How to Germinate Bean Plants


There is a plethora of choices when you decide to plant beans in the home vegetable garden. There are pole beans and bush beans, as well as fresh green snap beans and dry shelling varieties. Before you can enjoy this bounty of the garden, the bean seeds must be planted, germinated, grown and harvested. Beans do not handle transplanting well, as they have shallow root systems that don't tolerate disturbance. The seeds must be germinated directly in the garden bed in spring once frost danger is past and the soil is warm.

Step 1

Prepare a full-sun garden bed for planting once soil temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost over the entire planting bed. Apply a complete fertilizer at the rate recommended on the label, then till both the fertilizer and compost into the top 6 inches of soil.

Step 2

Sow bean seeds 1 inch deep. Space the seeds 3 inches apart along the row, and space the rows 18 inches apart. Seeds germinate within seven to 10 days of planting.

Step 3

Water the bed after planting until it feels moist to a 6-inch depth when you stick your finger into it. Water when the soil surface begins to dry, but avoid overwatering and making the soil soggy.

Step 4

Weed the bed between rows by disturbing the top of the soil with a hand cultivator. Avoid cultivating more than 1 inch deep, as this may disturb the bean seeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Rotate bean crops to a new garden bed each year. Disease can breed in the soil and ruin your beans if they are grown in the same soil year after year.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Seeds
  • Hand cultivator


  • Utah State University: Beans in the Garden
  • Ohio State University: Plant Propagation
Keywords: germinate bean plants, sowing bean seeds, vegetable gardening

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.