With all the varieties of beans to choose from, finding a type to fit into your vegetable garden isn't that difficult. If you want to grow a big bean plant, choose pole varieties. While these types of beans don't take up much space in the garden, they may reach heights of 6 feet or more if provided with proper support and suitable growing conditions. Not only do they grow tall and produce an abundant harvest, because of the their small space requirements you can plant more pole beans than you can the short bush bean varieties.
Prepare the garden bed for planting after all danger of spring frost has passed. Choose an area that is in full sunlight and isn't prone to standing water. Remove any weeds from the planting bed, then till the soil to an 8-inch depth to loosen it.
Apply 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer to each 50-foot planting row. Work the fertilizer into the top 6 inches of the loosened soil. Work in a 1- to 2-inch layer of compost at the time of fertilizing to add organic matter to the soil and aid drainage.
Install a 6- to 8-foot pole on either end of the bean plant row prior to planting. Stretch a sturdy cord between the tops of the two poles. Tie 6- to 8-foot lengths of coarse twine to the top cord every 6 inches, then secure the other end of the coarse twine to the ground with small stakes.
Plant one bean seed at the base of each length of staked twine. Sow the seeds to a depth of 1 1/2 inches, then water the bed so it is evenly moist after planting.
Water the bed weekly, providing approximately 1 inch of water to the soil. Lay a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as bark, over the garden bed to prevent weeds and preserve soil moisture once the bean plants have emerged.
Guide the tips of the bean seedlings to the twine so they are touching. The vines will climb the twine on their own thereafter.
Weed the garden bed in the afternoons when the plants are dry. Disturb only the top 1/2 inch of soil with a hoe or hand cultivator to remove the tops of weeds without disturbing the shallow bean roots.
Check the bean plants regularly for signs of disease or insect infection, which can stunt the plant's growth. Signs include discolored or chewed leaves, wilting or visible insects on the underside of leaves. Treat with the proper insect or disease control immediately so infestations do not stunt the plant's growth or production.
Harvest the bean pods as soon as they mature. Harvest in the afternoon when plants are dry to prevent the spread of disease. Avoid pulling on the vines when you pick beans, instead carefully snap them off or snip the pods of with a pair of garden scissors.