How To Grow Green Beans Easily From Seed To Harvest
Do you want to know how to grow green beans very easily in your garden? If yes, then this article is the perfect guide for you.
In this article, you will learn how to grow green beans, the different varieties of green beans, their uses, and their health benefits.
Also, you will learn about the conditions necessary for growing green beans as well as the 4 simple steps to successfully grow this plant at home.
Finally, you will learn how to harvest and store green beans so that they last long, and you will also get our 3 bonus tips on how to grow green beans effectively.
If you want all of these pieces of information and more, then continue reading this article till the end.
What are Green Beans?
The green bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, is an herbaceous annual plant in the family Fabaceae which is grown as a pulse and green vegetable.
They are the unripe fruit of various cultivars of the common bean selected especially for the flavor or sweetness of their pods.
Also called the common bean, it is a legume that is grown worldwide and it can be a bushy, vine-like, or climbing variety.
The leaves grow alternately on the stems, are green or purple in color, and are divided into 3 oval leaflets with smooth edges.
The leaves can grow 6–15 cm (2.4–5.9 in) long and 3–11 cm (1.2–4.3 in) wide.
It produces white, pink, lilac, or purple flowers which are approximately 1 cm (0.4 in) in diameter.
The bean pods are 8–20 cm (3.1–7.9 in) long and 1–1.5 cm (0.4–0.6 in) wide which can range in color from green to yellow or black to purple.
Each pod contains 4-6 smooth, kidney-shaped beans.
The common bean may be referred to as a bush bean, dry bean, dwarf bean, field bean, or French bean.
Some other names include snap bean, garden bean, haricot bean, kidney bean, pole bean, or string bean.
The plant originates from America.
The Easy-To-Grow Varieties Of Green Beans
1. Snap-Bush Beans
• Blue Lake 274
This variety has a tasty, unique flavor, is plump, tender, and has a fine texture.
It has dark-green, rounded pods that are 5½ to 6½ inches long and contain white seeds.
Its plants are short and bushy, growing up to 12 to 22 inches tall.
Beans come to maturity almost all at once and it gives heavy yields.
• Bush Kentucky Wonder
Also called Old Homestead, it has an excellent flavor with fleshy, tender, and round-flattened pods that grow to 8 inches long.
It gives heavy yields and it is well fresh and canned.
It fully matures in 52-65 days.
2. Snap-Pole Beans:
• Blue Lake
Blue Lake variety has a beany, sweet juicy, and tender flavor.
It is a dark-green, stringless variety that grows up to 5½ to 7-inch pods and gives heavy, extended yield.
Also, it is a vigorous climber and it fully matures in 62-75 days.
This is a tender, mildly sweet, and nutty variety with a meaty and savory flavor.
It has extra-long round stringless pods that grow to over 11 inches.
Its seeds are walnut-brown and it matures fully in 60-70 days.
3. Bush Yellow Beans:
• Golden Crop Wax
This variety has a tender, stringless bean and is straight, round bright yellow.
Its pods grow to 5 to 6½ inches with white seeds.
Golden Crop Wax plants are small, compact, and upright and it gives abundant yield.
It fully matures in about 45-65 days.
• Resistant Cherokee Wax
Resistant Cherokee is an oval, bright-yellow and straight variety with 5½ to 6½ inch slightly curved pods.
It has large vigorous and erect plants with heavy yields even in adverse weather.
It fully matures in about 50-56 days.
4. Lima Beans:
• Fordhook Bush
Fordhook Bush has a nutty flavor with short, fat-thick greenish-white pods that grow up to 3½ to 4 inches long.
It is usually 1 inch wide with 3 to 5 large seeds.
This variety is very productive and fully matures in 70-85 days.
Uses Of Green Beans
The common bean is used as a pulse and green vegetable is eaten fresh or cooked.
You can dry the beans, cook them in sauce, or can them.
Because of their anti-aging properties, green beans are used in skin and hair products.
Health Benefits Of Green Beans
1. Green Beans May Protect Gut Health
The fiber in green beans helps to keep your digestive system healthy and running smoothly.
Those with irritable bowel syndrome (and other intestinal issues) often do better by avoiding high FODMAP foods.
FODMAPs are carbohydrates that may not be digested or absorbed well.
Green beans are a low FODMAP food, which can help to improve symptoms of digestive disorders.
2. Green Beans May Protect Bone Health
Green beans are high in vitamin K, and they also contain a decent amount of calcium.
These nutrients are important for maintaining strong, healthy bones and reducing your risk of fractures.
3. Green Beans May Help with Anemia
Iron is an essential part of the red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to all of the other cells throughout your body.
Green beans provide a decent source of plant-based iron that can help to ensure that you get the amount you need to avoid anemia.
4. Green Beans May Help Prevent Cancer
Green beans contain chlorophyll, which may help to slow the growth of cancer tumors and reduce the risk of cancer.
Many of the current studies, however, use animals.
Conditions Necessary For Growing Green Beans
Bean seeds don’t germinate well in cold, wet soils, so wait to plant them until after the last expected frost.
Green beans grow best at soil temperatures between 15.5 and 29°C (60–85°F) and are sensitive to cold temperatures and frosts.
Beans should be directly seeded in the garden when the soil has reached a temperature of at least 15.5°C (60°F).
They also need warm soil, consistent moisture, and at least six to eight hours of sunlight every day to thrive.
The optimum temperature for germination must be between 15.5 and 29°C (60–85°F).
They will grow best in fertile, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.75 and they will perform best in full sunlight.
How To Grow Green Beans Step-By-Step
Step 1: Seed Preparation For Green Beans
The only thing you can do to prepare green beans for planting is to dry them.
If you soak them in water, it will result in poor germination because they don’t have hard outer shells.
Step 2: Soil Preparation For Green Beans
Green beans thrive in soils with healthy levels of organic matter, so it helps to lay down a layer of garden compost or well-aged manure when preparing the bed.
Lay down a 1” (2.5 cm) layer for bush beans, and a 2” (5 cm) layer for pole beans.
Step 3: Planting Of Green Beans Seeds
Plant your seeds 2.5–3.5 cm (1–1.5 in) deep.
You can plant bush beans 5–10 cm (2–4 in) apart and with 0.6–0.9 m ( 2–3 ft) between rows.
You can plant pole beans in both rows and hills.
In rows, space the seeds 15–25 cm (6–10 in) apart and with 0.9–1.2 m (3–4 ft) between rows.
Step 4: How To Train Your Green Bean Plant
Pole beans should be provided with a pole or trellis to climb on to support the weight of the pods and allow light to penetrate all parts of the plant, helping to prevent disease.
Bean poles should have a rough surface to help the plant grip and should be 1.8–2.1 m (6–7 ft) long.
Three or four poles can be used to form a tripod onto which the plants can be trained.
Bean trellises can be constructed easily using posts (or a tripod arrangement of poles), wire and twine.
Position a post at either end of the area in which you wish to plant a row of beans and connect with two lengths of wire.
The first wire should be approximately 13 cm (5 in) from the ground, and the second 1.5–1.8 m (5–6 ft) from the ground.
Finally, use the twine to create a V-shaped trellis by tying the twine to the bottom wire.
Continue to zigzag the string all the way along the wires to the second support before tying the twine off.
A rough-textured twine is best as it will encourage the plant to climb and twine around it.
Pinch back the growing tips of the plants once they reach the top support to encourage the plant to branch.
How To Harvest Green Beans
Beans are generally ready for harvest approximately two weeks after bloom.
The beans should be harvested just before the seeds mature and before they form bumps on the pod.
The pods should be firm and snap when they are bent.
Pick beans every 2–3 days to ensure the plants remain productive.
Pinch beans rather than pulling to avoid damaging the plant.
How To Properly Store Green Beans
Green beans should be stored unwashed in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
You can transfer them to reusable storage or plastic bag before storing them in the fridge.
General Care Of Green Beans
Mulching around the base of the plants helps to keep the ground moist for longer
Any weeds that do peek through should be removed by hand to avoid disturbing the bean plant’s roots.
Planting at cooler temperatures leads to slow germination and promotes seed rotting.
Give your bean plants about two inches of water per week.
Diseases Of Green Beans And Their Prevention Techniques
1. Alternaria Leaf Spot
Small irregular brown lesions on leaves that expand and turn gray-brown or dark brown with concentric zones may appear.
Also, older areas of lesions may dry out and drop from leaves causing shot holes and lesions to coalesce to form large necrotic patches.
You may need to apply a foliar fungicide.
This disease may appear as small, dark brown to black lesions on cotyledons and oval or eye-shaped lesions on stems.
The stems may break if cankers weaken the stem.
Other symptoms include pods drying and shrinking above areas of visible symptoms and reddish-brown spots on pods that become sunken.
To prevent this, you can plant resistant varieties and/or use certified disease-free seeds.
3. White Mold
You may notice white, cottony growth covering the flowers and small, circular, dark green, water-soaked lesions on pods, leaves, and branches.
The cottony white growth may be visible on lesions during periods of high humidity and death of branches and/or the entire plant may occur.
There is no cure for white mold but you can prevent it if you avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizer and use a wide row spacing.
4. Bacterial Blight
Symptoms include water-soaked spots on leaves that enlarge and become necrotic spots which are surrounded by a zone of yellow discoloration.
Lesions coalesce and give plants a burned appearance.
Also, leaves that die remain attached to the plant and a circular, sunken, red-brown lesion may be present on pods.
To prevent, treat seeds with an appropriate antibiotic prior to planting to kill off bacteria.
You can also spray plants with an appropriate protective copper-based fungicide before the appearance of symptoms.
3 Tips On How To Grow Green Beans
- Balance your soil’s pH to further encourage growth.
- Water at the base to prevent rots and/or diseases.
- Provide adequate sunlight.
If you have been struggling to grow beans on your own, I believe you now know how to grow green beans very easily from seeds to harvest.
Also, you now know the different types of beans you can plant at home, as well as the uses and health benefits of green beans.
You can grow green beans under perfect growing conditions using our 4 simple steps with this knowledge.
Also, you will be able to harvest and store green beans for longer periods of time.
Now, the ball is in your court to take action and start growing your own green beans in your garden.
If you need more help, check the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about growing green beans below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What month is the best time to plant green beans?
It is best to plant them in spring once the danger of frost has passed.
- How long does it take to grow beans to harvest?
Beans should be ready to harvest as soon as 65 days after planting.
- What causes yellow leaves on my green beans?
If your plant isn't getting enough sun, then the leaves will turn yellow from lack of nutrition.
- Which fertilizer is best for green beans?
The best fertilizers for beans have an NPK value of 5-10-10 and are therefore low in nitrogen (N) and higher in potassium (P) and phosphorus (K).
- Webmd – Health Benefits of Green Beans
- Plant Village – Bean Diseases
- Harvest to Table – Bean Varieties: Best Bets and Easy-to-Grow