able to make a green bean teepee (and a cucumber teepee!) for around $2, and it has been perfect for offering my green beans the support they need.

I will be updating the pictures of my green bean teepee as it continues to grow, but for now you can see how to build your own in about 30 minutes AND for around $2.

Supplies needed:
– 5-7 bamboo poles or sturdy branches
– twine
– scissors

A note about materials:
We found these bamboo shoots for free, as we cut them from our yard. If you have any sturdy, long branches, those will work as well. You want segments that are a good 6 feet long in order to build a decent size teepee. There is no reason to spend money on this portion of your teepee. Just keep your eyes peeled for sturdy branches or bamboo poles that can be used.

1. First you will need to secure the poles into the ground. To do this, I dug a hole for each pole. These holes were about 6 inches deep. I dug the hole in a circle shape, spacing them about 8-10 inches from each other.
2. Plant the end of the poles into the ground. Pack the soil in around each pole firmly.
3. GENTLY bend the tops of the poles inward towards the center of the circle. Do this slowly so you don’t snap them.
4. Once you have gathered the tops of the poles, use your twine to bind them together. There is no wrong way to do this. Just wrap the twine in and out of the poles, pulling tightly as you go. Once they seem to be secure, tie and knot well.
5. Start wrapping the twine around the poles. YOU CAN’T just wrap the twine like you are putting lights on a Christmas tree. DON’T DO IT. Ha! I thought this would work and I was way wrong. Instead, start at the top and wrap the twine around EACH pole (see pic below) before you move onto the next. This method will keep the twine in place and help it stay tight. Work your way down to the bottom and create a final knot when done.

How to Plant Green Beans:
For my green bean teepees, I used both seedlings and seeds. Green bean seeds grow FAST, so it wasn’t long before they caught up with the seedlings. The idea here is to plant your seeds/seedlings at the base of each pole.

Gently wrap the seedlings on the twine to help train them. They will start climbing on their own, but this can help with any strays that want to go in their own direction. Continue to water, weed, and care for your green bean plants as you normally would. I like to help them twine a little bit each day, and snip away any dead or struggling foliage in order to keep the plant happy.

Now comes the fun part of watching the green bean teepee grow! It is crazy how fast the plants will start trellising up the poles. This teepee changes daily and I am amazed at how quickly it just seems to know what to do.

To keep critters such as chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits away from my green beans, I have a few tricks I use! I am happy to say that since using these methods, I have not had any issues with pests in my garden. We live in a heavily wooded area, so critters usually terrorize gardens. Both of the ideas below can help you enjoy a pest free garden.

I will update pictures of our green bean teepee as it continues to grow and flourish! We are in the early stages right now so it has some growing to do. In no time it will go nuts, and hopefully soon we will have tons of green beans to harvest. A garden trellis such as this is perfect for climbing/vine vegetables such as green beans, cucumbers, cucamelons, and peas!

There is no need to buy an expensive garden trellis when you can easily make your own using supplies you most likely already have. Consider this awesome DIY green bean trellis and see if it works for you! Oh, and don’t forget to come back for updates. This is sure to be interesting!

Now for the best bit…what to plant?! Scarlet runner beans are great for bean teepees. They are great growers and have bright orange flowers!

You could also try blue lake beans, purple king beans or rattlesnake beans. You could mix it up and plant a few different beans! The main thing to remember is that you need to choose climbing beans. Bush beans won’t work because they don’t like to climb!

You could also plant some flowers around the bottom of your teepee. Nasturtiums are colourful and bright. Or you could try beautiful sweetpea flowers. they love to climb! I LOVE flowers! You can never have too many flowers in your world.

Beans aren’t the only thing you can grow on a teepee. You could try peas instead! Peas are a good choice if the weather is cool where you live. They like to grow in Winter.

Here are some more teepee ideas.

At the end of the season, you can save some seeds from your bean plants and keep them to use for your next teepee!

Give it a go greenthumbs! Or should I say give it a GROW!

We live in an unreal world. It’s fun to spend time outdoors. At the end of the day, I like to record my outdoor adventures in my scrapbook. Now you can too. This fully expandable scrapbook can become a daily diary, a garden journal, a recipe book, an art pad or a field guide – in fact, anything you like.

It will be amazing to look back through your scrapbook and see how much you have learned and re-live all the adventures you have had getting grubby.

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. If you’ve done a tipi in the past, please share your tips. Do you have another trellis method you love? Let us hear about it!

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Watch the video: How To Train Cucumbers Up A Trellis


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