A house made of beans may sound like something from a children’s book, but it’s actually a very useful garden structure. A bean house is a style of trellising vines for growing beans. If you love this spring vegetable, but have struggled to harvest them or create a support that you like the look of, think about constructing a bean trellis house.
What is a Bean House?
A bean house or bean trellis house simply refers to a structure that creates a house – or tunnel-like shape – for growing beans. The vines grow up the structure and cover the sides and top so that you get what looks like a small house made of bean vines.
The main difference between this and a trellis is that the house allows the vines to spread farther in a vertical direction, and even over the top. This is beneficial because it allows the vines to get more sun, so they will likely produce more. It also makes it easier for you come harvest time. With the vines more spread out, it is easier to find each and every bean.
Another good reason to build a bean house is that it’s fun. Use your imagination to create a structure that suits your garden and that is inviting. If you make it large enough, you can even sit inside and enjoy a nice shady spot in the garden.
How to Make a Bean House
You can construct a bean support structure out of just about anything. Use leftover lumber or scrap wood, PVC pipes, metal poles, or even existing structures. An old swing set your kids no longer use makes a great house-like structure.
The shape of your bean house can be simple. A triangle shape, like a swing set, is easy to construct. A square base with four sides and a triangle roof is another easy shape that looks like a basic house. Also consider a teepee-shaped structure, another simple shape to build.
Whichever shape you choose, once you have your structure, you’ll need some support in addition to the structure’s frame. String is an easy solution. Run string or twine between the bottom and the top of the structure to get more vertical support. Your beans will also benefit from some horizontal strings—picture a grid made out of string.
With a bean house in your vegetable garden this year, you’ll get a better harvest and enjoy a pretty new structure and whimsical spot to take a break from garden chores.
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Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
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