How to Raise Pole Beans


Pole beans produce edible bean pods that often are referred to as green or snap beans. They grow on vines that reach up to 6 feet tall. A warm season vegetable, pole beans are planted outside in the garden bed once all danger of frost has passed in spring. They produce abundantly throughout the warm summer period and sometimes into fall. Pole beans can be used fresh, or they are suitable for freezing or canning for winter preservation.

Step 1

Prepare a well-drained garden bed in an area that receives full sunlight. Lay a 3 inch layer of compost over the planting bed and till it in to an 8 inch depth to improve drainage and add nutrients.

Step 2

Tie the tops of three 6-foot tall poles or stakes together with twine. Spread out the bottoms to form a tepee shape, and set the tripod on the planting bed as a support frame. Make additional pole supports as needed, and space them 2 feet apart in the bed.

Step 3

Sow seeds to a 1 ½ inch depth. Plant six beans around the base of each pole so that 18 seeds are planted per tepee.

Step 4

Water the soil until it is evenly moist throughout. Continue to water each week, providing about 1 inch of water.

Step 5

Mulch around the plants once they sprout, about six to 10 days after planting. Use a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic mulch such as straw, or use compost as mulch and add further soil nutrition.

Step 6

Guide the young beans onto the nearest pole once they are strong and long enough. Twine the tip of the plant around the pole one to two times. It will climb on its own without help thereafter.

Step 7

Harvest the beans as they ripen, usually when they are 4 to 6 inches long and pods are an even green color. Harvest before the beans inside begin to swell in the pod.

Tips and Warnings

  • Harvest only when they plants are dry in early afternoon. Harvesting while they are still moist from dew can spread disease to the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Stakes
  • Twine
  • Mulch


  • University of Nebraska Extension: Growing Garden Beans
  • Fort Valley University: Growing Pole Beans
Keywords: raising pole beans, growing snap beans, gardening beans

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.