I started by driving a short (approximately 12-14 inch long) piece of rebar about halfway into the ground. I slid one end of the pvc pipe over the end of the rebar and then carefully bent the pipe in an arch to see how tall I could make the arch without putting the pvc in too much of a bind. I marked the spot on the ground and drove a second piece of rebar in, and slid the other end of the pipe onto that piece of rebar. Then I measured out how long I wanted the arbor to be (this one happens to be 7 feet, but it's really your choice) and arched a second piece of pvc in the same manner as the first. Next, I used some scrap hay string and lashed a 1 inch square wooden stake (purely because that's what I had on hand) to the top of each pvc arch, near the center (see the bottom right photo below). Finally, I stretched plastic bird netting across the whole structure to form a tunnel of sorts, and wove more hay string through the netting and around the pvc (again, see the bottom right photo below). Down the center of the tunnel, I layered empty feed bags and covered them with straw, to help keep the weeds down. I planted my beans down each side of the arbor, for 14 total feet of planted beans.
Today I noticed that all of my beans have sprouted! We have had steady, gentle rain all day today, which I'm sure helped a great deal, because the beans are 2 inches tall already. Once they begin to climb the arbor, I will take more photos to share with you. Have you ever grown pole beans on an arbor like this? What is your favorite trellis design for pole beans and why?
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