How do you make a bean tent for climbing plants? Our guide shows you several different ways, whether in a garden bed or a planter pot.
Many vegetables, including beans or peas, need tendrils to grow. The most interesting variant is a bean tent — also called a bean teepee or bean tipi. We show you how to build your own bean tent in the garden.
For runner beans or peas, there are many ways to build a climbing aid . Space-saving climbing poles are often used, or rods with wires or ropes stretched between them. A more creative idea is a bean tent or bean teepee, which is not only an eye-catcher in the garden, but also offers many other advantages.
Benefits of the bean tent
In addition to the beautiful appearance, there are other advantages that a bean teepee can score with. Each variant of a climbing aid promotes the growth of the runner beans and the rapid ripening of the vegetables because the sun shines evenly on the entire plant.
The tent-like construction of the tipi is particularly stable and cannot be blown over by the wind . The beans also grow slightly obliquely inwards, which makes harvesting easier .
If the bean tent is high enough, there is always a shady spot inside, which is popular with both pets and children.Tip: Advancing the runner beans in growing pots has the advantage that the young seedlings are not immediately eaten by snails.
Make a bean tent in the garden bed
If you want to build a bean tent as a climbing aid in the bed , you need a sufficiently large area, a circle with a diameter of approx. 1.50 is ideal. You should also provide the following:
- At least 7 sticks made of bamboo or similar material as a climbing aid (length approx.2.5m)
- A thick rope to tie the bars together at the top
- Cords for tensioning (possibly also wire)
- Bean seeds (possibly in growing pots)
- Bark mulch
- The first step is to remove the lawn on the area of the future bean tent. Mark the circle on the line of which the bamboo sticks are to be stuck in the ground with stones. Then cut a spade-wide piece of lawn all around . You can leave the lawn at the entrance.
- Then the bars must be attached. This is absolutely necessary before the bean seeds are planted , otherwise you will injure the sensitive roots. Here it helps to poke the holes with an iron bar or a narrow hoe. The distance on the circular line should be approx. 50 cm from bar to bar . Now insert all the bars one after the other into the holes and tie them crossed at the top with a thick rope.
- In the next step, the bamboo structure of the bean teepee is wrapped with cords or wire. Start at the bottom, about 10 cm high, and connect bar by bar horizontally . Leave the entrance free. You start with a second row about 20 cm further up. Continue the horizontal rows until you have reached the top of the bean tent. Now further cords are stretched vertically from the tip downwards at regular intervals . The runner beans later grow up on these.
- The bean seeds are then planted around the bean teepee. To do this, loosen the soil slightly and put about 5-7 seeds per bamboo stick about 2 cm deep into the soil . You can also use compost to improve the quality of the soil. Then water the soil well. The seeds start to germinate after about a week.
Alternative: Of course, you can also prefer the bean seeds in growing pots so that they only move to the bed if the plant height is sufficient. The advantage here is that the young runner bean seedlings cannot be eaten by snails.Tip: When choosing bean seeds, climbing, well-growing and annual varieties are ideal. These include the Neckar Queen (green pods) or the Blauhilde (dark purple pods). Perennial runner beans often become too heavy for the bamboo climbing aid over the years.
Enter after setting the bean seeds, a thick layer bark in the middle of the beans tent. This prevents lawn from growing again in the middle of the tipi.
Bean tent as a climbing aid in a pot
It is also possible to build a small bean tent in a pot as a climbing aid. Note here that the plant pot large enough to be, in order for the pole beans and about 3-5 bars find place. With this variant, the bean teepee is made in one pot – but the individual pots can be arranged on the terrace, for example, as a privacy screen .
Put enough soil for the bean tent in the pot in each of the plant pots and then put 3-5 sticks in a circle at the edge of the pots. These poles are also tied together at the top and, if necessary, supplemented with horizontal strings to form a trellis. Proceed as for the large bean tent.
When all the preparations have been made, place 5-7 runner bean seeds in the middle of the loose soil , add a little compost as you like and water the seeds vigorously. In this variant, too, the seedlings can be seen after about a week.Note: Bean plants need more water in the pot than in the bed, so you have to water the beans more often.
Play area for children
Of course, a bean tent is a great place to stay for children in summer . Once the beans have grown up, the place in the tipi is shady and cool and an ideal hiding place . The cozy place can be an Indian tent, a dollhouse or a research station.
It is also perfect as a robber’s cave or storage space. With little effort and little money you can create a versatile job opportunity for your children!However, caution is advised when very small children play in the tent unsupervised. Beans are poisonous when raw , they can only be eaten cooked. If the risk of poisoning is too high, you can build a tent made of peas, sweet peas or other annual climbing plants instead of runner beans .