How To Grow Beans

Type: Annual
Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Light: Full sun
Soil Type: Well drained, add organic matter
Soil Temperature: best at 70 – 85°
ph Range: 6 – 6.5
Watering: Average
Plant (Payson): Late May (succession planting for bush beans)
Planting Method: Seed
Germination: 4 – 10 days
Transplant: Not recommended
Maturity (Days): Bush: 50 -55; Pole: 70 – 80
Common Pests: Mexican bean beetles (adult and larvae), corn earworm, mites.
Common Diseases: Mosaic, Anthracnose, Bacterial blight,
Curly top virus, Seed, root & stem rot

Beans are legumes that use soil borne bacteria to form nitrogen in the soil. Beans need consistent moisture, but be careful not to overwater. Beans are frost tender, warm weather, plants that cannot take freezing temperatures.

Bush beans need no support and are very productive, but are short lived. Most will produce for 4-6 weeks, so plant successively every two weeks until mid-July for all summer production.

Pole beans take longer to begin flowering, but usually produce until frost. Pole beans need strong support and in our area can grow to 6 – 8 feet tall.

As with all vegetables, crop rotation is suggested. We recommend that you do not grow beans in the same location for more than two years, one is best.


Beans require a loose soil so add compost and work into the soil as soon as possible in the spring. Seedlings emerging into compacted soil frequently break off the primary leaves and consequently can’t continue to grow. Loose, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter helps insure good drainage and adds most of the nutrients beans need. Beans are light feeders. A general low Nitrogen fertilizer worked into the soil at the time of planting should be all they need.



Not recommended


Soaking seeds in compost tea for 30 minutes before planting can help prevent disease, but is not required. Soaking will also speed germination. Plant seeds about 2” inches apart and 1-1 ½ inches deep. Water well and keep surface moist until seeds germinate, usually in 4-10 days. Cover the bed with a floating row cover to prevent insect infestation and help hold in moisture.

bean seedling



Once plants are well established apply 3-4 inches of mulch to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth. Keep the floating row cover on until the plants are well established.


Consistent watering is a must, but be careful not to overwater.


Apply an all-purpose organic fertilizer at the beginning of the season. Beans are light feeders and don’t require regular feeding.


Mulch and a floating row cover should significantly reduce weed growth. If weeds do join your bean patch, pull them right away being careful not to disturb the roots of the beans.


The most common diseases on beans are mosaic, anthracnose, and curly top virus. Buy disease resistant seeds if possible, and use a row cover for curly top. Planting beans when the soil is too cold could result in seed rot, so plant when the soil is warm enough. If your plants get diseases early and have to be destroyed, you can usually replant and still have plenty of beans to harvest.


Mexican bean beetle, (adult and larvae), corn ear worm, mites, and beet leaf hopper.


Green beans should be harvested when the pods are tender, 4-8 inches long for best flavor. For best production, begin picking early and pick every day or every other day to encourage new pod formation. If you are growing beans to have dry beans for storage the pods need to stay on the plant until completely dry. When picking beans use two hands, one to hold the stem while the other gently snips or twists off the tender fruit. Pulling the bean from the vine with one hand will damage the vine.


Beans can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, but for the best flavor and nutrition plan to use them right away. As with most vegetables because of low acidity, canning beans should only be done in a pressure canner. They can also be steamed and frozen and kept for several months, thus preserving their nutrients. Dried beans can be stored for a year or more.

 Helpful Links

To aid in your gardening success, here are some useful, trusted links for more information on beans.

Growing Beans: A Complete Guide to Plant, Grow and Harvest Beans - Morning Chores

Growing Beans in Home Gardens - Univ. of Minnesota Extension

How To Grow Beans in Containers - Backyard Garden Lover

Please remember Payson Community Garden is an organic garden. Some of these sites may contain recommendations for non-organic products. Please see this website or Plant Fair Nursery website for a list of recommended products
that meet the organic standards of Payson Community Garden.

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