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Baby in Garden

Make a Bean Teepee


A bean teepee creates a wonderful hiding hole for young kids during the summer months at the same time as providing a perfect support for growing pole beans!

You can locate your bean teepee either in the vegetable patch or in a spare corner of the garden - it adds the dimension of height and is not only useful and fun, but quite ornamental too. Just bear in mind that the teepee will cast a fair bit of shade once the beans have grown.

How to Make a Bean Teepee

You will need: 7 - 9 long bamboo poles, some twine, string or even masking tape, and runner or pole beans.

circular shape for bean teepee

Start off by finding a suitable spot in your garden and dig the earth over in a circular shape. A circle with a diameter of 3-4 foot is usually perfectly adequate.

Beans like well-drained soil, so add some compost and fertiliser if needed - like in this example!

positioning poles for bean teepee

Firmly push the ends of the bamboo poles into the ground by about 3 inches on the outside of the circle.

Leave a gap between two of the poles to act as the entrance to the bean teepee.

tieing bamboo poles together

Tie the bamboo poles together firmly near the top using twine, string, a bit of old rope or even masking tape.

There is absolutely no fine art in tieing the poles together - the main and only aim is to ensure they are all VERY firmly held in place, as no matter how careful kids are, they are likely to knock the poles when going in and out of the teepee!

planting pole beans

Plant the runner or pole beans about 2 inches deep. Plant them on the inside of the teepee rather than the outside, as this makes it easier to hoe and keep weeds down - anything growing on the outside of the bamboo poles are weeds!

It is usual to plant two beans per pole. That should ensure at least one healthy plant per pole.

bean teepee ready to grow

Water generously.

Beans usually take between 7 to 14 days to germinate. Once the seedlings appear, protect them from slug attacks.

When the beans are a few inches high, loosely tie them to the poles. From then on, they should find their own way up.

When the plants reach the top of the teepee after about 7-8 weeks, nip the growing ends off. Keep them well watered during a dry patch, especially once the pods have started forming.

Once the dense foliage of the runner or pole beans has climbed up the bamboo poles and provides a cover, your bean teepee is ready for it's inhabitants. Pop a blanket inside for the perfect private hide-away!

Tips

Once the first bean pods are ready to be harvested, keep picking them every few days to ensure the plants keep flowering and producing more pods. Once a pod reaches full maturity, the flowering process is shut down.

Beans can be planted outside once the risk of frost is over, usually late May or the beginning of June in the more northern areas.

For an even more colourful display, interplant climbing flowering plants too, such as climbing nasturtiums or black-eyed Susan.

Cats love these shady hide-aways too!


Return from Make a Bean Teepee to Kids Garden Crafts








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