How to Plant Beans From Seeds


Two basic types of beans exist: bush and pole. Bush beans grow in a bush shape, while pole beans grow upwards, requiring a pole or other climbing device for support. Beans can be started early, indoors. This allows beans that take longer to grow, outdoors, to be produced in short growing season locations. Both types of beans are started in the same manner.

Step 1

Fill peat pots with commercial potting soil, up to ¼ inch from the top.

Step 2

Place the peat pots into a metal or plastic tray. Add about a quart of water to the tray bottom. Leave the pots in the water overnight, allowing them to absorb it and moistening the soil.

Step 3

Poke a hole in the center of each pot's soil, about 1 inch deep. Drop a bean seed in and gently cover it with dirt. Place the tray of pots in a sunny window.

Step 4

Add water to the tray when the bottom is dry and the pots feel light when you pick them up. Different varieties of beans will take various days to germinate. The average germination time is 10 days, however. They will be 3 to 4 inches when the seedlings are ready to transplant to the garden when all danger of frost has passed in your area.

Step 5

Work your garden soil, to a depth of 6 inches or more, as soon as it is warm enough to dig into the earth. Use your shovel to turn the soil over, adding compost for nutrition.

Step 6

Plant bush bean seedlings 4 inches apart in rows that are 24 inches apart. Plant pole beans 5 inches apart in rows that are 30 inches apart. Cut slits in the sides of the peat pots and make an "X" on the bottom, with a sharp knife. This will help the young roots to spread out as they grow.

Step 7

Dig a hole for each peat pot in a row. The hole should be deep enough so that the soil will just cover the top of the pot. Push the dirt around the sides of the pot, in the hole, and press down around the top of the pot to secure it in the ground. Create a mote around the row, with your hoe, for watering. Water when the soil at the bottom of the mote is dry, about once a week. Water more often if you have a very warm, dry temperature period.

Things You'll Need

  • Bean seeds
  • Peat pots
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Tray
  • Garden tools


  • University of Illinois Extension
  • Harvest Wizard
  • Gardener's Network
Keywords: planting beans, indoor seeding, bush beans

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.