Using Hazel Rods to Support Runner Beans
Bamboo canes always come to mind when thinking about supporting vegetables in the garden. However this isn’t always the case in Colebrooke as we use our native Hazel trees to make bean poles instead of shipping bamboo from China.
Every winter we go around the estate and harvest Hazel rods from around the banks of the Colebrooke river. They make such good supports! Traditionally the trees would be coppiced which means cutting the tree right down, around seven years later many new branches will have regrown to give you another harvest.
How to create a vegetable support
We cut our Hazel to make 8ft rods and use them to support our runner beans which will be growing right up to the start of winter.
Runner beans should be planted 8 inches apart so each rod should be 16 inches apart to allow the plants space.
The supports are built like a long tent with a supporting rod used as a brace on top. Then a generous amount of baling twine is used to tie them all together. I tie supporting ropes into the ground at each end to add extra support.
Runner beans will completely cover the supports over the summer so it’s important to support them from all the weather will throw at them.