How to Grow Pole String Beans


Prolific producers and one of the most popular home garden vegetables in America, pole beans are easy to grow and an inexpensive food source. Popular varieties include Blue Lake and Kentucky Wonder. Scarlet Runner beans produce especially attractive, bright red blooms in addition to tasty beans. Provide pole beans a structure to climb up and get ready to enjoy delicious, nutritious home grown protein.

Step 1

Choose a location in full sun with well-drained soil. Wait until the frost date has pased before planting outdoors, as beans require warm soil to germinate.

Step 2

Plant pole bean seeds in rows 30 inches apart, individual beans up to 6 inches apart or create small hills also spaced 30 inches apart with up to six beans in each hill.

Step 3

Water the seeds until the soil is evenly moist but not soggy. Water up to twice a week, depending on the rainfall at time of planting.

Step 4

Provide a support for young pole bean plants to climb for ease in harvest and to protect mature fruit. Grow the pole beans against a trellis or on upright poles arranged in a teepee formation.

Step 5

Apply a 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as clean straw, over the entire planting bed to deter weeds. Remove weeds promptly but gingerly, taking care not to disturb the shallow roots of the pole bean.

Step 6

Harvest pole beans when shells appear firm and plump. Avoid picking when the plants are wet, and break the beans off without disturbing the stems and vines. Pick beans frequently, as often as twice per week, to help deter the spread of disease and encourage the plant to produce more abundantly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dry or overly soggy soil will result in poor germination or dead seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Pole bean seeds
  • Trellis or stakes
  • Organic mulch


  • University of Illinois Extension, Watch Your Garden Grow: Beans
  • Ohio State University Extension, Fact Sheet: Growing Peas and Snap Beans in the Home Garden
  • University of Idaho Extension: Grow Your Own Beans and Peas

Who Can Help

  • Victory Seeds: Rare, Open-pollinated & Heirloom Garden Seeds
Keywords: growing pole beans, pole bean care, planting pole beans

About this Author

Desirae Roy holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, with a focus on reading and special education. Also an interpreter for the deaf, she facilitates communication for students who learn in an inspiring way. Roy cultivates a life long love of learning and enjoys sharing her journey with others through writing.