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Beans have to be one of the easiest vegetables to grow in your garden. This is probably why growing bush beans is one of the most popular garden crops in home gardens and has been for so long. Planting bush beans is isn’t hard and it’s a great garden project to do with kids. These tips will help you learn how to grow green bush beans and you’ll be enjoying this fresh treat all summer long!
- How To Grow Green Bush Beans
- Growing Green Beans
- Harvesting Green Beans
- Companion Planting For Beans
How To Grow Green Bush Beans
The first thing you’ll want to decide is how many green bush beans you want to grow? A good guideline is 10–15 plants per person.
This will be plenty for fresh eating and cooking during the summer. If you want to can, freeze, or dehydrate a lot of beans you can increase how much your growing.
A 100-foot row of bush beans will produce about 50 quarts of beans.
How To Plant Bush Beans
Bush beans are best direct sown in the garden. They are not frost tolerant so you need to wait until after all danger of frost has passed before planting.
Beans need warm, all drained soil to grow well. If your soil is to wet the been seeds will rot. You can start planting once the soil has reached 15 C (60 F) but it’s better to wait until it’s 21 C (70 F) because the seeds will germinate faster and grow better. The best time for planting is in mid-May to early July in most areas.
To help your garden soil warm up faster in the spring you can cover the planting area with plastic tarps. This will help to warm the soil and kill off some weeds as well.
Plant your bean seeds spacing them 4 inches apart and 1 inch deep. The seeds will germinate in 8 to 16 days depending on the growing conditions.
If your growing beans in a traditional garden you’ll need to space the rows 18–25 inches apart to allow room for weeding with your tiller.
Growing Beans In A Square Foot Garden
Do you use the square foot garden method? Using this space-saving growth method will let you grow a lot of beans in a small space!
Plant the beans 4 inches apart, this will give you 9 seeds per square foot for bush beans. This spacing works great if you are planting just a few squares of bush beans next to each other. We have found over the years of testing that the spacing is to close if you want to plant a full garden bed or block.
Planting Bush Beans In Wide Rows
We use a modified square foot method for planting wide rows of bush beans in our market garden with great results.
Plant the bush bean seeds 6 inches apart (4 per square foot) in a 3-foot wide bed. This spacing gives us high yields and allows for more air flow around the plants. That helps to discourage mold problems. It’s also easier to find the beans when picking.
I’ve found it very helpful to cover bush beans with fabric row cover after planting. This also helps to keep the soil warm, moist and protects the seeds and young plants from birds and other pests.
To extend your harvest time plant few rows of bush beans every 2 weeks until mid-summer.
Growing Green Beans
Green beans are really easy to grow, for the most part, once you’ve planted them they will not need much care. But there are a few simple tips that will help you prevent growing problems.
Most diseases on bean plants are spread by water being splashed up onto the leaves. Try to avoid touching the bean plant leaves when they are wet so that you are not spreading denies and fungus problems.
Beans are pretty drought resistant once they are past the seedling stage. It’s still a good idea to provide 1 inch of water each week if you haven’t had enough rain.
Try to water early in the morning so the leaves have dried off before night. This will help discourage mold growth on the leaves.
Using a soaker hose or drip line is much more effective when watering because it puts the water right where the roots are. You will lose less water to evaporation and keep the leaves dry at the same time.
One of the most common problems when growing beans is watering incorrectly. Avoid watering in small amounts every day, instating water the plants less often but more deeply. This will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil.
Plants with a deep roots system will be able to withstand droughts better because the roots will have access to water that is deeper in the soil. If you water your plants more often but are not watering deeply the roots will stay closer to the surface.
How Much Sunlight Do Bush Beans Need?
Beans need to be growing in full sun, make sure your garden bed has at least 8–10 hours of sunlight before planting. Bean growing in the shade will struggle with mildew on the leaves, small growth and not produce as much as beans planted in full sun.
Fertilizing Green Beans
Beans are not heavy feeders but it’s good to apply compost to your soil before planting. When we plant our beans we top dress them with an inch of good quality compost. Since we started doing this our beans grow and produce much better.
Other than top dressing at planting time, we don’t fertilize our bean plans. Giving them too much nitrogen can cause a lot of extra leaf growth and lower the number of bean pods the plants produce.
Green Bush Bean Varieties
- Provider beans are one of the earliest bush beans available. They grow about 18 inches high and produce long pods that hang in clusters close to the base of the plant. This makes them very easy to pick. It is a high yielding variety with good taste and also freezes well. Matures in 50 days.
- Mascotte is an great choice if your going to grow beans in containers. It produces lots of slender pods high up on the foliage. This makes it very easy to pick when growing in containers. It’s also an everbearing variety that you can enjoy all summer. Matures in 54 days.
- Tendergreen is one of my favourite bush bean varieties. It produces pods 6 inches long, tastes great and is very good for freezing and canning. It produces well over a long period of time. Matures in 53 days.
- Blue Lake Bush beans are another early maturing bean with great taste and easy to pick. It grows to 2 feet tall and produces most of it’s beens over a few weeks. It’s a great choice if you want a large harvest in a short time for preserving. Matures in 48 days.
Organic Blue Lake Bush Bean 75 SeedsTendergreen Bush Bean Seeds – PacketDavid’s Garden Seeds Bean Bush Provider D010A (Green) 100 Organic Heirloom SeedsBurpee Mascotte Bush Bean Seeds 125 seedsBean- Mascotte Bush Vegetable Seeds 50 ct Heirloom (dwarf plant; container )Burpee Three Color Blend Bush Bean Seeds 2 ounces of seedDavid’s Garden Seeds Bean Bush Tendergreen SV8I71 (Green) 100 Heirloom SeedsDavid’s Garden Seeds Bean Bush Contender RSL198 (Green) 100 Organic Heirloom Seeds
Harvesting Green Beans
The most important thing to remember about harvesting beans is that they need to be harvested often!
To harvest beans use two hands and gently snap or twist the pod off the plant. This will minimize any damage to the plant so that it will keep producing well for you.
Harvest the bean pods when they are still smooth, crips and the seeds inside are still small.
If you let the pods start to mature the skin becomes tough, and the bean seeds inside start to grow large and taste woody. You still need to pick these beans because if you leave them on the plant it will stop producing new bean pods.
While many people will toss over mature green beans into the compost pile there is a much better use for them!
They can be used as “shelly beans”. Split the pods open and remove the seeds inside. You can cook these bean seeds similar to how you would use dried beans but they cook much faster in about 30 minutes. Try using them in soups, stews, or cooked with butter and herbs for a side dish.
Companion Planting For Beans
Avoid planting with:
Check your plants early in the morning for aphids. If you find any use a strong spray of water to wash them off your plants. A strong spray of water is often enough to kill them as well. If you still have problems you can use an insecticidal soap.
While you might not think that cucumber beetles would eat beans if you’re going by their name you’ll be surprised. These nasty little yellow and black beetles eat a wide range of plants in your garden. You can read about how I get rid of cucumber beetles here.
Leafhoppers are small grey to green insects that suck the sap from plants. They can cause stunted growth and transfer diseases to the plants. I’ve found that dusting plants with diatomaceous earth will help discourage them.
Mexican bean beetles
Mexican bean beetles are a big pest to bean growers in Canada and the USA. It looks similar to ladybugs but is yellow to coppery-brown in colour and have 16 black spots. You can learn more about this bean pest and how to get rid of bean beetles here.
Overall bush beans have to be one of the easiest garden vegetables to grow. Their large seeds and fast growth make them a perfect vegetable to enjoy growing in your first garden or if you’re starting to garden with young children.
Now that you have learned how to grow green bush beans what variety are you going to try in your garden?
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.
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