Green beans is one plant that can be counted on for a bountiful harvest year after year. Green beans are among America's favorite garden plants. They are easy to plant and maintain, and they bear prolifically, ensuring an abundance of tasty and nutritious green pods or dried beans for very little labor.
Preparing the Bed
Clear the garden bed of all weeds and surface vegetation with a spade or hoe after all danger of frost is pased and when soil temperatures are 80 degrees F, at which you may expect 100 percent germination.
Loosen and aerate the soil to the depth of the tines with a garden fork. (Push it in the ground every 1 foot or so and wiggle back and forth--no need to turn the soil over.)
Rake to smooth and shape a bed 18 to 24 inches wide and as long as you want rows for trellising or growing along a fence.
Building A-Frame Bean Supports
Tie pairs of long poles together approximately 6 inches from the top.
Stand two pairs of the poles upright with legs positioned to almost straddle but still sit within the width of bed.
Lay another pole across the v-shaped notch formed at the top of the pairs of poles. Tie the cross pole in place on each pair of legs with a piece of twine to make a swing-set-like or A-framed support.
Tie string or wire between the legs of the A-frame from top to bottom at intervals of about 12 inches to give support to the growing bean plants.
Planting the Bean Plants
Place one to two seeds next to each pole and every 4 to 6 inches between poles on each side of the bed thereafter.
Push the seeds into the loose soil to a depth of about 1 to 1-1/2 inches
Sprinkle a bit of dirt in to fill the hole and gently firm the soil over each planting.
Water until the seeded soil is moist. Keep the soil moist until seeds germinate--usually in a week to 10 days, depending upon soil temperature.
Guide the seedlines to the strings and poles as they grow. Attached to the bottom string, they will grow and twine themselves readily along the supports.
About this Author
Deborah Stephenson is a freelance writer and artist, who brings over 25 years of both professional and life experience to her writings. Stephenson features a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She is an anthropologist & naturalist, and has published a field guide on Michigan's flora & fauna as well as numerous political and environmental articles.