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How To Plant Cannellini Beans

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cannellini beans are a chef’s favorite--they are easy to cook and delicious in stews, soups, salads or as a stand-alone dish. In addition to their flavor, cannellini beans have the added benefit of being a good source of dietary protein and fiber. Cannellini, also known as white kidney beans, are as easy to grow as they are to cook, and the only requirement is a sunny patch of ground. Plant cannellini beans in spring after the last frost.

Choose a sunny spot in your garden to plant the cannellini beans. Hoe weeds and rake out any rocks or soil clumps. Beans are self-fertilizing and need no additional fertilizer other than a cup of compost or rotted manure worked into each 10-foot row. Although beans can be grown in nearly any soil, be sure the planting site is well-drained and that water doesn't puddle.

Hoe shallow rows for the cannellini beans, with each row 2 1/2 feet apart. Plant the cannellini beans in the rows, about 3 inches apart and 1 inch deep in the soil. Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch between the rows to help keep in moisture.

Water the cannellini beans once a week, increasing to twice a week during hot weather. Watering early in the morning is best, because the plants will have an opportunity to dry out, reducing the opportunity to develop mold or mildew.

Harvest the cannellini beans daily as the pods turn pale yellow. Don't wait, because overripe beans will become tough and leathery.

Pull the plants out by the roots when you're ready for the last picking of the season. This will make it easier to access the beans. When you are finished harvesting, toss the vines on the compost heap.


Things You Will Need

  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Beans
  • Compost or manure
  • Mulch

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.