How to Care for Green Beans

Overview

Green beans are one of the most popular vegetables to grow and are very easy to grow successfully. Whether you plant bush beans or pole beans, you can harvest pounds of beans with very little effort. There are a few pests that you need to keep a watch for, and beans will appreciate frequent weeding, but beginning gardeners can get a large crop harvested with no prior experience.

Step 1

Dig your soil 1 foot deep, removing weeds and rocks. Smooth over the ground with a rake. Plant seeds after the soil has warmed and no chance of frost exists. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. If you are growing bush beans, you can plant six to eight seeds in a circle around the pole or tomato cage. Install your vine support at the same time as you plant the seeds to prevent root damage. Water the ground thoroughly after planting. Plant every two weeks until mid-August to ensure a continuous harvest through the summer.

Step 2

Weed your bean plants weekly, but do not hoe the ground very deeply around the plants. Beans have a shallow root system and deep hoeing can damage the roots. Water beans frequently, not letting the plants dry out. When the beans are large and smooth but haven't developed lumps yet, it is time to harvest. Pick beans by pulling from the plant, being careful not to break the brittle stems.

Step 3

Pick beans when they are dry to help prevent disease. Inspect plants regularly to make sure that pests aren't present. The Mexican bean beetle, a bright yellow insect, can do a large amount of damage. Pick pests off your beans as soon as you see them. Companion plantings of marigold and onion are sometimes successful in deterring pests.

Tips and Warnings

  • Grow green beans in a different spot in your garden each year, as beans are likely to pick up diseases from the previous year's garden soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Green bean seeds
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Poles or tomato cages

References

  • University of Illinois bean garden page
  • National Gardening Association bean essentials
Keywords: green beans, bush beans, pole beans

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written numerous articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including Endless Sunday.