Growing Green Beans

Growing green beans are easy and productive.

Green beans are easy to grow, fairly drought tolerant and require little attention after they are established.

If I only had the choice of growing a few vegetables, green beans would be one of them.

They are one of my family’s favorite vegetables.

Green beans can be grown as bush varieties or pole varieties and come in all different colors.

Yellow, purple, red and green each having their own unique flavor and qualities.

Bush: 50-65 days to maturity

    Blue Lake

Pole: 65-75 days to maturity

    Blue Lake
    Kentucky Wonder

Check your local nursery or seed catalog for varieties that grow well in your area.

Bush beans get about 18-24 inches tall and grow well in wide rows or blocks in raised beds. Pole beans grow up to 8 feet on supports, fence posts or a trellis. Pole beans are great for saving space and are easier to pick if you can’t bend over for long periods.

Soil preparation:

Beans like well drained sandy loam with plenty of organic matter. I have grown green beans in pour soil as well as fertile soil. Green beans do well in both. The only soil they have trouble in is heavy clay soils.

Work the soil in the spring. Add a sprinkling of garden fertilizer (10-10-10) or (15-15-15) if the soil is pour. Green Beans don’t need a lot of nitrogen so if you compost with manure, add it to the soil in the fall.

Green Beans like warm soil and will not germinate in cool soil. Wait until the soil has warmed about 1 to 2 weeks after the last frost date in your area. The out side air temperature should be around 60-80 degrees F.

Beans grow quickly in warm weather so you can plant every two weeks for a successive harvest. Although in my area of Northern Utah if I keep them picked the harvest lasts 6 weeks. I usually tire of picking before they are done.


Growing green beans in wide rows or blocks helps with weed control. I use 30 inch wide rows. Lay the seeds on top of the soil 2 inches apart. Space the rows 6 to 8 inches.

After the seeds are laid down, push the seeds into the ground 1 to 2 inches. After seeds germinate and have 4 leaves, thin to 6 inches apart.

Mulch between rows and up around the plants to keep weeds down and moisture in. Water 1 to 2 inches per week.

A deep soaking twice a week during the hot summer and once a week in spring and fall. Water is very important during the f lowering stage.

The bean plants don’t need a lot of attention once they germinate. Keep an eye out for pests, the Mexican bean beetle and fungus diseases are the only thing that might bother them.


Start picking your green beans when they are still young and tender, about the thickness of a pencil and 6-8 inches long depending on the variety. Each variety is different so use your own judgment.

Don’t let the beans get mature as this slows down the bean production. I pick the beans every other day when they start to come on. Pick beans early in the morning before it gets hot and be careful not to damage the plants.

The growing green beans will continue to produce beans for 4 to 6 weeks if kept picked every other day. If you miss a few, pick them off to keep the plants producing.


The picked beans last for two weeks in the refrigerator if placed in plastic bags. The excess can be frozen, canned or dried. We prefer canning our green beans. I know the choice today is to eat fresh vegetables, but home canned green beans are very tasty and will spoil you to store bought beans.

Growing green beans are worth the effort …. Give them a try.

Try growing these other vegetables as well....

Growing sweet corn in the backyard is a real treat and worth the effort. New sweet corn varieties give a wider choice in sweetness and flavor.

Growing artichokes is easier than you think. Even in the north you can grow these tender delicious vegetable.

Growing potatoes in the backyard can be fun and rewarding giving you potato varieties you can’t buy.

Return from Growing Green Beans to Growing Vegetables

Return from Growing Green Beans to Everyday Vegetable Garden