All About Growing Beans

There's a lot to take into account when growing beans — what type to plant, when to plant, how to plant, pest control, and harvesting and storage — and we've compiled it all right here.

| June/July 2009

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

Dependable and easy to cultivate, beans produce rewarding crops in a wide range of climates. Growing beans during the warm summer months may produce crisp green pods, protein-rich beans, or both, depending on variety.

Bean Types to Try

Snap beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) — the most popular garden beans — include bush and pole varieties, which vary in shape, size, and color. Tender filet beans are a type of green snap bean with stringless, slender, delicate pods. They are grown just like other snap beans. Growth period: 50-55 days bush, 50-67 days pole.

Dry soup beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) grow like snap beans, but the immature pods stay tender for only a few days as the plants hurry to produce mature seeds. They are very easy to dry. Growth period: 55 days green, 85 days dry.

Scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) produce showy clusters of red blossoms that attract hummingbirds and bumblebees. You can eat the young pods like snap beans, or let the pods dry and harvest the mature beans. Growth period: 60 days green, 90 days dry.

Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) stand up to humid heat and heavy insect pressure, which makes them a fine bean for warm climates. Growth period: 75 days bush, 85 days pole.

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