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Growing Beans

Growing Beans

Nikki Green Bush Beans



Beans are an easy-to-grow, nutritious vegetable crop available in multiple forms and habits. Different types are eaten fresh, cooked, or dried for use in soups and chili.

Beans can be classified by their habit. Climbing types are called pole beans, and they have twining vines that climb trellises and support structures.Bush types have a compact, non-vining habit and usually produce a concentrated harvest. Half-runner types produce short, climbing vines.

Beans are also classified by the type of pods they produce and how they are used

  • Snap beans are eaten whole. They are sometimes called green beans
  • Filet beans are very slender types of snap beans. they are sometimes called French filet beans
  • Wax beans are a type of smooth podded snap bean that have a shiny surface
  • Fresh shell beans are harvested when pods are mature, but before the seeds dry. The seeds are removed from the pods, similar to a shelling pea. They are also called horticultural beans or flageolet beans
  • Dry beans are allowed to mature fully and dry on plants before harvest and are commonly used in soups and chili
  • Romano beans are flat-podded green beans commonly used as a snap bean. they are sometimes called Italian flat beans.

How to Plant

Grow beans in full sun in moist, well-drained soil. They also make good container plants.

Beans can be direct sown in the garden after the last spring frost. Plant the seeds ½ to 1 inch deep. Climbing varieties are often seeded in groups in hills 3 to 5 feet apart. Bush types are sown 2 to 4 inches apart in rows, with rows spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. Bean seed can be soaked overnight in warm water before planting to enhance germination.

Bean seed should be treated with a beneficial bacterial inoculant before planting, to allow the plants to naturally "fix" nitrogen from the air.


Keep snap beans picked regularly to ensure continued production. Bush varieties can be sown every 2 to 3 weeks for an extended harvest.

Fertilizer Recommendations

If inoculated, Beans are light feeders that need occasional fertilization. Benefits from additional fertilization when not inoculated. Use low rates of ALGOplus All Purpose 6-6-6 liquid fertilizer or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1.

Common Problems

Beans are generally easy-to-grow and free from serious pests. Aphids, bean beetles, and whitefly are occasional pests. Use 70% neem oil or Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew to treat insect pests.

Alternative Products

Runner beans are a climbing bean that is edible and ornamental. Lima beans are a warm season bean available in both bush and pole types. 

Product Recommendations

Use a bacterial inoculant to treat bean seed before planting to ensure bean plants can fix nitrogen. Climbing varieties can be supported with a Bean and Pea Tower

Bean Facts

Beans were one of the staple crops grown together with corn and squash by some Native American tribes.


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Growing Tips