There’s a myth out there about growing beans. Too many novice or first-time gardeners avoid growing beans because they’ve been (wrongly) told it is difficult or hard to do. Quite the contrary – growing beans is easy! If you can grow tomatoes, you can grow beans too. So why not jump in this summer and plant some yummy bean varieties in your vegetable garden?
Basic Growing Tips
Beans prefer warm weather and are best grown in the late spring and summer heat. They like full sun and well-drained soil. Beans should not be planted before the danger of frost has passed, so check your last-frost date for your area before diving in.
Beans can be of the bush or pole variety. You will need to know which type of bean you are planting so you can plan your space accordingly. Pole beans will need some sort of trellis or support system as they grow and mature. You can stake them with string or use a traditional trellis or even a fence for support. Pole beans are popular with many gardeners because they allow you to maximize your space as they grow up and not out. They are a good choice for a gardener with limited space.
Bush beans are popular with newer gardeners because they do not need the extra support and are a little easier to plan around. Bush beans, as you might expect, are small, bushy plants that are close to the ground. They do not need any support and require little care. Bush beans also typically produce an early crop
Beans can be planted in hills or rows, depending on your personal preference. Some patio gardeners even grow them in large pots or old whiskey barrels with great success.
Water your beans regularly, especially during hot weather. Use a thin layer of organic mulch – such as grass clippings, straw, or composted leaves to help keep weeds down and moisture in. Beans can be susceptible to insects, so you will want to pick these off by hand or treat with natural remedies such as a light spray of soapy water.
If you grew up with only plain green beans and lima beans on your plate, boy are you in for a big surprise! Beans come in a multitude of varieties, shapes, and colors. There are many different varieties of green beans alone, but my favorite is the Black Valentine variety. I also really like the Kentucky Wonder Pole bean.
Green beans are probably the most popular beans grown by gardeners everywhere, because they are adaptable to most soils and locations. Green beans need well-drained soil to thrive. Pick them when they are ready to harvest because an over-ripe pod will be tough and the beans will be bitter.
Lima beans, also called butter beans, come in both bush and pole varieties. They are grown for the bean inside the pod, which has a very distinctive and flavorful taste. Plant your lima beans a few weeks after your other garden beans as they really like the warmer weather.
But there are even more options!
There are wax beans, yellow beans, and even purple bean varieties. Check out our wide selection of heirloom beans and plant a new bean variety this year. Your family will love you for it.