How to Grow Snap Beans


Snap beans, also known as yellow or green beans, get their name from the sound heard when the bean is broken. You can choose pole beans that vine and need a trellis to climb, or you can choose the bush variety that grows about 2 feet tall. Pole beans take about 65 days to harvest while bush beans are ready for harvest in about 57 days. Snap beans prefer warmer soil, making planting time close to mid-spring or when the soil temperature is in the mid-60 degree range.

Step 1

Select the seed variety, like Blue Lake. For a first-time grower of beans, bush beans can be a better selection to eliminate the need to build a vertical support structure.

Step 2

Choose a sunny, well-drained location to plant snap beans around mid-May. Till the soil down to a depth of a least 10 inches using a shovel or rototiller. Work in 2 inches of organic matter, like leaf mold or compost.

Step 3

Rake the area to remove rocks and to level the soil.

Step 4

Plant bush bean seeds by pushing the seeds into the ground about 1 inch and space them about 3 inches apart. Pat the soil to cover the hole. If growing multiple rows, leaves 24 inches between rows. Plant pole beans to the same depth and distance apart, but leave 36 inches between rows.

Step 5

Water the area. Continue to water weekly if there is no rainfall.

Step 6

Hoe around the bean plants to uproot weeds as they appear.

Step 7

Pick the beans when the plants are not wet from dew or rain, and the beans are long and firm. Store whole in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days. Wait until ready to cook before snapping off the ends.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or rototiller
  • Organic matter
  • Bean seeds
  • Garden rake
  • Hoe


  • University of Illinois Extension: Beans
  • University of Connecticut: Growing Beans
  • Iowa State University: Nutrition and Health Benefits of Green Beans
Keywords: green beans, snap beans, string beans

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.