Green beans rank second to tomatoes in popularity in home gardens according to University of Illinois Extension. With almost 2 grams of fiber and only 15 calories for 1/2 cup, green beans are a healthy food choice alone or in recipes, like soups or casseroles. Fresh green beans can be frozen or canned for enjoyment anytime of the year. Planting should occur after the last frost, which can range from late April to mid-May, they take about 65 days to grow before harvest.
Turn the soil in a well-drained area using a shovel or rototiller in early spring. Break clumps with the shovel and level the soil with a garden rake. Working in 2 to 4 inches of organic matter, like leaf mold, can help add nutrients to the soil, particularly if beans have been planted in the same area.
Pound 6- to 8-foot stakes into the ground 1 to 2 feet. In each row, space the stake about 20 feet apart if using wire for the trellis or about 10 feet apart if using cord, which tends to stretch and sag. If planting more than one row of pole beans, pound in the next row of stakes 3 feet away.
Stretch wire or sturdy cord horizontally between the stakes starting 6 inches above ground. Wrap or tie the wire or cord to each post. Continue horizontal wire or cord supports about every 12 inches up the stakes. Create vertical support about every 6 inches by securing the wire or cord to the top horizontal line. Drop the line down behind the second horizontal line, then in front of the third horizontal line, then behind the next horizontal line, going front to back until the bottom line is reached. Secure the line to the bottom and then start again at the top, but this time, drop the line in front of the second horizontal line, then behind the third, then in front of the next horizontal line. By alternating the vertical lines in front and behind the horizontal lines, a sturdy grid is created.
Plant the pole bean seeds beneath the trellis grid. Push the seeds into the soil about 1 inch and space the seeds 4 to 6 inches apart.
Water the area lightly and keep the soil moist. Continue to water regularly, which could be weekly if the soil is dry more than 1 inch down.
Pick the pole beans when the seeds are barely bulging inside the pods. Harvest the pole beans anytime from late morning to late afternoon when the beans are free from moisture to help avoid spreading bacteria.