Everything you need to know about growing beans

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Beans have always longed for me. Some of my fondest childhood memories include standing by the kitchen sink, helping my grandmother cut beans after climbing apple trees in her backyard. There is something about these repetitive movements, the clattering sound, that still comforts me as an adult in my own kitchen, which is why it is a vegetable that I always have in my summer garden.

Regardless of your own food memories, I am here to encourage you to grow them in your garden as well. They are easy to grow են are feverish growers, նույնպես you also do not need a full house (residents of small space, I’m looking at you). If you have a pot, a bush of beans is ready to serve you.

There are many varieties of beans to study, ամեն the most difficult to grow may be to decide which ones to choose from the seed catalog. So get ready to start dreaming spicy green bean salads, smooth fava bean dipshome-made edamame snacks… heh, you can even try your hand at some gorgeous Greek giant beans և keep them for autumn stewing.

Because there are so many varieties of beans, it is difficult to know which type will work best for your growing conditions. The most important thing to know is the differences between the two main groups of beans, the “bush bean”. From there, you can explore the flavors, textures, and colors that excite you the most.

Pole Beans:

Varieties of these climbing vines can grow up to 10 to 15 feet tall, which means they will need some support as they grow. They offer a longer harvest window with climbing pods (usually 6 to 8 weeks), so if you have vertical space for it, this is a great bean for growing all summer long.

Bush beans.

Much more compact (about 2 feet from the top), these varieties are great for smaller backyard gardens as they do not need any support as they grow. They are usually planted in double rows and are perfect raised beds և containers similarly, they produce a shorter window period of 3 to 4 weeks, planting in sequence taking into account longer harvest windows throughout the season.

Snap, Shell և Dried Beans.

The most commonly grown beans are spicy varieties, which eat whole, delicate, young, while the beans are still small. Peeled beans, such as edamam ան fava, are removed from the pod and eaten fresh or steamed. Finally, the dried beans are left on the plant to dry before harvest և may have incredible shelf life when stored properly.

Green, wax և purple beans.

These coated varieties can be divided into color categories. In green beans (most commonly grown), “green” instead of its color actually refers to its immature, soft texture, while wax beans have a waxy texture և, in some cases, yellow pods. Purple beans are wonderful depending on the vine, but it should be noted that they lose their color after cooking.

No matter what type of beans you choose, they all have the same basic needs (beyond space աջակց cage support). Pasture – rich, warm, clayey soil with good drainage. Beans usually do not like transplants, so it is recommended to sow them on the spot after the last frost. I personally like to soak my bean seeds overnight before planting to start germination, but it is not necessary. If you buy a lush package of bean seedlings in the nursery, do not worry, just be extra careful not to disturb the root balls when placing them in the ground.

The amazing thing about beans is that they do not need anything else, including fertilization, և they are actually incredible for the overall health of your garden soil. They improve the soil through bacteria, which form nodules in their roots, while converting atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium nitrogen, which is released into the soil to divide neighboring plants. This is why many gardeners plant legumes as a rotating crop to revitalize overgrown soil. Plants are amazing, my friends, և humble beans are no exception.

If growing in a container, make sure you have a pot at least 12 inches deep և large drainage. Matte pots և wine barrels are ideal as they allow the extra moisture to evaporate, avoiding too wet soil and root rot. As long as you are planting in full water and following the irrigation regime, you should not have any problems. If you have vertical space, I encourage you to experiment with some types of beans as well. I know people who like to grow them as privacy screens, shadow barriers for summer balconies.

Probably the most important part of growing beans (especially for polar varieties) is having the cage ready on the day of planting. Most people underestimate the need for early support. What may seem like a small seedling one day may be an inactive vine the next day in distress. Here are some support ideas that you can get or even DIY yourself.


These collapsible grilles are a great option if you need to keep them flat in the winter. I love them because you can easily adjust the width of the circle to fit a variety of grape vegetables or use in different places as needed.


For those who are in the market for 2 way radios for personal use, look no further. They are great for windy areas as their circular structure can withstand wind better than others.


Basically, for tomato box beans, they may work on the more expensive side, but they are a pretty basic plug-and-play option. Many people go for storage, which is a bonus. If you are in the mood for DIY, you can make your own version with a few ropes and wooden sticks.


The simplest և widely used box for ease of adjustment, it consists of two columns placed within your growing area with a pig wire or rope inserted between them to provide support.


If you are looking for a box that doubles as a design accent, then the garden arch is your friend. They can be made by buying Pork lining sheet from your local sticker shop. For extra visual interest, try growing a flowering vine or other grape vegetable, such as a pumpkin, or double your beans for a double crop.

Be it the Mexican bean beetle, the Japanese beetle, or the bean-leaf beetle, your plant’s biggest enemy will probably be … the beetle. The best way to solve this problem is to find them early and put them in a bucket of soapy water. Be sure to check your plants every morning when the beetles are a little less active until the problem is resolved. Preserving young plants garden fabric It is also a great way to prevent early intrusion.

Other common diseases are Alternaria spot, white mold, bean rust, mosaic virus, which can be avoided by keeping the hosts dry, pruning or pruning to allow maximum airflow through the vine.

Companion plants

Speaking of beetles, why not try a few companion plants to help keep them away from these pests? Adding catnip, marigold, nasturtium or rosemary to your bean wall will deter bean beetles. Another interesting bean BFF is the potato, which keeps Mexican bean beetles away. In turn, bean plants protect potato sprouts from the Colorado potato beetle. Victory-victory.

There are several ways to properly harvest your crop for best results. The key to bean generosity is frequent harvesting to boost production. It is advisable to tear your capsules in the afternoon instead of wet mornings, as dry hosts limit the spread of potential pathogens and bacteria.

Wait for the sharp beans to swell until the individual seeds swell in the pod. When it comes to cleaning beans, keep them until the pods are firm but not dry. Finally, for your dry varieties, the beans should be crushed in a pod before removing them from the plant.

Bush varieties have a much smaller production window, so remove և fertilize the entire plant when it stops producing. However, polar beans will continue to grow և produce until the first frost, so build those cages և prepare your bean baskets.

Do you feel inspired to put a few beans on the ground? Tell us which ones you are excited about growing (or how you plan to prepare your crop).

This post contains products that our editors և writers have chosen (և favorite) independently. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 receives an affiliate commission for the eligible purchases of the products we link to.

Photo: Angelina Cabrales

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