We have been successfully growing pole beans on a cattle fence arbor for several years. It’s by far the best method we have tried. We buy a 16-foot panel of cattle fence (which is heavier than regular fencing) and bend it into a curved arbor with the ends about 5 to 6 feet apart. The distance between the ends can be wider or narrower, depending on how high you want the center to be. (If person harvesting beans is only 5 feet tall, you probably need the ends to be 7 feet apart).
We use 2 or 3 panels, making an arbor 8 to 12 feet long. This will produce more beans than you can imagine! Seeds are planted on both sides of each end, resulting in at least 16 feet of plants. Production seems to be greater, probably because the vines now have 16 feet over which to climb and because they are not as crowded, so they have more exposure to sunshine and air, thus reducing various diseases. We also grow long English-type cucumbers on an arbor for nice straight cukes.
This method is great for small areas. In our half-acre garden we produce enough to eat, can and sell at local tail-gate markets.—Dot Montgillion
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