How To Grow Beans
Green beans, snap beans, string beans…whatever you want to call them, most bean varieties are extraordinary producers in the garden, especially in the Northwest. Many varieties of beans are green, though you can find yellow, purple and red, which taste just as delicious and add a nice splash of color to the garden. Follow the steps below and you’ll be growing beans in no time at all!
Beans are best planted directly in the garden during late spring through early summer (May – July) as they are not too keen on cold weather. They do not transplant very well either, so starting indoors usually isn’t an option. Add a moderate amount of compost or well rotted manure to your soil and dig it in. With most plants we grow, we add a little bit of organic fertilizer as well, 1/2 cup for a 4 square foot section should be more than plenty. Mix the fertilizer in evenly, smooth your bed over with a rake and you’re ready to plant!
There are two general types of beans, pole beans and bush beans. If your planting pole beans, you will need some sort of trellis to support the vines as they grow. Bush beans don’t need support and will do just fine on their own.
When planting beans, we usually poke the seeds about 1″ into the soil, opposed to digging little trenches. It saves times and works just as well.
Spacing depends on the variety:
Pole beans: Plant every 4″ – 6″.
Bush beans: Plant every 18″ – 24″.
Gently cover any depressions left by planting with some soil, water well and you’re on your way to growing beans!
Caring For Beans
Beans have a rather shallow and weak root system, so be sure to keep your soil evenly moist, not soaked. Keep this in mind when you’re weeding or hoeing, you don’t want to dig too deep into the soil. Due to their shallow roots, you’ll also want to keep them weeded, eliminating any competition for water and nutrients.
We never have had to fertilize during the middle of the growing season and have produced outstanding crops.
You can harvest beans at any size, though you will have premium results when they “snap” when bent. We usually wait until you can just see the seeds forming, yet before they become too noticeable. There comes a point when the skins will become tough and woody, it tends to happen sooner than you think.
Another great excuse to constantly harvest your beans is the fact that the plant will continue to produce new flowers, which in turn will turn into new beans.
Harvesting Bean Seeds
Once your beans start to become too tough to enjoy, we leave them on the plant for the remainder of the season. As the pods become leathery the seeds will begin to harden. When the seeds are hard, remove the seed and leave them in a dry place for several days. You now have seed for next year!
Powdery Mildew, Bean Mosaic Disease, Bacterial Bean Blight