Building Supports For Beans and Cucumbers

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I love growing vertically. It takes up way less space than allowing vine plants to grow on the ground. I started growing my cucumbers on trellises a few years ago and won’t go back. Last year I did the same with my squash, and what a space saver!

I’ve used a variety of supports for my beans and cucumbers, mostly different types of trellises and topiary forms I had. The supports I used last year were too dense, and made it difficult to find and harvest these vegetables.

Support for cucumber and bean

I decided this year, I would build better supports that make it easier to harvest.

I found several ideas on Pinterest and the internet.

I was going to go with something straight, but I’ve used this type of support before and the vegetables blend in with the foliage.

I ended up combining the things I liked most about a few of the ones I found into my own design.  

Fencing used to build supports
Fencing used to build supports

I wanted something that was arched so the veggies would hang down and out of the foliage.

I wanted the supports tall enough that I won’t have to bend over too far to harvest, but they had to be short enough to fit under the greenhouse.

Another thing I like about the arch design is that I can grow the lettuce, spinach and other short vegetables underneath.

The sun loving vines will shade the cold weather vegetables and (hopefully) keep them from bolting too fast.

Fencing cut into 10' lengths
Fencing cut into 10′ lengths

These supports were pretty simple to build and fairly inexpensive, about $15.00 per support.

I had some of these supplies already, so I built mine for a little less.

I made four of these – two for the beans, two for the cucumbers.

Fence post stakes used to build supports
Fence post stakes used to build supports

The materials I used were…

  • 28″ garden fence, cut into 10′ lengths
  • 3′ fence post stakes – four for each support
  • hammer to pound in the stakes

The fencing isn’t as sturdy as I thought it would be, so the tops might need to be supported if it gets really heavy with cucumbers.

These should make it easy to harvest the beans and cucumbers, I’m excited to see how well they hold up.

I am planning on building a new support for my squash too. Stay tuned, that will be another blog post.

Updated August 17th, 2012:
Here’s what the trellises look like now. The plants have completely taken over their trellises. I love the way these look in the garden, and they make harvesting SO much easier! The only modification I would make is to add more support to the cucumber trellis, similar to the way I built my squash arch. Now that the cucumbers are hanging down, the top is sagging a bit. But, look at all those beans…
 

Bean trellis covered with beans
Bean trellis covered with beans

Cucumbers hanging down from arched trellis
Cucumbers hanging down from arched trellis

Don’t you just love how the cucumbers and beans hang down for easy picking? 



 

Comments

  1. says

    Growing vining vegs on an arched trellis is a fabulous space saver! I've never thought of growing lettuces under it…I'll have to try that this year and see how it does. I use sections of cattle panel for my cukes, smaller melons and squash. The cattle panels are quite sturdy, but can be very difficult to bend and arch without help.

  2. says

    i love your blog post about building supports for beans and cukes. it occurred to me that perhaps you could grow tomatoes that way as well? have you tried that?

    also, how many bean plants do you plant for each support? cukes?

    thanks so much! i truly appreciate your experience.

  3. says

    Thanks for your useful tips. Your blog on growing cucumber on trellis and building beans and cucumber was great. I just want to ask you a question. Of these two, which supports growing cucumber well?. Both looks fine to me.

    • says

      I think any type of trellis would work fine. I like this arched design because it makes harvesting really easy and there's room underneath to grow short stuff like lettuce and spinach – which has worked out great for me!

  4. Anonymous says

    I like your ideas as well. I have a greenhouse 10×12, in the same shape as the trellis ideas. I often grow cucs to run along the walls of the greenhouse.
    Why do you wish your tellis's to be small enough for a greenhouse? Do you take your greenhouse down in the summer?

    • says

      Thank you! Yes, we take the greenhouse down during the summer. It would be way too hot in there during the summer, even with the doors off. I wouldn't mind if the cucumber trellises were taller, but the bean trellises are the perfect height. It would be difficult to get the ones on top if the trellises were much taller.

  5. Anonymous says

    Do the cukes fall off prematurely since they will be hanging? I have an old frame from my patio enclosure (gazebo) that I am either going to get rid of or make a new cover – it is way to expensive to buy another cover. Wouldn't this work to anchor chicken wire to grow my garden?

    • says

      I was worried about the same thing when I first started growing cucumbers vertically. But they don't get too heavy that they break off. I've had a few pretty large ones, and I've never had any break off the vine when they were hanging.

      Funny you mention the old gazebo frame. I have a bunch of trellises that used to be part of one of those gazebo frames. They work great as

  6. Anonymous says

    Just wondering how the lettuces and other "cold weather" crops did in the shade under the trellis? Love the pictures and the set up!!

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