what size container for pole beans?

engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)May 19, 2008

I'm thinking about growing some pole beans in containers,and first need to determine the size container or number of containers needed for probably 10 to 12 plants.I will put up a quick trellis of some sort for them to run on.Thanks

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I used 16" at the diameter and about as deep when I planted mine two summers ago. I had to scale back this year. They grew nicely.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 8:53PM
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jethrojames(7 Raleigh, NC)

Hello engineeredgarden.

I have grown my pole bean in 18 gallon containers in the past with some good success. I usually have 8 plant per containers, and use a bean tower that I bought (forget where, but if you need to know, I can look it up).

Here is a photo of my current pole beans and their setup. There is 2 poles on each side, so I plant 2 seeds at the base of each pole, thinning to one plant when they get established.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:03AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

AW,man......I wish I had that setup.I'll have to show this picture to my wife.Thanks

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 5:18PM
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jethrojames(7 Raleigh, NC)

Hello engineeredgarden!

Thanks! This is my third year growing pole beans this way, and it seems to work fine. In the past, while I have focused on keeping things watered, I have had a hard time keeping things feed. After doing some reading/posting here, I think I will have a better yield this year. However, I will leave the picking of the beans to the wife; she informed me last year that I was letting them stay on too long! :o)

Here is a link to the bean towers that I am using. I think they have been worth it.

Good luck!

BTW, are you an engineer also?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bean Tower

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:17AM
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I've never grown grean beans before but I, too, am growing them in a pot this year.

I like the photos of Jethro's setup. Looks like your spacing is more open than mine.

I have a 20" pot, and I think I put 11 plants in there on a teepee made of 4 posts. I was thinking they'd share the post. But now I think I'm going to have to thin them to 8 plants? 2 per post? What do y'all think in terms of spacing?

Also, Jethro, you mentioned feeding... what are you doing for feed that you didn't do last year? I thought beans weren't partiularly picky as far as food goes, which was why I put them in a pot. Ooops.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:52AM
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jethrojames(7 Raleigh, NC)

Hello kristimama.

I think I went with the spacing I did based on the number of poles that I had on the support. I am not an expert in this area; you maybe able to grow multiple vines on a single support. I am not sure if production would suffer due to the plants being crowded. I imagine if you kept them feed and watered enough, you could get a pretty good density of plants. Perhaps find out how many based on the square food gardening method (they seem to focus on intense gardening)

As feeding is concerned, I have used slow release in the past, but after the first month or so, they run out of food. I notice the plant is not producing or growing much, and I add some water soluble fertilizer (like Miracle-Gro), and the plant takes off again, indicating I had run out of food in the container. I would keep this up about once a week until the end of the growing season. This also happened with my other containered veggies.

My setup has an automatic watering system, and this year, after doing some research and some discussion with justaguy2, I am going to feed my automatic watering system with a weak solution of MG. This will provide a continuous source of food and water. Here is a link to the discussion with justaguy2
Liquid Fertilizer in a Self Watering Container

Hope this helps! Good luck with your beans!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 11:29AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Hey jethro, I want to thank you for all of the information you have given me. The bean tower link is very helpful, and the photos of your setup are awesome. I did some more research, and the sfg method states that the spacing for pole beans is 8 plants per sq. ft. I think i'm only going for 4,because I do not want the vines to become a complete mess. As for the question about being an engineer, i'm only going to state that i'm a blessed individual, when referring to the many skilled trades. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 4:15PM
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jethrojames(7 Raleigh, NC)

Hello engineeredgarden.

Well, glad I was able to help. As far as the vines becoming a "mess", I think you will find that they will look like a mess when they grow up the pole. I need to take a picture of mine when they all get full grown. I think I had a vine from one bean tower lean over and start to grown on the other tower. It was one big tangled mess!

Good luck on your beans, and glad to know you are a blessed individual! :o)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 11:23PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

I'm intrigued with this thread because I'm attempting to grow Kentucky Wonder pole beans on a large tomato cage this yearÂnot in a container but in a very small space. Jethro's setup looks great, and I might give the bean tower a try next year, although I can't imagine sinking those little legs into 10" of my soil without hitting a rock. Or four rocks.

My biggest concern is that the tomato cage, at 44" high, is way too short. We used to grow Kentucky Wonders on much taller fencing. But like I said, this is an experiment. I am bracing the cage with a heavy metal pole. We'll see what happens.

You're probably reading this and thinking my experiment is headed for disaster. And you're probably right. Maybe I should spring for the bean tower sooner rather than later . . .

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:54AM
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vid_nand(Z 9 CA)

Hi All,
I have a container identical to the one listed below. My que is can i plant pole beans in this. I am planning to plant 2 each of the tricolor beans(blue lake, purple peacock, yellow wax) and 1 of kentucky wonder pole. Is this container too big for these. Or can i add cucumber(Cross country also to this)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link of the container

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 2:04PM
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