Green beans are a popular warm season vegetable grown in home gardens. The seeds are available as either bush or pole types, with the bush variety requiring less maintenance. Beans should be planted in late spring as they are sensitive to cold. Plant a row of beans every two weeks through the summer to ensure a continuous harvest until the first frost in fall.
Prepare a garden planting location for green beans that has a well-draining and nutrient-rich soil. The area should receive full sunlight for six to eight hours of the day. Work the soil with a tiller to a depth of eight to ten inches, and remove all weeds and rocks. Apply a balanced fertilizer evenly over the soil and work it to a depth of three to four inches prior to planting.
How to Plant
Plant bean seeds in the spring once there is no longer a risk of frost and the soil begins to warm. Sow bush bean seeds two inches apart in a furrow that has a depth of one inch. Cover the seeds with soil and lightly tamp the soil to hold the seeds in place. Space the rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Sow pole bean seeds one inch deep in soil that has been mounded into a hill several inches in height. Space the hills three feet distant from each other in rows that are three to four feet apart. Place a six-foot stake in the center of each hill and plant three to four seeds around it. The beans use the stake for support as they grow. You will need 1/4 to 1/2 pound of bean seeds for every 100 feet of row planted. Water the seeds well after planting to moisten the soil to a depth of three to four inches.
Care and Maintenance
Water the green bean planting area once a week to keep the soil evenly moist during the growing season. Additional water applications may be required when there are low rainfall amounts. Dry soil will decrease flowering and bean production. Fertilize the green beans with an all-purpose garden vegetable fertilizer after the flowers begin to produce beans. Pull and remove weeds regularly, as they compete for soil nutrients and moisture. Cultivate around the plants carefully, as beans have a shallow root system that can be easily damaged. Thin and remove bush bean plant seedlings to space the plants four inches apart.
Harvest beans once the pod turns firm and the seeds are slightly immature in size. Beans left on the plant past the mature state will cause the plant to stop flowering and decrease bean production. Carefully remove beans from the plant as the stems are brittle and can break easily.
Bean plants are susceptible to the bacterial bean blight disease. A plant with blight will have yellow and brown spots on the leaves and pods. Remove infected plants, as there is no treatment for this disease. Prevent an infection of bacterial bean blight by planting disease-free seed and harvesting beans when the plant is dry, as the disease is introduced into the plant through water that enters a wound.