How to Grow Beans
In this article, we share a comprehensive guide to growing beans at home.
Quick Guide Information
Common Name: Beans
Scientific Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Plant Type: Climbing Vine
Life Span: Annual
Time Till Harvest: 75-125 Days
Light Requirement: Full Sun
Optimum pH: 6.0 - 6.5
Beans are a traditional crop of huge importance to traditional cultures around the world. There are countless varieties and their protein richness makes them a particularly valuable food source. They are easy to grow and do well in unfertile and disturbed soils. Beans are a great crop for improving your soils because they fix nitrogen directly from the air!
While there are dozens of varieties of beans to choose from, the two largest classifications of beans are bush beans and climbing beans. As you can imagine, bush beans grow by themselves unsupported while climbing beans require some sort of structure for growth. Most dry beans are climbing beans, which tend to also be more productive.
Propagation, Planting, and Maintenance
Beans typically like warm climates and are frost sensitive. It is best to start planting once the last frost has passed and soil temperatures go up to 20C. They prefer full sun and can grow in all types of soil.
Beans are grown from seed and can be sown directly in the garden. In fact, transplanting can often result in stunted growth and less vigorous plants, so direct seeding is the way to go. They typically germinate within 1-2 weeks.
+ Climbing Beans will need a structure or plant to support its growth. These can be planted 15 cm apart.
+ Bush Beans require no trellis and should be spaced a bit farther, about 30 cm apart.
Once established beans do not really require much care, just make sure they are properly supported and watered.
String beans, snap beans, and other varieties can be harvested when tender and eaten with the pod. Dry beans should be harvested once the seed is fully developed. Tender beans can be cooked like soaked beans. If planted in the spring, most varieties of dry beans can be left directly on the plant to dry. These can be picked and the pod will easily separate.
+ Wilting can occur from lack of watering or disease. Fusarium wilt can cause sudden wilting and is fatal to plants. Avoid planting beans here for 3 to 4 seasons.
+ Powdery Mildew is caused from too much moisture and lack of sunlight/air circulation. Try to promote air circulation through pruning and improve sunlight in any way possible. Overhead sprinklers and other irrigation methods that wet the leaves can also cause this.
Yellowing Of Leaves can happen for a variety of reasons. If it is nutrient related, consider adjusting pH or top dressing with compost. It may also be diseases related, caused by Bean Mosaic Virus or Summer Death Mycoplasma. Either of these is fatal and plants should be removed to avoid spread of the disease.