How to Plant Red Kidney Beans


Red kidney beans are nutritious, high-yielding legumes that are easy to grow. When planted in late spring, they will need three to four months until beans can be harvested. To expand the harvest season into late fall, you can plant at two- to three-week intervals until July. The plants will need to be protected from early frosts.

Step 1

Select a location in which the red kidney bean seeds and plants will receive direct sunlight for most of the day. However, do not grow red kidney beans in the same place in the garden in consecutive years.

Step 2

Prepare the soil by creating mounded rows that are 2 inches tall, 15 inches wide and spaced 18 inches apart. If your garden's soil is not already fertilized, add one cup of organic compost fertilizer for every 10 feet of row and work it in to a depth of 6 inches.

Step 3

Plant kidney beans in late May or early June (or on a rolling basis until mid-July). Each bean should be planted 1 inch deep and 3 inches away from its neighbor. The seeds will take one to two weeks to sprout.

Step 4

Water the beans until the soil is moist. But do not over-water. Red kidney beans will develop root rot, grow slowly or produce poorly if over-watered.

Step 5

Reduce the amount of water given to the kidney bean plants once the pods begin to grow. When the pods start to dry out, stop watering all together. When the pods turn the color of straw, they are ready to be harvested.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost


  • WestCoastSeeds: Dry Beans
  • Utah State University: Beans in the Garden
  • Jefferson Institute: Dry Beans
Keywords: plant red kidney beans, grow red kidney beans, start red kidney beans

About this Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.