Second in popularity only to tomatoes, beans are often grown in the home garden. Beans come in two varieties--bush beans and pole beans. Bush beans do not need support, while pole beans need a trellis, pole or other support structure for climbing. Regardless of variety, beans need full sun and well-drained soil.
Beans need 1 inch of water per week. Watering should done in the morning so the plants can dry and resist diseases caused by excess moisture. Too much water in the beginning can cause poor seed germination, so it is recommended that seeds are not soaked before planting. Extremes in watering habits causes the pods to be malformed.
Beans should be fertilized with 1 cup of a 5-10-10 fertilizer per 50 feet of row. In addition, the fertilizer should be worked at least 6 inches into the soil before planting. Too much nitrogen in fertilizer causes more foliage to grow than beans. If the soil is lightweight, a side application of fertilizer is necessary, especially after heavy rain. This side application should consist of 1 cup of ammonium nitrate in a 33-0-0 ratio per 50 feet of row. Water the beans lightly after a side application.
Add mulch to bean plants to prevent weeds and retain moisture. The mulch should be organic, like straw or wood chips. Mulch should be applied after the soil has warmed. Apply mulch to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.