Growing beans on tipis is a great way to maximize your
growing space. While beans, peas, gourds or other vinous
plants grow up along the tipi poles, you can plant
semi-hardy crops, such as lettuce, in the space underneath.
The shade from the vines keeps the undercrop cool, which
can extend its season by as much as three weeks, depending
on your USDA zone.
You can make the poles from any material you like — bamboo
to fiberglass. I prefer to make my own from scrap lumber,
ripping it into 3/4" squares the length of the wood. The
poles should be at least 7' long, but this will vary
depending on the height requirements of your plants.
Between 8' to 10' are the best all around sizes.
For each tipi you'll need six stakes and about two yards of
1. Mark three of the stakes 18" to 20" from the top.
them out on the ground, with the two outside stakes on the
left and the middle one on the right. Line up the marks.
3. Tie the twine to one of the outside stakes and weave it
over and under all the stakes at least twice. Now, draw the
woven line tight after wrapping the twine around the woven
cord between each set of stakes. Do this at least twice and
4 Tie off the twine.
5. Stand the unit
up and spread the legs evenly the width of your bed
(normally 30" to 36").
6. Fit the remaining poles around the
7. Wrap the balance of the twine around all
six stakes where they cross, pulling as tightly as you can,
and tie off on one of the original stakes.
You can top-join a row of tipis by laying a stake across
them. If you go this route, leave enough twine to tie the
top stake to the standing unit.