Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and if you have a small garden or are short on space, growing them in containers is a great option. The one thing, however, beans need to grow in containers is a good support system. This blog includes a step by step guide on how to build a wigwam for container growing.
Choosing Your Container
Before growing beans in containers, it is important to make sure you have a big enough container to grow them in. Generally, beans need between 20-23cm of soil so choose a container that is at least 9 inches deep. To grow our climbing beans in containers we use a container that is 38cm deep with a 30cm diameter, in this container we can grow 4 plants up 4 poles. It is important that the containers have adequate drainage so ensure you drill holes in the bottom of the pot if needed and add plenty of crockery.
How to Grow Beans in Containers
As we have covered above, it is important that the beans have good drainage to avoid the plant becoming waterlogged. It is also important to use good quality soil, mix peat-free compost with topsoil for soil that is high in nutrients but also retains water.
Beans don’t tend to like the cold so begin them inside or in a greenhouse so that they form a solid root structure and become a healthy plant. Once any sign of frost has gone, you can transplant them into your container and place them outside in a sheltered area. For an in-depth guide on growing broad beans, click here.
As beans continue to grow they will need a sturdy support system they can grow up to hold the weight of the beans. Discover a step by step guide on how to build a wigwam for container grow beans below.
How to Build a Wigwam for Growing Beans in Containers
What you will need
-2 short pieces of cane.
-4 long pieces of cane (roughly 6 foot)
Begin by drilling holes in the bucket. You will need to drill 4 holes, 2 holes directly opposite each other, or every 90 degrees.
Push the 2 short pieces of cane through the holes to form a cross in the middle. The canes should be cut to size so that there are an inch and a half of the cane sticking out each end.
Secure the canes in place by tying some string together in the middle of the cross. Make sure you keep 1.5 inches sticking out the end of each side of the bucket. Snip off the loose ends of the string.
Take the 4 long pieces of cane that the beans will climb up. Make sure the ends are level at the bottom where they will be tied to the bucket. Tie the canes together about a foot from the top with string. It doesn’t have to be tight, as long they are held together. This is easier to do with 2 people.
Now it is time to attach the long canes (wigwam) to the other shorter canes. Keeping the long canes vertical and touching the floor, rest one cane against a short cane on the outside of the bucket. Repeat the process all the way around. Try to keep the long canes on the same side of the side sticks.
Tie the long cane to the cane going through the bucket. Wrap it tightly around both canes, securing them together with a knot. This will form your wigwam.
Discover the full video below:
Tips for growing climbing beans in containers
-Put them somewhere where they are sheltered, especially when the plants reach the top of the canes. You could put a brick in the bottom of the bucket to help them stand up, however, if you put plenty of crockery in the bottom for drainage you should be fine.
-Beans need plenty of water so ensure you keep the compost moist.
-Once they become fully established plants, feed them once a week with a nutrient-rich fertiliser such as Envii Seafeed Xtra. This is important because with container growing, the soil becomes depleted of nutrients after 6-8 weeks, without adding in quality nutrients after this time period the plant will begin to seriously suffer.
This is a great space-saving method of growing beans as you’ll get enough beans from 3 or 4 plants for a family of four over the season. The more you pick the more you get.