If you are like us, you may have fond memories of you and your grandparents picking or cleaning green beans from their garden.
I remember many hot summer days helping hand pick bushels of green beans besides my great grandparents.
Year after year bucket after bucket bag after bag, fresh beans to saute, can, or freeze.
All the years in the garden taught us valuable lessons:
- Not to pull too hard
- Look for pests in the garden
- Don’t water too much
- But, you need to water
- Different disease plants could have
All of this is second nature to our family. My wife may have started with a brown thumb (sorry honey) but she’s slowly getting there.
What helped us a lot is the fact that we have amazing gardeners on both sides of the family.
So, we want to continue this knowledge and share it with you, our reader.
Beginners Guide: How to Grow Green Beans
I think it’s only right that we start off with the many different varieties of beans.
Did you know there were different varieties? Don’t worry if you didn’t, because my wife didn’t really know either.
We’ll also talk about our favorite and top pick.
Different Varieties Of Green Beans You Can Grow
There are four main types of green beans. There are different sub-varieties, we will focus on the main varieties here.
Pole beans can grow to be about 8-10 feet in height. We use cane/bamboo for support.
Two suck in the ground to make an A-frame will work wonderfully for the beans. These types of green beans will grab and climb the pole.
We have also planted them with corn so that the bean can grow with the corn.
Pole beans are easy to harvest because they grow on trellises.
Types: Rattlesnake, Fortex, Kentucky Wonder, and Blue Lake
Bush beans are short bushes that only grow to be about two feet in height. Due to their short height, Bush Beans grow easily in pots for container gardening
We recommend using a raised bed for Bush Beans so that it is easier on your back when picking.
Bush Beans are early producers. They typically produce about 1-2 weeks before Poll beans.
Types: Blue Lake, Contender, Provider, and Tendergreen
The third type of bean is a running bean.
Runner beans are high producing green beans. Keep in mind that they are a little more work when harvesting.
Even though they can be hard work, do not let that deter you form planting. Scarlet runners produce large pods.
They will need a trellis and some strings to run on.
One of our favorites is the Yardlong Beans. We cook these regularly and love them in butter and garlic, and maybe some beef tips.
Originally an Asian bean they are commonly found in Chinese cuisine. These beans do well in stir fry dishes.
Yardlong beans grow very well in a hot climate. They will strive in the southern states.
If you live in a colder state, you may struggle to have them produce.
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How To Grow Green Beans: Planting the Beans
Green beans are a fairly easy plant to grow and will yield you lots of beans when it’s harvest time.
Are you ready for lots of green beans?
One: Before You Plant Them
The ground temperature needs to be at least 60 and after the last frost. Do not forget about the Easter cold snap.
Two: Setup Your Trellis
If you are growing Pole Beans, Running Beans, or Yardlongs, start your trellis before planting the seeds.
We add the trellis and strings then plant the seeds. This process has been our method for many years.
Three: Sow Seeds in the Ground
Unlike most of our garden vegetables, Green beans are direct sow. You will need a hole that is about 3-4 inches deep. We make a 1-2 inch hole then add the compost on top.
Spacing should be 6 inches apart. We make 10-inch rows and plant opposing each other. We believe this will help with pollination.
According to the farmers’ almanac, the soil pH level should be around 6.0-6.5. Acidity that makes them grow better.
Four: Add Compost
When adding your compost, be careful not to add too much nitrogen (not too much chicken poop). Too much nitrogen will stunt the growth. With green beans, less is more.
Note: Rabbit pellets are great for this because they won’t burn your plants if you place it directly on the ground without aging.
Soil should be well-drained so that they do not become overwatered. Too much water will stunt the growth of the beans.
Six: Lots of Sun
Full sun is needed for photosynthesis to occur. They do well in direct sun 8-10 hours a day.
We recommend adding compost or fertilizer once a month is recommend. We prefer natural compost over chemical fertilizer.
Related Post: Beginners Guide to Back to Eden Gardening
Caring for Green Beans
Now that they’re in the ground it’s time to care for them until harvest day!
While you’re caring for them you’ll want to watch out for potential diseases also.
We talk about the different diseases at the end of the post, so make sure to read that.
When watering green beans, we recommend an initial light watering to get them started.
After that, they only require about ½ inch a week. Green Beans like most plants should be watered at the base, early in the morning or later in the evening.
If you are using a Back to Eden method, water them once after planting then watch them strive.
Once the leaves are dry, before the seeds bulge, continual harvesting is recommended for the best production.
Young green beans are more tender and can be used for quick meals. We like to boil the young beans for a quick summer treat.
If the beans are left on the vine too long, they will become fibrous and stringy; most people will discard these because they do not like them. If you choose to discard them, make sure they are large enough and old enough so you can extract the seeds for next year. Your farm animals may also like to munch on the beans.
Gently pluck the beans off the vine, so you don’t damage the plant. While picking the beans, remember to look for pests, mold, or other plant issues.
Prepping for Storage
Wash each batch in cool water gently moving them around so all the bugs, dirt are removed.
After you have cleaned the beans, you need three large pots:
- The first pot should be full of freshly washed beans.
- The second will be for the tips of the beans and the string.
- The third will be for your beans.
Depending on the size, you may want to cut or snap the beans into halves or thirds.
I like to sit on the porch and watch the kids play while preparing large quantities of beans.
After snapping off the tops and removing the strings, rinse the beans in cool water one more time.
1. Into The Refrigerator
In a rush? No worries, place the beans in a Ziploc or a grocery bag, then place the beans in the fridge. They can last about one week in the Refrigerator.
Washing the beans may cause them to mold. Wash before use
Wash the beans in cool water. Cut the tips off and remove the stem. Boil, bake, saute, wrap in bacon, and place in the air fryer, the options are endless.
If you boil the beans, it will take about 1 hour to become tender.
3. Into The Canner
We usually try to use most of our green beans, to use throughout the year.
After you processed the beans and washed a second time you will need to: Tightly pack the cut raw beans into a washed and sanitized quart jars.
You will also need to place one teaspoon of canning salt in the bottom of the jar. We like to use sea salt.
Fill the sterilized jars with water up to the neck of the jar.
Place a sterilized jar lid and a ring on to the jar. Pressure can the beans for 25-30 minutes under 10 pounds of pressure.
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Disease Problems In Green Beans
Bean rust is a fungus. You will know your plants have Bean Rust disease when rust-colored spots have developed on the leaves
Yearly crop rotation is recommended to help prevent Bean Rust. If your plants develop this fungus, remove the whole plant. We throw ours into the burn pile. You do not want to put infected plants in compost bins or piles.
Mosaic viruses are caused by factors like infections, herbicide use, nutrient deficiencies.
You can tell if your plants have this disease if they have unusual colored splotches on them.
Like most other diseases, the only way to stop them is to discard once your plants develop the disease. If your plants develop this virus, remove the whole plant. We throw ours into the burn pile. You do not want to put infected plants in compost bins or piles.
It is white powdery mildew that is spread by rain and wind. Avoid overwatering the plant
Use high-quality seeds when planting; if you choose, use a fungicide to help remove the mildew. You may try removing the infected part of the plant and being cautious not to spread it further.
Sunlight can help mitigate the spread and development.
Stem Anthracnose is another fungus. Dark-colored spots on them indicate it. This forms from your beans growing in overly wet conditions.
This is why we recommend trying Back to Eden gardening and well-drained soil.
Avoid overwatering. Green beans only need ½ of water a week.
There is no known cure for this fungus. If your plants develop this virus, remove the infected part or whole plant. We throw ours into the burn pile. You do not want to put infected plants in compost bins or piles.