Bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) are a staple of many vegetable gardens because they are easy to grow, even in small spaces, and they are quite productive! Here’s how to grow, harvest, and plant green beans. Beans come in a variety of delectable varieties that may be grown in gardens and containers. They can be classified according to their edible portions (pods vs. seeds), how they’re consumed (fresh pods vs. fresh seeds vs. dried seeds), or how they grow (bush versus pole). And for green beans, it’s this last group that makes the most sense. Planting green beans will definitely give additional value to your garden.
Bush beans grow quickly and easily, with most kinds reaching a height of 12 to 24 inches. The harvest normally begins around seven to eight weeks after the seeds are planted in late spring and last for about three weeks.
Pole beans, also known as runner beans or vining snap beans, are eight to ten feet tall plants. They’ll start producing eleven to twelve weeks after sowing if planted on a trellis, teepee, tower, netting, or other support. The harvest season is longer than that of bush beans, lasting six to eight weeks.
When growing green beans, the first thing to consider is whether they are bush beans or pole beans. Bush beans do not twine or climb like pole beans. Instead, bush beans grow to a certain height, produce their fruit, and then stop growing.
Planting Green Beans in your home garden
When planting green beans choose a location with at least eight hours of daily light and moderately fertile, well-drained soil when planting green beans. Ensure that your plants receive plenty of direct sunshine. High temperatures, on the other hand, can cause your green bean plants’ flowers to fall off, so use row covers to protect your plants from the sun. Green beans thrive in soil that is somewhat acidic, with a pH of around 6.0. Because green beans fix their own nitrogen, regular, rich soil can aid in the production of high-quality plants without the need for fertilizer. (However, if pole beans are consistently producing crops, they may require supplementary compost halfway through the growing season.)
Remove all weeds and rubbish from the planting area before planting green beans. Green beans are best grown in raised beds, although they can also be grown in pots and planters. Choose a large window box or a container with a diameter of at least 15 inches for bush beans. The container for pole beans should be at least 18 inches in diameter. Fill pots halfway with a high-quality potting mix and the rest with compost. Then break up the huge clods by tilling the soil 8 to 10 inches deep and raking it several times. Working the garden soil should be done only when it is dry enough to not stick to garden tools.
Plant green beans only after all dangers of frost have gone in the spring. Plant them 10 to 12 weeks before the first forecast frost in the fall. For every 100 feet of green bean row, use 14 to 12 pounds of seed. To protect seedlings from illnesses until they are up and growing, use fungicide-treated seeds if feasible. Seeds that have been treated should not be eaten.
Plant the seeds 1 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart in a row for bush beans. The distance between the rows should be between 21/2 and 3 feet. Thin the plants to 3 to 4 inches apart once the beans have grown. Plant the seed 3 to 4 feet apart in rows for pole beans. On a row, plant them approximately 3 feet apart in hills. In the center of each hill, place a 6- to 8-foot stake. Plant three to four seeds, one inch deep in the dirt, around the stake. The bean vines will climb the stake as they mature. Plant when the soil is sufficiently wet to allow seeds to germinate and emerge promptly.
Mulch the soil around the bean plants to keep them wet and well-drained. Because beans have short roots, mulch helps to keep them cool.
Water on a weekly basis, roughly 2 inches per square foot. Beans will cease blooming if they are not kept sufficiently hydrated. On sunny days, water lightly so that the foliage does not become wet, which might encourage disease.
Beans thrive when the soil is well-fertilized. Use 2 to 3 pounds of fertilizer, such as 10-20-10, for a 10-foot long by 10-foot broad area. Mix the fertilizer in with the top 3 to 4 inches of soil after spreading it evenly across the area.
When the sugar content in the beans is at its peak, harvest them first thing in the morning. Green beans are harvested while they are young and fragile before the seeds have fully matured. Every day, pluck green beans; the more you pick, the more beans will grow. Look for hard, large pieces that can be snapped—roughly the thickness of a pencil. Remove the beans from the plant by snapping or cutting them off, being careful not to harm the plant. When fresh beans are broken, they should snap readily. Green beans are past their prime when the seeds inside bulge and the beans taste rough.
Storing Green Beans
Refrigerate the beans in an airtight, moisture-proof container. beans will toughen over time, even when stored properly. After harvesting, beans can be stored fresh for about four days or blanched and frozen right away. Beans can be canned or pickled as well.
Pest and Diseases
Bean Common Mosaic Virus
By generating a mosaic pattern on the leaves, the bean common mosaic virus stunts or kills plants. Rather than composting, afflicted plants should be removed and disposed from the garden. If the mosaic virus has infected your garden, look for resistant varieties and keep insects at bay to prevent the virus from spreading.
The most common fungal infection that affects beans is bean rust. Avoid overhead watering and don’t touch the foliage or pick the pods when the leaves are wet to prevent the fungus from spreading. Remove and kill infected plants after harvesting to prevent spores from overwintering and returning the next season.
Leaf Spot Diseases
Anthracnose, rust, and bacterial lead spot infections are all leaf spot diseases. It’s more common in plantings with poor air circulation or rows that are too close together. These infections can be reduced by not planting beans in the same area year after year.
Leafhoppers are little, light green, or gray wedge-shaped insects that harm bean foliage by sucking out plant juices and spreading illnesses. They may appear in warm weather. Leafhoppers can be controlled with an organic, broad-spectrum contact insecticide. To avoid killing beneficial garden insects, it should only be used in a targeted manner.
Green bean leaves, blossoms, and pods are all damaged, but they’re so little that you won’t notice. Because thrips overwinter in weeds and plant debris, keeping your garden properly kept is excellent protection.
They are soft-bodied sucking insects that are vectors for plant diseases. They exude honeydew while they eat plant leaves, which attract ants and other insects. Check for aphids on the underside leaves. They may be simply handled by spraying them with a strong stream of water to knock them off the plants.