Common Green bean is an annual vegetable also known by many other names like String bean, snap bean, common bean, and so on. It is a member of the Fabaceae plant family that includes all other beans. The botanical name of the green bean is “Phaseolus vulgaris”. It is a warm-season summer vegetable. Today we will discuss How to Grow Green Beans? Green bean is a native plant of South and Central America. It is compatible to grow anywhere from USDA Agricultural Zone 2 through 11. Therefore, If you want to grow beans then keep reading.
Check out my previous post: How to Germinate Green Bean Seeds?
Green Bean Plant Info
- Common Name: Green Bean, Common Bean, String Bean, Snap Bean,
- Botanical Name: Phaseolus Vulgaris
- Plant Family: Fabaceae
- Origin: Native to Central and South America.
- Plant Type: Annual Vegetables. Commonly available in two variants-Bush Type and Pole Type.
- Hardiness: USDA zone 2-11
- Plant Size: Bush-type Green beans can grow up to 2 to 5 feet. The Pole type beans can group to 15 feet long. Both of these bean types can sprawl to 3 to 4 feet wide.
- Soil: Green Beans require soft soil with good drainage. Most beans prefer slightly acidic soil with a ph around 6.0.
- Water: Always Keep the soil moist especially during the fruiting season. These plants require a consistent 1 to 2-inch water supply per week.
- Nutrition: Green Beans are natural nitrogen fixators. So there is no need to feed it regularly with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You should instead feed them with organic compost and NPK 10:20:10 or similar fertilizer.
- Support: Both Bush Type and Pole type beans can benefit from staking and supports. Install appropriate support before planting Green beans in the desired location.
- Common Pest: Aphids, Japanese Beetles, Bean Beetles, spider mites along with rust, mold, and fungal disease are common problems in Green bean plants. Regular care and preventive measures are the best solutions to avoid all of these.
Is it Easy to Grow Green Beans?
It is easy to grow Green beans especially if the Temperature and humidity are in your favor. The first step i.e Germination of the seed is critical. If you successfully germinate green bean seed and it gets the right temperature and conditions. Then the rest of the plant growth is not a big deal.
Once the seedling is established in full sun and it has sufficient nutrition. Then onwards it will thrive and grow until the first frost.
A Green Bean Plant only requires a consistent water supply and full sunlight every day. If everything is sufficient the growing green bean is quite easy even for novice gardeners.
Different Types of Green Beans
The Green Bean plants are basically of two types. These are-
- Bush Type Green Beans
- Pole type Green Beans
The Bush-type beans are short in height. They can attain a maximum height of 4 or 5 feet and spread up to 3 feet. These bean varieties bloom faster than pole-type beans. Though their fruiting season is short. Bush-type beans can start fruiting in 50 to 55 days after germination. They can continue fruiting for 4 to 6 weeks. Each flower head of the bush-type bean can contain 10 to 15 flowers, 80% of which may grow into fruit. So you can get a lot of beans at once from these bean varieties.
On the other hand, Pole type Beans are mostly vines in nature. They can spread up to 15 feet long and 4 feet wide. You will need some kind of support like a pole or netting to hold the vines above ground. The Pole type Beans take longer to bloom although they can fruit for quite a long duration. Each pole-type bean and produce beans for 6 to 10 weeks and even more in ideal condition. Each flower head in this variety of beans can produce 6 to 8 beans at once. They can fruit for a longer duration so their overall yield equates to bush-type beans.
Popular Green Bean Varieties to grow in Garden
Bush Type Varieties:
- Bountiful is a stringless heirloom bush-type bean. It is pretty easy to grow and return a high yield.
- Golden wax is a yellow colored soft bush type bean
- Royal Burgundy is a purple bush-type bean that turns green on cooking.
- Mascotte is a fast-growing gourmet bush-type bean. It is very easy to pick and cook. The plant grows to a maximum of 16 to 20 inches high.
- The provider is an ideal bush bean variety for cool northern soil conditions. It produces smooth 5-inch long seed pods and the plant is resistant to many diseases including powdery mildew.
- Contender is another high-yield early-producing bush-type bean. It is also very easy to grow and maintain.
- Fortex is a 10-inch long french type pole bean. It is excellent to cook and tastes great even raw.
- Romano is a broad Italian-type pole bean. It also tastes great and has a mild meaty flavor.
- Emerita is an old pole bean variety. It is popular for its crispy texture. It tastes nice throughout its growth phases from 4 to 8 inches in length.
Where to Grow Green Beans?
Green beans or Common Beans are native to South and Central America. They can grow anywhere in the country with very few adjustments. You can grow Green beans in USDA zone 2 through 11.
Although the growing season will be short in cold zones compared to hotter regions. Most Green green beans prefer open well-ventilated gardens. They can grow adjacent to trees but their shade may slow the fruit production in the vines.
Garden areas with well-drained healthy soil and an abundance of sunlight are ideal to grow green beans.
In addition to that, containers bigger than 10 inches are good to grow Green Beans.
When to Grow Common Green Beans?
Green Beans are annual Summer vegetables. They must be grown accordingly. Mid Spring to early summer is the right time to sow Bean seeds in the soil. It may coincide with February till April.
Only make sure the soil is warm and dry enough to support the seed germination. The moist soil at a temperature lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the seed. The seed may rot or never germinate.
This problem usually happens when you sow seed in the week of the last frost. The sudden flux in day-night temperature is not good for green beans. That’s why we always advise waiting for 7 to 10 days after the last frost. If the temperature at night exceeds 55 degrees Fahrenheit then it is the right time to sow green beans.
Keep in mind 55 degrees at night will result in 62 degrees Fahrenheit or more during the daytime. The first week of march usually has the perfect condition to sow and grow green Beans. Although you must lookout for the last frost date in your local zone.
Can we Grow Green Beans in Containers?
Yes, We can easily grow Green Beans in Containers. The Bush Type Green Beans are ideal for Container gardening. They are determinate and have a short manageable size. Managing a Bush type of green bean in a container is easier Although you can grow any bean variety in the container.
It only requires proper space for the roots and some kind of support to hold the plant up.
A 10 or 12-inch container is sufficient to grow any bush-type beans. Whereas you may require 15 to 18-inch containers for Pole type beans. In addition to that, you have to install proper staking or support sticks around these plants before planting.
Soil Preparation for Green Bean Plants
Green Beans require slightly acidic soil with good drainage. It can fix Nitrogen in the soil so there is no need to feed it with additional nitrogenous fertilizer.
It can grow well in most soil types even in rough sandy or dense clay soil. All you need to do is make it well-drained and healthy by mixing sand, compost, cocopeat, and perlite.
I use 30% garden soil 30% compost 10% cocopeat, 20% sand, and 10% NPK fertilizer and bonemeal to grow Green beans in containers.
A little bit of Compost can push the plants to bloom for a longer duration. You can also use balanced NPK fertilizer with the soil mix to grow Green Beans. though it is recommended to use twice during plant growth. You can use compost and NPK 10:20:10 or similar fertilizer with more phosphorus throughout the plant’s life.
Bush-type beans usually don’t require recursive use of fertilizers due to their short life span. On the other hand, Pole-type Green beans may require feeding twice or thrice during their lifetime. A hand full of compost is sufficient to feed these plants. Apply compost to the soil once in 25 days.
Temperature and Sunlight Requirement
Green Beans require a minimum of 58 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit temperature to germinate. The plant will need at least 60 degrees to grow and almost 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit to bloom and produce beans.
In addition to that, the green bean plant needs 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. Proper sunlight is essential for bud formation and fruiting.
Lack of sunlight or temperature may cause yellowing of leaves. The plant may lose its strength of blooming. Eventually, it may die.
Therefore, you should grow beans in late spring such that it receives proper sunlight and temperature throughout their lifetime.
You may need overhead protection like garden nets during hot summer days. Temperature higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit can damage the plant. Direct sunlight during summer noon can quickly dehydrate the bean plants. Use proper shade and keep the plants well hydrated to avoid any damage.
Read this: Easy Ways to Support Vegetable Plants
Water Requirement for Green Bean Plants
Green beans require moderate watering throughout the growing season. The continuous rising temperature in the Summer season can increase excessive water loss. Too much evaporation can dehydrate the bean plant. To cope with these conditions Every bean plant requires a consistent water supply.
Each bean plant may consume 1- 2 inches of water per week. This requirement may increase once the plant starts blooming. These plants require a lot of water to continue blooming and fruiting.
Drooping and yellowing of green leaves and falling of fresh blooms is an indication of excessive water loss. Overwatering also has a similar effect on the plant. Excessive water in the soil can cause root rot. It can attract several pests and insects towards the plant.
Therefore, You must check for the dryness in topsoil before irrigating the Bean plants. Check the top 1 inch of the soil for dryness with your first finger knuckle. If it’s dry then water the plant and wait for the soil to dry before the next spell.
How to Grow Green Beans?
- Start by choosing an open garden area that receives direct sunlight throughout the day. You can also prepare raised beds in the desired location.
- Prepare the Soil, container, or garden bed for Green Beans. Amend soil with compost and other organic matter. You should use fungicide in the soil to prevent any fungal growth or root rot.
- Get Some Good quality Green Bean Seeds. You can buy it from any garden store or online. Always choose two or more varieties of Beans to grow together in a vegetable garden. It will add texture and color with a continuous bean supply.
- Sow the seeds directly in the garden soil. Bean roots are very fragile so you can’t uproot and shift them. Although you can grow them in a small 4-inch container and later shift the plant with the entire root ball to the desired location. This method is used by nursery sellers who sell bean seedlings in small cropped plastic containers.
- Presoaking the green bean seeds can help with faster germination. To know more read: How to Germinate Green Bean Seeds?
- Install support sticks, teepee, wire tunnel, netting, or fence to support the plant at the time of plantation. You can also install supports at later growth stages but it will require more effort than earlier.
- Always keep the soil moist and well hydrated. Proper soil moisture can boost healthy plant growth.
- Most green bean plants will start blooming within 2 months of germination. keep harvesting once or twice every week to encourage new fruit formation.
- Remove any mature seedpod before seed formation and hardening. Else it may trigger the plant to stop blooming and keep feeding these seeds.
- Feed the plants with low nitrogen liquid fertilizer once every month. Also, add compost twice during the lifecycle of pole-type beans.
- Don’t forget to sow fresh Bean seeds again in 2 weeks intervals. This will ensure a continuous supply of green beans throughout the summer season until fall. Therefore, stop sowing seeds at least 2 and a half months before the estimated first frost date.
Common Pest Problems and their Solution
Several bugs and pests can damage the Green Bean Plants. That’s why it is always advised to rotate bean crops and their varieties to reduce the chances of specific plant diseases. You should grow disease-resistant bean varieties if your garden has previous records of any bean plant disease. Occasionally you may face some pests in the bean plants.
The common Green Bean Pest and Diseases are-
- Spider Mites dig beneath the leaf surface and feed on the plant sap. they are not fatal for the plant but can slow down their growth due to nutrient deficiency. Hand-picking and burning of infested leaves can effectively work to control these tiny bugs.
- Japanese Beetles are large bugs that feed on the foliage and flowers of the bean plant. A dozen of these huge bugs can eat your entire bean garden in a couple of days. You can use bug traps to control these invaders.
- Mexican Bean Beetles look-alike garden ladybugs. They feed on tender leaves, new buds, and tiny seed pods. The 16 darks spots make them different from ladybugs. Though identifying them at a glace is not very easy. Anyone can easily confuse them with ladybugs. So if you found holes in stem and leaves and find a ladybug-like insect in the plant. Then it may be a Mexican Bean Beetle. You can treat these bugs with neem oil spray or general-purpose pesticide.
- Bean leaf beetles are similar to Mexican bean beetle. Though they are more distinct with their bright shiny color and oval shape. These bugs feed mostly on tender leaves, stems, and small seedpods. They are devastating for the bean crop. Treat them at the initial stage with neem oil and soap spray. In worst cases burn the infected plant to prevent the hatching of new bug eggs. It is the only way to stop further infestation.
- Deer, Hogs, and birds can also damage the bean plants. Simply install proper fencing and overhead nets to prevent your beans from these invaders.
- Furthermore, Alternaria leaf spot, mold, bean rust, and mosaic virus are also common in high humid conditions. Bean Plant infected with bacteria, fungal or viral diseases is difficult to treat. Prevention is always better than cure.
Easy Care for Green Bean Plants
- Keep Soil Moist but not soggy.
- Deadhead the branches that have no buds in them. This will encourage the bean plant to produce new shoots and buds.
- Install proper stakes and support to keep the vines above the ground. Bean Vine near the soil line can easily get a fungal infection with a water splash.
- Maintain a healthy distance between each bean plant. Proper spacing can encourage more bloom and fruit formation. Keep at least a 6-inch gap between each bean seedling. If the plants are too close then thin out a few from each row. Each bean row must have a 15 to 24 inches gap.
- Add light mulch to prevent excessive water loss during summer days. This mulch can also help to keep the roots warm in cool areas.
- Regularly harvest the beans to ensure further fruit production. Once the plant starts developing seeds, it will slow down and stop fruiting. Therefore, remove any mature or hard beans from the plant else it will signal the plant about seed formation. Eventually, the Bean plant will stop flowering.