First you must decide Bush or Pole beans.
Bush beans are easy, but you must be down low bent over or seated to pick your beans. Bush beans require more land as they only grow a foot or two tall. Not such a good thing for a small homesteader where space is an issue.
Pole beans are great, but do require more work in the beginning because you must build some sort of trellis for them to climb. Pole beans require less area to grow. This is perfect for the small homesteader. They will vine five to eight feet tall. Your garden will be more vertical this way and require less space for such wonderful vegetables. Also pole beans will make a nice screened fence look if needed. You can plant different color beans together for an interesting look.
This is probably the easiest trellis that can be built and you will never have to rebuild it. The only trellis better than this and by far probably the cheapest is a corn stalk, but that is a story for another day.
The cattle panel trellis is our favorite. You can plant 4 rows and have them trellis up the inside and outside. You can reach over, under, between, etc. when harvesting pole beans this way. Also gives your garden a beautiful green arch.
I read somewhere that if you plant your seeds four inches apart and one twenty foot row you would have enough for a family of four during the growing season. Building the arch trellis this way while planting on the inside and outside only requires fifty inches in two rows. This now comes out to two hundred inches of planting area which is over sixteen feet. We now have almost the twenty feet required for a family of four by only using fifty inches in two rows in the garden.
We wanted to make sure we had enough for sharing and to store rather it be canning or freezing so we planted four rows forty feet long. This required more trellises. To cut down on cost we used some biodegradable garden twine between each arch.
- Have another set of hands.
- Leave the cattle panels six to twelve inches off the ground for easier weeding and cultivating.
- Plant more and store them.
- Use this same trellis for cucumbers, squash, and other fruits and vegetables that vine.
Below is a link to the biodegradable string we used between the cattle panel arch trellises.
There is a quick video at the bottom of the pictures.
Here is a side shot. You can see some of the biodegradable twine between the arches.
We have or supposed to have the kids helping the green beans vine up the cattle panel arch trellises, but we have one working and one modeling.
Mom rings the dinner bell and yells foods ready and the help gone in a flash.