Here are my tips for growing beans.  The tips are the same for pole beans, bush beans, shell beans, or dry beans.


Site, soil type:

Beans need only average soil fertility.   They will succeed in almost any soil, clay to sandy.   Beans need full sun.

Planting requirements:

Plant when the soil is at least 55 degrees.   Beans do not tolerate frost.   Don’t transplant.

Plant seeds 6” apart for pole types, 12” for bush.

Put 18-36” between rows.

Crowding encourages diseases.

Nutrition/Fertilizer needs:

Requires only a little all purpose fertilizer or compost.

Add an inoculant to your soil if you’re planting in an area that has never grown legumes before.  A soil inoculant uses beneficial microbes to form symbiotic relationships with the target crops to promote plant health and increase yields.

Water needs:

They don’t need as much water as other crops, maybe 1 inch per week.   Do not overwater.

Other tips:

Plant beans with cucurbits (melons, squash, cucumbers.  They do each other a favor (emit substances).   Or use Native American’s three sisters approach, plant corn, beans and squash together.  Corn uses nitrogen, beans provide nitrogen, squash keeps down weeds.

Beans improve soil fertility and physical condition of the soil.  They add nitrogen.

Use row covers for warmth and insect control.