Planting Guide - Bean Seeds
Growing Beans in Your Garden
Our selection of beans is divided into 2 groups: Bush Beans and Pole Beans.
Bush Beans – Determinate, meaning they grow to a certain size, about 2’ tall, blossom, turn out a single harvest of beans, then die. This is good if you want a crop to be ready almost all at once for canning or freezing. A succession of bush bean plantings, say plant every 10 days, will give you a higher yield continuously through the season.
Pole Beans – Indeterminate, meaning they continue growing and producing beans through the season, requiring support as they vine. Erecting a trellis or a pole to climb is necessary.
When & How to Plant Beans
Green Beans, also called snap beans, are a tender annual best planted early in the season as soon as the frost has passed. Sow green beans in the garden just after the last frost in spring. If you need to extend your season, you can start them indoors 3-4 weeks prior and then transplant a week or two after the last frost. Beans generally do not respond well to transplanting, so we suggest to direct-sow them just after the last spring frost.
Beans grow best in full sun, with a minimum of 6 hours of sun each day. Prepare the beds by amending with compost and organic material so that you have loose, well-drained soil. Dampen soil slightly prior to planting. Beans are from the legume family which means they capture nitrogen from the air and “fix” it in their roots. This process is enhanced with an inoculate but not necessary.
Bean Seed Growing Guide
Beans grow best in temperatures between 50-85F. Plant bush beans 3-4” apart, rows 18-24” apart. Plant pole beans 4-6” apart, setting rows 30-36’ apart. Set poles, stakes or supports in place at planting time. Pole beans can also be planted in inverted hills – digging a round 20” bowl and planting 5-6 seeds inside.
Keep soil evenly moist but not soaked until most beans are up and growing with at least one or two sets of true leaves. Water deeply as needed thereafter, usually once a week. Fresh beans should be ready for picking 65-70 days later.
Beans do well and can be mutually beneficial when planted with corn, strawberries and cucumber.
Possible Problems with Beans
Bean plants should be spaced out as recommended so the plants enjoy good ventilation where proper development can be promoted and mildew or mold can be deterred. Beans should not be grown in the same spot more than once every four years.
Avoid planting beans near onion, garlic or fennel.
Beans can become tough and fibrous overnight, so don’t wait too long to harvest them. Harvesting will become one of your new, favorite daily tasks as new beans will ripen each day once they become as thick as a pencil. Gently pull or snap the bean from the vine.
Beans are incredibly versatile! Harvesting at various times throughout the season will provide you with very different results. Picked as immature beans still in their shell, you’ll have Snap Beans that can be eaten raw or cooked. Shell beans are more mature and need to have the shell removed before eating. At the end of the season, Dry Beans can be harvested when they are fully mature and dried on the vine, producing a dry bean that is able to be stored for later use.
Preparing for Next Season
Members of the Cabbage Family are leafy greens that thrive on nitrogen-rich soil. Plant them where a member of the bean family has grown before. Members include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and turnip greens.