Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Build a Pole-Bean Teepee (Tutorial)

Somewhere deep inside of me there is a lady who does really unusual things sometimes… and I’m not sure if it’s because she’s a really awesome mother who does fabulous things with her children, or if it’s because she’s a really big kid who never grew up.  I’m pretty sure it’s because she’s a big kid…

Last week I built a teepee for my children… because you know, as a child, I never had a teepee.  If you can’t have a teepee as a child, having one in your 30’s is definitely the next best thing.

Now let me tell you… I have never built anything in my entire life.  So if I can do this, you can do this too!
First, I sent the Little farmhands to gather up the tools:
 Picture 187

(I really didn’t know which shovel I would need, so bringing them all seemed like it would save time!)
The next step was to take a pick and just sort of chop-chop a circle into the ground.  My circle was a bit oblong and I didn’t bother turning over the soil where I wanted the door to be.  (That’s right… we never did use the shovels!):

 Picture 188

Next, I put 4 bamboo poles in the “corners” of the teepee.  I just gathered the poles at the top and tied them with twine.
Picture 190

Then I filled in the teepee by adding more bamboo poles and tying those poles up, around the poles that were already there.

(By the way, if you make one of these, make sure you take the stepladder out of the teepee before adding too many poles.  Otherwise you’ll have a stepladder permanently inside your teepee.  Yes, I learned this the hard way.)
 Picture 192

Then I just wrapped twine around the poles (making sure to leave an opening for the door!).  The idea is that the beans will grow up the sides of the teepee and it will support the beans and provide a really unusual, shady place to hang out during the hot summer months!
 Picture 194

Oh, but guess what.  When Papa the Farmer came home, we made him close his eyes and we brought him around to the side of the house and then said, “Surprise!  We made a teepee!”

Picture 193

And Papa the Farmer said, “Beans will never grow there!”  And he picked the whole thing up and moved it down into the garden.  It will add an interesting dimension to the garden, but when I think of all that time I spent digging up the ground!  

So maybe I will plant sunflowers there instead.  I think sunflowers will grow there!

Do you have anything unusual that adds dimension and interest to your garden?  I would love to hear about it!  Please don’t be shy!  Leave a comment!


  1. If only I had a garden...
    -Beka =)

  2. Have you tried Square Foot Gardening? It's a great way to start and takes very little space! I saw the book "Square Foot Gardening" at Dollar General for $5 the other day! It's also at the library and they have a website... Or, you can come to our house and adopt some land. Then I'd get to see you every week! =)

  3. How's your teepee doing? I'm thinking about trying this with my daughter soon. Our growing season is still a little while away.