Beans are a yearly favorite to grow among home gardeners, partly because there is such a large variety of different beans that you can grow. The two types of bean plants are bush beans and pole beans, but each type of plant encompasses hundreds of different bean types. Whether you want fresh snap beans to marinate in a cold salad or dried black turtle beans to cook next winter, you can successfully grow beans in your garden with very little gardening experience.
Dig a plot of soil for your beans that gets at least six hours of sun each day. Beans love full sun for the quickest growth, so choose an open spot free of shady afternoons.
Plant bean seeds after all chance of frost has passed in your area and the ground has dried. You can find your average last frost date at your local extension service or in Farmers' Almanac.
Dig your garden plot 12 inches deep and remove all the roots and rocks that you find. Mix in a 3-inch layer of compost with the dug garden soil for extra nutrients for the beans.
Plant bush beans 4 inches apart in 12-inch rows, or whatever spacing is printed on your bean packet. Beans should be planted about 1 inch deep.
Place trellis material in the garden bed where you want to grow pole beans. Plant five to six beans around each trellis pole, or a double line about 4 inches apart if planted next to a fence. Always make sure to secure the fencing or trellis before you plant the beans, so you don't disturb any growing roots.
Mulch bean plants by placing newspapers or dried grass around the base of the plants. This will help to prevent moisture from evaporating, and will shade any weeds that want to take hold in the garden, cutting down on your weeding chores.
Water beans regularly throughout the season. Place a rain gauge or empty can near the beans to check the rainfall each week. If you don't get at least 1 inch of rain in a week, water the beans so that they get that 1 inch.
Pull weeds throughout the season. Beans are not very deep-rooted, so be careful when you pull any weeds that are growing near the bean plants.
Pick snap beans when the bean pod is smooth and fat, but not yet lumpy. Keep picking beans every two or three days to encourage the plants to keep producing more beans. Pick dried beans at the end of the season, when the plant has died and the pod is dry and crumbly.