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We love to grow green beans! They’re are a staple in our garden and our pantry. They are easy to grow, harvest, and preserve. Can’t beat that! I love having my pantry shelves lined with foods that we’ve grown and canned. It’s just so rewarding to feed my family a meal that we’ve been a part of from the small seed all the way to the plate.
Green beans also happen to be on my easy to grow vegetables list (like yellow squash). Aside from bean beetles (which can be controlled naturally), we haven’t had a lot of trouble out of beans. They’re very prolific so we can get a large harvest out of a small space. 10-15 plants per household member is a good goal. I always shoot a little higher, the more plants, the merrier!
We’ve grown both bush and pole versions of green beans. The bush variety is what we have found works best for us in our garden. We also prefer the stringless varieties. It is just easier to snap them without having to string them as well.
We’ve grown them in raised square foot garden beds and in rows in the ground. They worked great both ways. In a raised bed, you can grow them with the square foot gardening method for a higher yield. You will also not have to bend over as much to harvest and work the bed. In rows on the ground, you can work around each plant and inspect them for pests easily.
We choose an heirloom variety so that we can save seeds for the next year. To do this, we choose the healthiest looking plants and allow the bean pods to stay on them until they dry out. Once they dry, we remove the seeds and let them air dry until we are sure all of the moisture is removed. This ensures that they’ll be ready for storing until the next year and won’t rot.
Easy to Grow Green Beans
Green beans do well in soil around 6.0-7.0 PH which is fairly neutral. You can have your soil tested to see where your PH level is. Once you know, you can use natural additives to adjust as needed.
Preparing your beds with rich organic compost is always a great idea. I suggest that you continually feed your soil with composted manure, broken down wood chips, and very composted leaves every year. Adding worms to your soil also helps with the organic environment.
Once they beans set true leaves, we like to mulch them to help with water retention, pest control, weed control, and soil temperature. Wood chips, old hay (but not moldy), and straw are good options for mulching.
When you plant your green bean seeds, you need to know how they will grow and if they’ll need support. You can choose between pole beans and bush beans. Pole bean vines can get as long as 10-15 feet so they need a pole or a trellis to climb as they grow. We’ve used sticks and cattle panes arched for growing pole beans. Both methods worked well for us. Bush beans will grow to around 2 feet tall and do not need any support. They will just get bushy and can easily be worked without any special supports at all.
Green beans seeds can be planted anytime after the last spring frost as long as the soil temperature is above 48° F. Plant seeds 1″ deep and 6″-10″ apart for pole beans or 3″-4″ apart for bush beans. Rows should be 2′ or more apart. For square foot gardening, 9 seeds per square foot can be planted (that’s 135 bean plants for a 3’x5′ bed!).
One of the great things about green beans is that they grow relatively fast. You can expect to start harvesting in 50-65 days from planting. Beans should be harvested when they are around 1/8″-1/4″ in diameter. The plants will continue to set beans after each picking well into the season.
For continued harvest throughout the entire season, green beans can be planted every 2 weeks in secession. You will end up with quite the bumper crop of beans!
Green beans really are easy to grow and preserve. They can be frozen, pickled, freeze dried, or canned. We prefer to can our green beans and line our pantry shelves with those beautiful jars full. Green Beans are one of my top favorite foods to preserve!
What is your favorite type of bean to grow?
You can purchase green bean seeds here:
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