How to Make a Bean Teepee


When Monkey Boy and The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird were young, I would build them a bean teepee every summer.  Back then, we lived on a .25 acre lot and because there was not an abundance of trees, I would purchase 6 foot bamboo poles at the Home Depot.

These days, we live in a more wooded area so we can make teepees a big as we want now.

If you have never built a bean teepee {or even thought about building one} for your kids, and you have the space, you should give it try.  Not only will your kids think you are the coolest parent ever, but if you space the poles far enough, your children will be about to walk into the teepee, giving them a unique summer “clubhouse.”

Lets get started.

First, you’ll need to decide how wide you want the inside of your teepee to be. I spaced my poles far enough apart so there was about 4′ of open space in the center, which is plenty of room for a child and their friend to sit down and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Next,  gather {6} 1o’ wooden poles and secure them together with twine, both at the top and the bottom.  Make sure you push the poles deep into the soil so they don’t fall over if it gets a little windy or Fido walks by.  Most pole beans grow about 6′ tall, so don’t feel like you have to haul 10′ poles home from the hardware store.  6′ poles will work just fine.

Once you have your teepee poles in place, rake the soil from the center of the circle to build up a nice mound of dirt around the teepee base.

Then, plant a generous amount of pole beans in the mound of dirt surrounding the teepee, and water as necessary.

You should have a fully covered teepee in about 60-70 days.


Last year we planted squash at the base of the teepees and it did really well. So if you have the space, go crazy!

If you are interested in learning about the history of teepees, check out Tipis, Tepees, Teepees: History and Design of the Cloth Tipi by Linda Holley.  Amazon currently has the book on sale for $11.55.

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  1. Jennifer says

    Mavis… I am having a hard time getting my beans to actually climb up the teepees …I keep trying to guide them, but all they seem to want to do is attach to each other, not the pole …do you have any suggestions?

    • Mavis says

      Mine do that too sometimes. I just went out and tied one set of my peas to the poles. The other ones took. I think sometimes they grab on to each other and pull themselves down. :(

  2. says

    OMG, I want to make one…for myself!

    Did you eat the beans too or did you use ornamental bean plants? I’m new to this whole gardening thing so I don’t know if ornamental bean plants even exist. Or are these just a vine?

  3. Jessica says

    Enjoy your blog since i fell onto it a few months back. What is the ground cover under your squash/bean poles, if any?

    Sending many thanks from MN.

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