Beans favor warm climates and fertile, crumbly soil. They won't grow in cold weather or in boggy ground. Train pole bean varieties on garden canes or a trellis. Bush beans grow in a wider bush pattern, but they take up more space and often produce less of a crop over a season. Most commercially available packet beans are treated with fungicide, improving the chances of germination. Growing a plant from a grocery store bean or straight from the pod runs the risk of rotting before it has a chance to get established.
Till an area of your garden to a depth of 8 to 10 inches with a spade, loosening any clods of dirt and removing weeds, according to Texas A&M University. If the soil is sandy or light, add composted manure to help drainage. Rake the soil surface level.
Test the ground pH levels, using a tester. Ideal pH for beans is slightly acidic at levels from 5.8 to 6.3, according to Ohio State University. Adjust the soil pH by adding lime or sulfur as required.
Work in a cup of low-nitrogen fertilizer, such as 5-10-10, 6 inches deep for every 50 feet of bean row, according to Purdue University.
Sow seeds after your local last frost date. For much of the United States, the last frosts occur in May. Ensure ground temperatures are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit before planting.
Space bean seeds around 6 inches apart, leaving a gap of just under 2 feet per row. Push beans 1 inch into dry soil, then water after sowing. Insert 10-foot garden canes near the planted seeds. Either set up in a circle, with canes leaning into the middle and tied for support, or in a row.
Water the bean plants about once every week in dry summer months. Keep the soil moist. Gently remove weeds that pop up around the beans, but don't use a large hoe or you could damage the bean roots.
Harvest snap beans early when they're green and tender. Shell beans appear later in the season. Dry beans, such as kidney beans, may not arrive until fall, when the shells go dry and beans rattle inside.