Build a Bean Pole Hideaway

Everyone needs a space of their own, a place to escape from little brothers or sisters (or parents) and let imagination run wild. Creating a bean pole hideaway is an easy, fun project for the whole family: Kids love the adventures that await in their own special space, plus everyone will love devouring the delicious beans.

What You Need:

  • 8 bamboo or wooden poles, 8 to 10 feet tall
  • Twine or strong string
  • Shovel Garden soil or compost (if necessary)
  • Pole bean seeds (also called "runner beans")
  • Optional: annual climbing flower seeds, like black-eyed Susan vine or morning glory, to add color

How to Build Your Hideaway:

1.Pick a sunny, level space in the yard or garden. Beans need at least 6 hours of full sun to grow and produce well.

2.Mark out a large circle with a hose, rope, or even flour.  

3.Remove any grass inside the circle with a shovel and add compost or garden soil along the outline of the circle to improve the soil for growing.

4.Assemble the standing poles around the circle, spacing them about 2 feet apart and leaving a 3-foot doorway. Push the bottoms of the poles into the soil. Gather the tops of the poles together and tie securely with twine.

5.Starting at the top of the frame, weave twine tightly and horizontally around the outside of the frame to create a trellis for the beans to climb. Continue until the trellis goes all the way down close to the ground, so bean seedlings can easily reach it to climb. Be sure leave the doorway open and free from twine.

6.After all danger of frost has passed, plant bean seeds 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart along the base of the frame. Cover with soil, pat gently, and water well. If you like, you can add a few climbing flower seeds, too, following the instructions on the seed packets. 

7.Be sure to water regularly!

8.As the seedlings emerge, help guide them onto the trellis. Once they begin climbing the twine, they'll continue grabbing on to the trellis to form a covered hideaway.

For a little extra fun, try growing purple pole beans. A rich purple color when harvested, these beans turn green when cooked—it's like magic!