How To Grow Beans - Backyard Boss
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How To Grow Beans

Wax beans, string beans, snap beans… The list of delicious beans goes on! They’re a nutritious vegetable filled with vitamin C, A, K, antioxidants, zinc, iron and much more! With so many amazing nutrients, they are said to help eye health, reduce heart disease, aid digestion, and offer other benefits.

Want to gain access to all the things beans have to offer? Do so by planting and growing your own fresh beans! The plants produce plenty and are easily grown with proper planting, caring, and harvesting. Want to grow beans like a pro? Here is everything you need to know about how to grow beans from start to finish!

Materials Required

Planting out broad bean vegetable seedlings, plants on a wooden board and in the soil with a garden trowel
Image credits: Richard Griffin via Shutterstock

Ready to start growing beans? But wait! Before you start pulling seeds out of the pack, ensure you have the proper materials for bean success!

  • Bean seeds
  • Gardening soil
  • Compost
  • Watering can or hose
  • Clean garden shears or scissors
  • Gardening gloves (optional)

Step One – Pick Your Beans

person holding purple striped bean that is growing from plant
Image credits: Nina Luong via Unsplash

There are plenty different types of the common bean, phaseolus vulgaris, that offer a range of colors, flavors, and sizes. There are even purple striped beans!

When selecting your type, you must first consider what growth variety works best for your garden space.

One variety is bush beans. These beans grow in a wide-spread bushy manner and do not require supports. Bush beans grow quickly, and are even good for those wanting to grow beans in containers! Within 45 to 60 days you’ll be swimming in a fresh harvest.

The other variety is pole beans, which needs supports by either garden stakes or trellises. These types take up less space than bush beans, growing upwards instead of outwards. Pole beans are also easy to harvest, however, they take longer to produce compared to bush beans. They will be fully mature and ready for harvest within 50 to 70 days.

Find the bean variety that intrigues you and matches your growing style and preference. Then get ready to start setting up your garden!

Step Two – Find the Perfect Garden Spot

Raised garden bed filled with beans and trellises
Image credits: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

Depending on what type of bean you are going to plant, ensure your bean plant has enough space to grow!

If you plant to grow bush beans, find a space that offers plenty of room. Bush beans do well in raised garden beds but also thrive in containers. On the other hand, if you want to grow pole beans, find a location with space for trellises or stakes.

The spot you choose needs to have plenty of sunshine. Beans are full sun plants, requiring about six to eight hours of sunlight per day. Once you’ve found your spot, it’s time to move to the next step!

Step Three – Prepare Your Garden Beds

Person holding dirt above a wheelbarrow filled with gardening soil
Image credits: Zoe Schaeffer via Unsplash

Beans grow best in tilled, well-draining soil that is slightly acidic (between 6 and 7 pH). If you don’t know the pH of your soil, test it! To do so, use a soil tester or try a DIY soil test with household items.

To prepare your garden beds, use a mixture of organic compost and gardening soil. It is important that your gardening soil contains loam and sand to promote proper drainage. Beans that grow in overly moist soil will succumb to disease or root rot.

If you are planting pole variety beans, now is also the time to set up your garden trellises or stakes.

Pro Tip: Need to refresh your raised garden beds to get them ready for bean growth? Take a look at this article on how to revive your garden to boost your plant development!

Step Four – Plant Your Bean Seeds

Image credits: Marco de Benedictis via Shutterstock

Now that your garden is set, it is time to plant your beans!

Always ensure that you plant your bean seeds only after the risk of frost has passed. This is usually May or June, depending upon where you live and your climate. Check what zone you live in to narrow it down.

Bean seeds are sown directly into the soil, at a depth of about an inch deep. Keep in mind this depth may vary with the type of bean you are planting. Verify the proper seed depth using the instructions on your seed packet.

To plant your seeds, use your finger to make an indentation in the soil an inch deep. Drop the seed in, covering lightly with soil and then watering. If you are growing multiple bean plants, for bush beans, allow four to six inches between each seed. For pole beans, allow three to four inches between each seed.

Pro Tip: Because bush beans grow quickly and grow in bulk, consider staggering out when you plant your seeds. For example, try planting your bush beans with gaps of two weeks between. This staggers production, letting you harvest your beans over time rather than all at once.

Step Five – Water and Care for Your Beans

Bean seedlings beginning to emerge from the soil
Image credits: Anna via Pixabay

While your beans begin to grow, the proper amount of watering will go a long way!

Beans need about an inch of rainfall each week. For those living in dry climates with little precipitation, hand water accordingly. Don’t forget to save on watering costs by harvesting your rainwater and using that for your plants!

As your bean garden continues to flourish, maintain the garden bed by removing weeds. Additional care for pole bean varieties includes guiding straying vines onto trellises.

Step Six – Harvest Your Beans

Freshly picked green beans from garden resting on a cloth
Image credits: Mike Kenneally via Unsplash

Though the timing is different for each variety, the harvest times for beans are roughly between 50 and 70 days  (as mentioned above). Bush beans produce beans ready for harvest quickly, whereas pole beans will take longer.

Many beans are ready for harvest when they are tender to the touch, and about the thickness of a pencil. Again, this varies depending on the bean type and cultivar you are growing.

To harvest beans, pinch the tops and snap them off. If doing this by hand, ensure you are careful not to pull or damage the plant. You may also choose to use clean garden shears or scissors to harvest the bean from the plant.

Pro Tip: Whether you harvest your beans early or later, always remember to harvest your beans before the first frost!

Bean There, Done That!

Now that you know the steps to properly growing beans, begin planning your own bean garden!

To grow beans all you need is the bean seeds of your choice and a sunny spot with well-draining soil. When planting, support pole varieties with trellises, or allow more space for bush varieties. With a little TLC (and water), your bean plants will produce plenty for you to enjoy throughout the season!

What varieties of beans do you like to grow? What is your favorite recipe to use your fresh beans in? Comment below with your bean preferences!