Which bean support works best?

If you’re building your own bean support using bamboo, there are 3 standard styles – the A Frame, the Wigwam and the X Frame. Here are the pros and cons of each…and if you’re wondering which is our favourite, it would probably be the X Frame for ease of picking and good yield, but only for those sites that have space to spare and are reasonably sheltered from strong winds.

Wigwam

This is an easy-to-build bean support that involves prodding 8-10 bamboo canes into the soil in a circle and tying them together at the top.

Pros:

  • Good for smaller gardens
  • Perfect if you are growing beans in large pots
  • Makes a good den for children, especially if you make it into a three quarters circle, leaving an entrance on one side!
  • Looks lovely

Cons:

  • Picking the beans growing inside the wigwam is tricky
  • An awkward shape in a raised bed plot

A Frame

This is probably the most common type of bamboo support to build for beans. It involves putting 3-5 bamboo canes along 2 parallel rows, then bringing them together at the top and securing with a horizontal bamboo cane.

Pros:

  • Works well in raised bed plots and traditional plots
  • Beans have good spacing and grow really well
  • Easy to build

Cons:

  • Reaching the beans growing inside the a-frame is awkward
  • Can be a little unstable on windy days with the weight of the bean plants.

X Frame

This is a slight adaptation on the A-Frame, that basically brings the cross bar lower down, as pictured, and sets the two rows a little further apart..

Pros:

  • Works well in raised beds and traditional plots
  • Picking is easier
  • Usually gives a better yield due to extra spacing between rows

Cons:

  • Takes up a bit more space
  • Can be a bit wobbly on windy days
  • You have to train the beans to climb the poles once they get past the cross bar.