Buy the 2015 Old Farmer's Almanac!


Your rating: None Average: 3.9 of 5 (188 votes)

Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Pole and bush beans (more commonly called green beans) are a tender vegetable and a great addition to any garden, great eaten fresh off the plant or incorporated into a recipe. Bush beans require less maintenance, so they are easier to grow.


  • Pole beans will grow in a climbing vine and require a trellis or staking. Bush beans will spread up to 2 feet but do not require support.
  • Do not start seeds indoors; they may not survive transplanting.
  • Seeds can be sown outdoors anytime after last spring frost, minimum soil temp is 48 degrees F.  Plant 1 inch deep, a little deeper for sandier soils. Cover soil to warm if necessary.
  • Bush beans: Plant 2 inches apart.
  • Pole beans: Set up trellises, or "cattle panels," and plant 3 inches apart.
  • If you like pole beans, an easy support for them is a "cattle panel"—a portable section of wire fence—16 feet long and 5 feet tall. The beans will climb with ease, and you won't have to get into contorted positions to pick them.
  • For a harvest that lasts all summer, sow beans every 2 weeks. If you’re going to be away, skip a planting. Beans do not wait for anyone.
  • Rotate crops each year.


  • Mulch soil to retain moisture; make sure that it is well-drained.
  • Water regularly, from start of pod to set. Water on sunny days so foliage will not remain soaked.
  • Beans require normal soil fertility. Only fertilize where levels are low. Begin after heavy bloom and set of pods.
  • Use a light hand when applying high-nitrogen fertilizer, or you will get lush plants and few beans.
  • Weed diligently and use shallow cultivation to prevent disturbing the root systems.



  • Beans are picked at an immature stage, when the seeds inside have not yet fully developed.
  • Look for firm, sizable pods and snap or cut off the plant. Do not tear the plant.
  • Store beans in a moisture-proof, airtight container in the refrigerator. Beans will toughen over time even when stored properly.
  • Beans can be kept fresh for about 4 days, or blanched and frozen immediately after harvesting.
  • Beans can also be canned or pickled.

Recommended Varieties

  • 'Bush Blue Lake’ (bush): Keeps flavor well after harvest.
  • ‘Bountiful’ (bush): Early producer.
  • 'Fortex' (pole): French variety, large beans.
  • 'Kentucky Wonder' (pole): Will produce a bountiful harvest.


Wit & Wisdom

Beans are commonly used in everyday expressions to indicate something of little value. Consequently, someone who isn't worth a hill of beans is seen as being worth very little, although one could argue that today a hill of beans costs a pretty penny.


When and who was this written

By Kelsey Shewfelt on March 28

When and who was this written by

Hi. I live in San Diego, in

By Jennifer Sinclair on March 24

Hi. I live in San Diego, in an apt and I'm container growing my bush beans indoors. It's still very small but already has two, 2 1/2in" beans growing on it. Should I pluck them now and wait till it's bushy to harvest the beans then? I'm concerned it's expending more energy on these two pods then growing fuller....? I would include a picture but if this site offers that I can find it.

Hi Jennifer, Let the bean

By Almanac Staff on March 24

Hi Jennifer,
Let the bean pods grow until they are mature and then pick them. The plant will produce more beans as you start picking. The bush bean plant will keep growing and become fuller with time.

I planted green beans a

By Prodiver1812

I planted green beans a couple of months ago and have very tall (10 foot) vines. They are covered with flowers as well, however they never grow any beans! Is there something I can do? They are growing new vines all the time and spreading all over.

Blue flowers attract bees for

By cornelis

Blue flowers attract bees for pollination more than other colours.

Try to attract bees to your

By Lemons, Chris

Try to attract bees to your garden by adding flowers

Lack of pollinators might be

By Almanac Staff

Lack of pollinators might be the culprit. Inconsistent watering can also cause lack of fruit set--provide mulch and if it is windy in your area, also provide wind protection to help prevent drying. Flowers may also drop before setting fruit due to high heat (over 90F). Also, too much nitrogen can cause beans to bloom but not set pods.

Hi: I have the same situation

By Steve Carlisle

Hi: I have the same situation you have and also have no beans just flowers. Did you find an answer to your problem? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Steve Carlisle

One year, there were simply

By FreedomElf

One year, there were simply no bees, and with bee populations seriously in decline, I wasn't surprised. So I wound up taking a q-tip and going from one flower to another, sticking the q-tip very lightly inside and going from flower to flower with it. Yeah, it was time consuming; took me about an hour to do all of them. But at least I had plenty of beans. Good luck.

Can you aim your beans to

By muddiekins

Can you aim your beans to grow down if they are growing past the trellis height?

Sure. If your beans reach the

By Almanac Staff

Sure. If your beans reach the top of the trellis, they can just loop over and work their way back down the trellis.

I have read that beans are a

By Ambet

I have read that beans are a perennial where there is no frost. I am in zone 10, where the low air temp for the year is in the 40s. I have several runner bean plants that are doing well, and was wondering if they could be grown through the year. My one worry is that the little rain we do get is in the winter. would it increase the risk for disease? If I need to take them out, how do I know when?

In Zone 10, you can plant

By Almanac Staff

In Zone 10, you can plant beans as early as February into April. Another batch can be planted in August and September. Scarlet runner beans can be grown as perennials in Zone 10. Beans like about an inch of water per week. Many diseases occur if the soil gets waterlogged, or the air is very humid, which I'm guessing your winters might not experience. You might ask your county's Cooperative Extension about care for runner beans in your area; there might also be varieties best for your climate. See:

My bush bean is starting to

By Kimmy Williams

My bush bean is starting to flower. How long from this time will it start producing? Is now a good time to give it a fertilizer treatment?

Harvest time will depend on

By Almanac Staff

Harvest time will depend on several factors, such as variety, weather, soil, health of plant. But in general, bean pods will be ready to harvest about 7 to 14 days after the flowers appear.
If the soil has been prepared with a balanced fertilizer before planting, it is usually not necessary to fertilize again, although there are some exceptions, depending on your soil. Beans have a partnership with nitrogen-fixing bacteria on their roots, so they don't need as much nitrogen as some other vegetables. Some gardeners give a light feeding after flowers have bloomed heavily and pods are beginning to set. At this time, you can give them a little low-nitrogen fertilizer, applying about 6 to 8 inches away from the plant, and then water thoroughly.
In general, water is more important at this stage than fertilizer--keep up with consistent watering while pods develop (but don't let the soil get soggy).

this is my first year growing

By palma

this is my first year growing bush beans, they are in a large planter. they started off beautifully green and producing great beans, now the leaves are getting more and more yellow, the beans are still growing well but should i be concerned about the leaves turning yellow? i keep the soil very moist, am i watering them too much?? any help would be appreciated.

when the leaves tan yellow it

By washington adedi okumu

when the leaves tan yellow it means your beans it is know cameing to be well produce coz the more it tans yellow the more inakauka tu be ready to havest

If your beans are still

By Almanac Staff

If your beans are still producing, there is no need to worry just yet. Beans do like well-draining soil so try not to give them too much water.

Have you ever heard of a

By kathy emerick

Have you ever heard of a tobacco virus getting on green beans? Someone told me if you smoke around bean plants or handle the plants after smoking they could get a disease on them. True or False ?

Tobacco mosaic disease can

By Almanac Staff

Tobacco mosaic disease can affect a number of plants. Sanitation is the key to keeping it from spreading. Remove any plants showing signs of the disease and sterilize garden equipment. It is always best to not smoke while working in the garden.

I have planted bush blue lake

By Cheryl64

I have planted bush blue lake beans in raised beds. The plants are a deep green, lush and look healthy except that when I went out to pick beans today for the first time, most of the plants have white areas on the stems and pods, occasionally on a leaf hear and there. These white areas are dime to nickel size and are not fuzzy like mold. They are more like spongy looking. When I soak the beans in water with white vinegar to "clean" them, the white stuff comes off, for the most part, and floats to the top. We live in central Alabama so we have a lot of rain this time of year and high humidity. This doesn't sound like the white mold descriptions I've been reading so any idea what this is and if the beans are still edible or do I need to throw them out? Pull out the plants? I'm new to gardening so I need all the help from knowledgeable folks I can get. Thank you.

It's hard to know what it

By Almanac Staff

It's hard to know what it might be without a photo. The rainiy/humid conditions would seem to encourage a fungal disease. Some fungal growths aren't as fuzzy as, say, what you might find on old food. Downy mildew is common on beans--could it be that? Powdery mildew does better in cool weather, but it might be a possibility. Rust can sometimes start out whitish. For more information about bean diseases in your area, you might be interested in this from the Alabama Cooperative Extension:
It doesn't quite sound like insect egg clusters, or residue from pesticides, salts, etc. For further advice, you might ask a local nursery or call your county's Cooperative Extension:

I plant pole beans with the

By Francis Vigil

I plant pole beans with the corn. The pole bean climb the corn it great for the corn also.

Hi, I have been growing

By Iancw

Hi, I have been growing French beans on 7ft poles but they have out grown them already by at least a foot and still going every week, I can't go up any further as I can't find poles longer than I have, am I supposed to pinch out the tops to increase the bean production like you would a tomato etc?

A pest that could have your

By TheDailyOpportu...

A pest that could have your beans in its sights and have legumes and other vine like vegetables is leaf hoppers. This might have something to do with the health and vigorous of a vine type plant in or around your garden. Our efforts of integrated pest management (ladybirds) seems to have been successful. Ladybugs, here for three days, gone seemingly forever(though spotted a pale orange one yesterday).

Hi, Daily, Thanks for helping

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Daily, Thanks for helping these friends!

When my plants are affected

By TheDailyOpportu...

When my plants are affected by leaf damage, I like to take them off. I assume that there might be a pheromone telling other insects that it might be in distress, and as beans are almost always seemingly reproducing then it would make room for a leaf that has more photosynthesis coverage.

You could try in ovulating

By TheDailyOpportu...

You could try in ovulating your beans, there are often packets of nitrogen led innoculents just for this purpose. Soaking the seeds might also help.

We live on the plains of

By Ken Holder

We live on the plains of Colorado, We have a spot with bush beans they are up 2 to 3 inches but the leaves are yellow. We fertilized with rotted cow manure, I wonder if I got too much in this garden spot? I have another area where I planted potatoes and used no manure, I planted pole beans along a fense next to the potatoes and they are coming in bright green.
Any ideas?

Hi, Ken, We are huge

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Ken, We are huge proponents of aged cow manure, but sometimes even we can use too much of a good thing. Do a soil test to check the pH. You can do this with the beans in the ground. Then amend accordingly. The potential nutrient imbalances are many, so see what you're dealing with for soil content/value first, then look into additives.
The test is quick, easy, and inexpensive. A nursery, garden store, or coop extension should be able to help you—help you get one, read it, and resolve the matter.
Hope this helps. There's nothing like fresh beans.

I planted green beans for the

By successful beans?

I planted green beans for the first time 3 years ago and got beautiful plants and a gorgeous crop. Last year I decided to fertilize my garden and the garden store recommended a basic fertilizer and lime treatment. I did that.
But last year only 1/4 of the seeds I planted came up. I replanted and got the same results. This year we fertilized again and spread lime again. Same results only 1/4 of the seeds came up.
I dug down in the soil and there are all these little stems about 2 inches long and the bean pod is burst open but they never rooted and came through the soil.
We also mulch our garden with grass clippings as soon as we plant all the seeds.
Can you help me figure out what is wrong?

You are planting to deeply

By Joe Willis

You are planting to deeply and mulching before your seeds germinate. As beans germinate they have to push the cotyledons (seed leaves) up through the soil. If the soil is too deep, too heavy, too dense, too packed, etc., the cotyledons can not push through. The natural fibers of any mulch will increase this problem. Sometimes the seedling will break their necks by not being able to emerge from the soil.
Soil tests are always important, but generally the lack of a test will not prevent germination unless your soils are extremely out of range.
Try planting your beans approximately 1 inch deep and wait until they are 5-6 inches tall before using any mulch.
Good luck with your beans.

Test you soil to make sure it

By Almanac Staff

Test you soil to make sure it has the right pH. Lime will make it more alkaline--don't add any more unless the soil is more acidic than optimum. Beans like it slightly acidic to around neutral, depending on the type: around 6.0 to 7.5. Also make sure that your seeds are viable (new seed packets would be fine). Cold soil will slow germination, and some bean varieties will take longer than others to sprout. Lots of water or rain can rot the seeds. Also, when mulching before seeds sprout, you might want to provide only about a 1/4 inch layer (or avoid the actual spots where the seeds are planted); otherwise, the seeds may have trouble pushing through (when plants establish, you can provide a thicker layer), and the soil might be kept cooler than optimum for sprouting. Or, you could just avoid mulching until after the seeds have sprouted and become more hardy. For grass clippings, let them brown and dry before applying them to the vegetable bed, and avoid those clippings from lawns treated with pesticides.

This is my first time ever to

By Michelle Black

This is my first time ever to plant vegetables. I have to use containers though, due to zero yard space. I've started Kentucky wonder beans, tomatoes, green onion and yellow squash from seeds. I've followed all the instructions everywhere on the internet. My seeds were started 7 days ago. I have sprouts already from my beans as well as growth on the onions and tomatoes. I can barely see a bit of the squash poking thru the dirt. My concern is when do I transplant these to my larger containers? What are the chances of my first time container garden surviving? Any tips and information will be greatly appreciated!

In addition to the green

By Michelle Black

In addition to the green beans, I'm concerned with mu tomato seedlings. Out of 8 containers, I only have 1 that has produced 2 leaves. What did I do wrong? Seeds were planted on June 1,2014. Help! Should I start over or is there a way to save the undeveloped ones?

Ideally, beans should be

By Almanac Staff

Ideally, beans should be planted in the final container, as they do not like being transplanted, either that, or you can plant them in peat pots and then when the seedlings are ready, plant the entire peat pot in the final spot [make sure the top rim is slightly (1/4 inch) below soil level, or it will wick away water from around the seedling], whereupon the peat pot will break down in the soil. When transplanting a bean seedling to its final spot, handle it very gently so as to disturb the roots as little as possible. Be sure to plant it at the same depth that it was in the pot (they are fussy). Squash has fragile roots, so when transplanting, be very gentle; ideally, like beans, they should be planted in their final site.
Most seedlings should be transplanted to individual containers when they grow their second or third set of true leaves. The first "leaves" to appear will be the cotyledons, which are not true leaves, and will often have a different shape that the true ones.
If your plants are already outdoors, then you don't need to worry about hardening off. [If they are indoors, you'd need to gradually introduce them to outdoor conditions, by placing them in a shaded, protected area for a few hours each day, increasing the amount of time each successive day--take them in at night. After about 7 to 10 days, they should be ready to plant outdoors.]
Tomatoes usually emerge within 5 to 10 days, it could be that your other seeds may germinate soon; cooler soil temperatures may delay germination. Make sure the soil is at optimum temperature, and don't over- or underwater. Also, the older the seed is, the less will sprout. Transplant tomato seedlings the first time to individual pots when they have their second pair of true leaves (about 3 to 4 inches tall); transplant to the final spot when they are about 6 to 10 inches tall, after they have developed a healthy root system and a good set of leaves.

I have both pole and bush

By Dao

I have both pole and bush beans. Should I remove leaves that have been damaged by pests (mostly snails and tomato worms). Some of the leaves have dime-sized holes or the edges have been eaten away. The leaves are otherwise healthy (i.e. green). Don't know whether I should just leave the damaged leaves or whether it's better for the health of the plant to remove them.

The bush bean plants are pretty lush. The pole beans are newer so less so.


It depends on the insect and

By Almanac Staff

It depends on the insect and the damage. Some insects lay eggs in the leaves and the larvae will hatch inside (leaf miners), or spider mites weave webs on them. In those cases, where the insect would remain on the leaf and you can't remove the insect, remove the leaf. However, it sounds like yours have been damaged by, as you say, snails and tomato worms and perhaps other caterpillars, and/or maybe a beetle (such as a bean leaf beetle). These will wander over several leaves or plants. If you don't see signs of eggs (or if you do, you can knock them off), and the leaf appears to be coping (healthy green), then you should probably leave it be. (If they are clearly dying, though, then remove them to avoid diseases invading.)
If this were a disease, however, especially a virus, it sometimes would be best to remove the affected leaves to help prevent spreading.
If there are too many damaged leaves, or too many removed, the plant would suffer, as it wouldn't be able to make enough food.

I have planted 6 bush bean

By cockerhams

I have planted 6 bush bean plants this year and they are producing beans enough for a couple of servings every couple to 4 days. So are they going to stop before the end of the summer? I should plant more to keep up with the harvest? Is that what we are saying?

we planted bush contender

By senior gardener

we planted bush contender beans 3 wks ago and only 5/6 have come thru...the garden gets full sun from 11am-sundown. If we replant should we soak the beans first to give them a boost.

Germination can be affected

By Almanac Staff

Germination can be affected by several things, such as the age of the seed, the soil temperature (in general for beans, wait to sow until the soil is at least 65 degrees F), moisture (beans like evenly moist soil, but not soggy), etc. Although it is usually not necessary to soak the beans for germination, some gardeners have had success doing so. If you try this, be sure not to oversoak them, or it will hurt the bean, possibly splitting it; test them every so often to make sure that they are not getting mushy. One method is to soak them for up to 30 minutes, or place them between damp towels overnight.

Michigan: I am growing dragon

By Keith Ash

Michigan: I am growing dragon tongue beans for the first time I live in zone 6b and wanted to start planting my bean seeds and was wondering if this is safe to do now

I am an amature gardener,

By MikeBeans

I am an amature gardener, first year really trying, and live in an apartment with only a second floor patio. I've planted indoors, in pots several things, including what seems to be pole beans. The seed pack does not specify the type, simply green beans. I planted two of these no more then a month ago and they sprouted literally within two days and now my tallest is at three feet tall and staked. I started acclimating the plants a couple days ago, though here in colorado the weather has not been friendly so I am being slow and delicate with this. The three foot plant is already producing flower bulbs. I really don't want my plant to be taller then 4', tops at 5' and my question is can they be topped off or snipped to prevent more growth (up) without harming the plant or potential yield? Secondly, being only moving into may, should I allow them to flower and try to pollinate each flower by hand to start them bean pods growin or is it far to early in the season, especially with acclimating them? Any help is appreciated and sense I may not see response here, I think my email should be posted with my comment. Happy gardening!

Did you try contacting the

By Almanac Staff

Did you try contacting the source of your seeds to ask what type/variety they are? Pole beans can grow to 5 to 8 feet; they are essentially "born to run."
You could try topping them off, a little at a time/everyday or two, rather that a long-length pruning. Beans are usually self-pollinating, so give them awhile and see what happens.
BTW, it's early in season, so you should also consider growing some bush beans. These would mature at a manageable height.

I am a big fan of pole beans

By keithash61

I am a big fan of pole beans growing the Kentucky wonder I live in Michigan and for us this is a great bean with few problems and produces well to frost. I use espomas garden tone for all my fertilizer needs it is a slow release. And for grasshoppers I started planting sunflowers to attract birds and they take care of most of our bug problems.

Hi, I'm growing a bean plant

By Beverly Johnston

Hi, I'm growing a bean plant for school in a small styrofoam cup. It didn't seem to be growing for a number of weeks, so I replanted new seeds and got some new soil and re-did it. I just replanted it an hour ago, and I heard some people in my class were adding fertilizer to theirs. Is there any way I could add some nutrients to my soil without harming it? I was thinking of blending some banana, eggshell, coffee grounds, etc. to my plant because they are rich in potassium, nitrogen, and calcium, but I'm not sure if that will work. Thanks!

Your idea of adding nutrients

By Almanac Staff

Your idea of adding nutrients is a good one, but not in the way you decribe. Those ingredients are best when they are composted—rotted away in a pile of leaves and other things outside over a period of months.
Without having an idea of the quality of your soil, adding fertilizer could do more harm than good. Don't pack the soil around the seed. Keep it a bit loose so it has some air. Make sure there are holes in the bottom of your cup so excess water can drain out (and not drown the seed). Keep it in a warm place and give it sunlight when it sprouts.

Hi, I am currently doing a

By Hailey Aguilera

Hi, I am currently doing a project for school and I need to explain what everything is. My bean has about two or three little plants around it and I was wondering what they could be. Can someone please tell me?

This is my first time at

By Corinne Bruha

This is my first time at planting Bush Blue Lake Garden Beans. They really produced quite a bit off 6 plants. Will they regenerate new beans or should the plants be dug up and start a new batch??

The beans will slow down

By Almanac Staff

The beans will slow down after a while and it is always a good idea to sow more. Some gardeners plant a new row every 3 to 4 weeks to have a nice supply of fresh beans throughout the season.

How many cm does a green bean

By Julia Rios

How many cm does a green bean plant grow in a week with organic? Chemical fertilizer?

We have pole beans that have

By Merrilee

We have pole beans that have brown areas on them. The inside is crisp and green. Are these ok to eat. Dennis says its like a "sunburn" and they are ok. He eats them out in the garden and says they are fine. But I am not sure. Thanks for you help!

No worries! It's caused by

By Casa di Lupini

No worries! It's caused by water drops on the beans when the sun is on them, it acts like a magnifying glass, and "cooks" the skin just a little bit. Eat up and enjoy!!

I planted pole beans, went

By Norma Bybee

I planted pole beans, went away for 2 weeks and came back to 1 sprout. After another week, still nothing else, I dug down to see what was going on. There were roots and a stem, but no leaves. What would eat them before they come through the ground and how can I prevent that?

Sounds like cutworms. For

By Jen Clemons

Sounds like cutworms. For damage under ground you need a liquid insecticide rated for ground use.

OR you can make a collar for

By Holly 3

OR you can make a collar for the stem, with tin foil or plastic tubing. Anything that wraps around the stem and sits lightly in the earth below will protect the stem from the worm. Remove collar once stems are the diameter of a pencil.

I planted string beans this

By james f

I planted string beans this year. the vines are growing all over and i get blue flower in the morning. when to i see beans?\

"String" are usually "bush"

By Almanac Staff

"String" are usually "bush" beans, so assuming that's the case, pods usually follow flowers. It's not possible to give you an exact answer because we do not know where you are or the variety of bean, so consider this:
• the bean pods may appear soon; check the variety's maturity date and compare with the date on which you planted
• a review of sources suggest that sometimes weather conditions—cool temps and/or humidity—can inhibit growth.
• check for pests: some bugs can devastate bean crops
• are the beans growing in the same spot that you grew them in the previous season? that is, are you rotating crops? failure to do so could inhibit successful maturity.
We hope this helps to solve the problem.

I live in NorthEast Giorgia

By Micha

I live in NorthEast Giorgia and was thinking of starting to grow green beans, would bush beans or poles beans be better? When would be thw best time to plant the seeds? Will they be able to grow well down here?

Beans are a warm season crop

By Almanac Staff

Beans are a warm season crop and grow best when temps are about 65° to 85°F. To grow well just about anywhere, beans need full sun and rich, composted soil.
The soil temp for germination is at least 55°F, so you can probably plant any time now. Bush beans may be the easiest: they grow compactly, usually no more than a couple of feet high and many arieties are highly productive. Pole beans grow up (and up) and so need support—sometimes strong support, as the vines can reach six feet or more. The height might make them easier to reach and pick—you decide.
Consider the time-maturity-period of the variety of bean you want to plant, no matter whether bush or pole.
Finally, if you have a garden and are introducing beans to it and want to continue to do that, be aware of the need to rotate your crops to minimize pests (up here, Mexican bean beetles can devastate a crop before pods even set) and help to improe soil nutrition. (The 2014 Almanac has a feature on crop rotation.)
We hope this helps!

My husband plants lots of

By JulesnGer

My husband plants lots of bush beans every year. It seems they produce more than we can pick. Is it true that once beans start ripening that a hormone is produced and the plant will stop producing new beans?

We harvest beans when they

By Almanac Staff

We harvest beans when they are almost daily to encourage production; if you allow pods to ripen fully, the plants will stop producing. It's really just a living organism's desire to reproduce. Some of our gardeners take it a step farther and give the beans a "haircut" by chopping them back a few inches to stimulate more growth.

I planted a arden in a new

By tommy coiner

I planted a arden in a new place ,clay!,ive tilled horse manure in the soil,everything took off great ,then stopped!!any ideas?!!
ive also limed it!

Sometimes bush beans will

By Almanac Staff

Sometimes bush beans will indeed "take a break." Have you had some heat stress? If so, just keep watering them and they may start again when it's a bit cooler. You can also try some successive planting next year and stagger plantings; perhaps when one set of beans is taking a break, the other set will keep going.

I have about 16 bean (poles)

By Sam Milligan

I have about 16 bean (poles) planted and all growing crazy, vines everywhere, and upwards. I planted them against a trellis that was 5 feet tall, but they grew straight above it for another 3 feet, and I added some tomato poles and they have reached a height of 9 ft. BUT, no beans yet, should I clip them and force them to produce beans, or let them keep growing vines everywhere. They are getting

A couple of things my be

By Almanac Staff

A couple of things my be going on here: You may have over fertilized, esp with nitrogen, which aids in rapid growth. A too-rich compost/manure can also bring about this situation. High temps, including at night, and low humidity or uneven/inconsistent moisture may have caused the beans to not set pods. Also, your beans need 8 to 10 hours of sunlight.
We hope this helps.

I would like to know the

By dsfab

I would like to know the answer to the above question also. I grew pole beans for the first time this year and I'm having the same problem. I just keep hoping they are a late producer.

As per above, a couple of

By Almanac Staff

As per above, a couple of things my be going on here: You may have over fertilized, esp with nitrogen, which aids in rapid growth. A too-rich compost/manure can also bring about this situation. High temps, including at night, and low humidity or uneven/inconsistent moisture may have caused the beans to not set pods. Also, your beans need 8 to 10 hours of sunlight.
We hope this helps.

I have a raised bed, with a

By Nanagardener

I have a raised bed, with a 6ft fence around half of it and a 3ft fence around the other half. I went out of town and all of my bush beans were eaten (plant, leaves, bean) and many of the plants at the bottom of my pole beans were to. What could have gotten into them? I was only gone for four days

Slugs and rabbits are the

By Almanac Staff

Slugs and rabbits are the most common culprits. For slugs: Go out at night with a flashlight and you'll see 'em! Look at how the leaf is chewed and you can figure it out. Here's a good page on bean pests:

I live in Houston, Texas and

By Jerry G

I live in Houston, Texas and have planted various varieties of bush beans. They sprout, grow, blossom and hardly produce any beans. The ones produced are misshapen and short. The soil is fertile, full sun and I don't fertilize them much. The leaves are a little pale, not deep dark green. Any ideas?

The soil is very basic in

By chris esher

The soil is very basic in texas. Try adding a compost that is acidic. I am growing them in dallas and my garden exploded. I also used mulch to hold in moisture since it is very dry.

That's a tough one. Thoughts:

By Almanac Staff

That's a tough one. Thoughts: contaminated manure? Weedkiller? Aphids? Bean mosaic virus? Crop rotation? Are you using new seed each year and keeping it in a cool (below 50oF) dry place until planting time? We'd suggest you send a sample to your Texas cooperative service for a local diagnosis.

What does one do when the

By Judy Koningh

What does one do when the bean vines extend higher than the trellis (5')? Does one snip the vines?

Extended the trellis with

By Almanac Staff

Extended the trellis with some stakes?

My bush beans are having

By Moochie'sMama

My bush beans are having problems with leaves turning brown and also obvious insect damage to the leaves. I can't find any pests beyond plenty of ants. The garden center employee suggested a pesticide; but I have small kids so I'm hesitant to try what they suggested but I also don't want to lose my crop. What should I look for in an organic product? The gentleman also said I have heat damage I'm dealing with.

Have you tried wood ashes or

By Melissa E.

Have you tried wood ashes or diatomaceous earth (which is a non toxic safe substance to use in the garden for ridding yourself of pests)? I would try that for pests, but with brown leaves I would think that the humidity isn't right maybe?...try heavy mulch and watering in the morning and at night to keep the ground moist...also, to keep animals out of your garden try planting a border of wormwood...this will deter most animals (like rabbits and moles) from eating up your garden. Also, plant marigolds throughout your garden to deter pests. Compatible with most all of garden plants. Hope this helps. Try companion gardening to help naturally deter pests as well. I like the book "Carrots Love Tomatoes". Hope this helps. Good luck!:)

I started a variety of beans

By danielson

I started a variety of beans and peas indoors (contrary to the advice given in this article). I did it partly to see if the seeds were still good (they were). I have successfully transplanted them outdoors. They have all survived so far and it has been 3 weeks! Keeping fingers crossed....

I planted beans for the first

By Michael Jasensky

I planted beans for the first time this year and didn't know about not starting them inside, I must have gotten lucky because they are outside now and growing well

Great! If they have survived

By Almanac Staff

Great! If they have survived 3 weeks they should be all set for blooms and pods.

For the first time ever I

By Lauren F

For the first time ever I decided to plant veggies and flowers in our backyard, and I noticed today that there are actual green beans on the plant!!! Do I pick them now? Or wait? I don't want to prematurely ruin them. They're pole beans.

Pole beans pods are ready for

By Almanac Staff

Pole beans pods are ready for harvest about 7 to 14 days
after flowering. You harvest before the pods are fully mature. The pods should be full size with small seeds, and firm, crisp flesh when picked. Pick regularly as the plant will flower and mature the pods for 5 to 6 weeks on pole types. Pole beans generally produce pods over a very long time period so only one or two plantings are necessary each year for continuous production.

all my pole bean plants look

By Diane Meyer

all my pole bean plants look great but there are no beans even though there were blossoms. I am in Arizona with this super hot temp. Does that have anything to do with it? Same with my tomatoes...blossoms but no tomatoes

Beans like warm weather but

By Almanac Staff

Beans like warm weather but when it gets really hot the blossoms may drop off. Can you shade the area from the hot afternoon sun? Water stress can also cause blossoms to drop. Same for tomatoes. You may also not have enough pollinators. Hand pollination is an option.

when to grow pole beans?

By Anonymous

I am in Louisiana and was wondering if anyone knows if I am still able to plant pole beans in late may?

According to the Louisiana

By Almanac Staff

According to the Louisiana extension services the best time to plant pole beans is 2/15 to 5/15 for spring and 8/10 to 8/31 for fall. They take 60 to 66 days to harvest. If your climate, however, is cooler this year, you could probably stretch it.

Green Beans & Grasshoppers!

By Anonymous

I planted pole beans and used the cattle panels and fertilized with manure tea. My plants were beautiful and blooms bountiful. Grasshoppers started devouring my blooms and nothing I tried kept them away. I was unable to harvest any beans. Help!

We have a couple of guinea

By Grandma Jean

We have a couple of guinea fowl that keep the grasshopper population down. They are very entertaining to watch too!

cats eat grasshoppers, if you

By Anonymous

cats eat grasshoppers, if you have some around. Just a thought...

grasshoppers on pole beans

By Almanac Staff

Oh, no! Grasshoppers are a gardener's plague. If there are only a few, you can/should pick them off by hand. And, if they are not too many in number, you can cover the plants; but it's not easy to cover pole beans growing upright. Maybe you could try hanging row covers in such a way as to stay in place and not blow around (their blowing around wouldn't serve much purpose).
If the grasshoppers are in migration, in swarms, there is almost nothing you can do.
Some sources recommend growing and maintaining tall grass of lush green plants around the perimeter of your garden as a diversion, or "trap crop." But you must let is grow untended/uncut, and do not water or the grasshoppers will flee to your garden.
It sounds like maybe you do not have swarms of grasshoppers. Try catching and eliminating them individually as well as the trap crop.
Best wishes!

pole beans

By Bonnie

I've been told planting pole beans after corn is a foot or so high, they will grow together and the beans will climb the corn. Is this good? Will they compete for nutrition, and will the soils nutrition accommodate both?

Rattle Snake Pole Beans

By Michael Moore 2

I plant the Rattle Snake variety of pole beans. They are named that due to the speckle on the hull and on the mature bean. I have successfully raised these beans with field corn varieties at the time rate you mentioned. However, most modern pole bean varieties will outgrow even the field corn. It is best to use the cattle fence method for pole bean vine support. I stretch a fence on metal posts to grow mine on, and just leave it there for about three years. Heck of a lot of work though, the cattle fencing would be easier, but more expensive. You either have to invest a lot of hard work or a lot of money, but most of the time, both :)

We have a nice article about

By Almanac Staff

We have a nice article about companion planting called The Three Sisters. It describes how to plant corn, beans and squashes together in your garden. Please see

replanting bean

By Anonymous

when do I replant after I've picked a batch

Unless you are planting

By Michael Moore 2

Unless you are planting really short rows, you shouldn't really need to replant. At least with the variety I grow. I grow rattle snake beans and barring a terribly dry summer, they will bear until frost if you keep them picked weekly. I have never needed to replant unless I did not get a good stand on my first planting. You might have some skips in your row after the first planting, if so, you can go back and replant the skipped areas in the row. If you fertilize them well (15-15-15 at planting then again about a month later as side dress) and they get a decent amount of rain, you keep up with them, keeping them picked and sprayed for insects, they will most likely wear you out and you will be begging your neighbors to help themselves. They will bear till frost as long as you keep them picked regularly (weekly).

Runner Beans

By Anonymous

replant during the summer season as it is the best time of the year to grow then if you have runner bean seeds left ove store they in cold water for about a week and then change the water.

Dilly Green Beans

By Phillip Elliott

We grow green beans, Blue Lake, every year and grow enough for 3-4 dozen pints and dozen quarts with many to give away. However the Best is Dilly Beans. You process them like dill pickels. We always leave them long and process in pint jars.

New to veggie gardening

By Anonymous

My wife and I are in our 50's and are planning a garden for the first time. My wife would love to try you pickling method on our beans. Can you post receipe?

pickling beans

By Almanac Staff

Beans are definitely one of the best beginner veggies, especially bush beans! Here is one of our pickled green bean recipes: All the best for a bountiful bean garden!

Would you be willing to share the dilly bean recipe

By morbiddestiny

My mom have one when I was a kid we called them pickled beans and also had one for pickled corn and now no one can find it.

Scarlet Runner Beans

By gardengurl

I love growing beans but for the past few years I have been growing Scarlet Runner Beans along with my annual vines. Not only are they great to cook with when picked early but the blossoms are also a good source of nectar for hummingbirds.

Post new comment

Before posting, please review all comments. Due to the volume of questions, Almanac editors can respond only occasionally, as time allows. We also welcome tips from our wonderful Almanac community!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Plan your perfect Garden