Spring Growing Guides

Bean Growing Guide


Bush Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce plants 12-15 row feet, 1/2 pound for 100 row feet. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1″2-4″65-85°F8-16Not Required

Phaseolus vulgaris
Rich and flavorful beans are fiber-packed veggies that promote digestive health and are excellent sources of antioxidants that scavenge free radicals in the body. They are also nitrogen-fixing legumes; beans gather nitrogen from the air and load it into the soil to feed future crops.

BUSH BEAN CULTURE: Bush beans are one of the most trouble-free garden crops and mature just ahead of pole beans. Beans like warm soil and will not germinate if the soil temperature is below 60°F. Optimum soil temperature range is 60-85°F. You can expect emergence in 8-16 days depending on the variety. In a well worked bed, plant the seeds 2-4 inches apart and 1 inch deep in rows 18-36 inches apart. Thinning is rarely necessary. Beans are relatively light feeders. One cup of our complete fertilizer per 10 row feet will provide adequate nutrition. Excess nitrogen results in excess foliage with poor pod set and delayed maturity. Optimum pH is in the range of 5.5-6.5, mildly acidic. Beans are shallow rooted and can require up to 1/4 inch of water a day during hot weather. Mulch around the roots to help conserve moisture.
DISEASE: Beans are subject to numerous diseases. Avoid wetting the foliage, remove plants at the end of the year, and practice a 4-year crop rotation to prevent potential problems.
INSECTS: Mexican bean beetles and bean weevils can significantly damage young seedlings. To treat, spray them with Pyrethrin. Optimum soil conditions foster vigorous plants, which can help plant growth outpace insect damage.
HARVEST: Green beans are ready for harvest about 2 weeks after bloom. Pick when the pods are nearly full size and the seeds are still small. Pods at this stage have firm, crispy flesh and are low in fiber content. Keep plants well picked to extend harvest and increase yield. Plant short rows for fresh eating; plant longer rows to have additional beans for canning and freezing. A 20 foot row will feed the average family of 4, unless heavy canning is anticipated.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 80%. Usual seed life: 2–3 years.

Pole Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce plants 12-15 row feet, 1/2 pound for 100 row feet. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1″2-4″65-85°F8-16Not Required

Phaseolus vulgaris
POLE BEAN CULTURE: In the early days, pole beans were planted at the base of rough wooden poles and the vines clung to the bark as they twined upward. Today most gardeners grow pole beans on trellises. To make a trellis, stretch two wires between two stout posts. The first wire should be about 10 inches above the ground and the second wire at about 5-6 feet. Tie bean string to one wire and begin making a ''V'' shaped trellis by zigzagging the string between the two wires and wrapping around each wire about every 8 inches. Rough string will stimulate the bean vine's twining habit. Sow seeds when the soil temperature is above 60°F, 1 inch deep, 2-4 inches apart, along the bottom of the trellis, in rows 3-4 feet apart. If planting to grow on poles, plant 6 seeds at the base of each pole. Grow and fertilize like bush beans. Optimum soil temperature range for germination: 65-85°F. Days to emergence: 8-16.
HARVEST: Due to their continuous growth habit, pole beans are always at different stages of development. Keep the plants well picked to increase overall yields. A 15-20 foot row feeds a family of 4. Plant more for canning or freezing.
SEED SPECS: Refer to the Bush Bean culture.

French/Filet

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce sows 20 row feet. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1″2-4″65-85°F8-16Not Required


Phaseolus vulgaris
CULTURE: For growing information, refer to the Bush Bean culture box (Pole Bean culture box for Fortex.) Optimum soil temperature for germination is 65-85°F. Days to emergence: 8-16.

Edamame Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To Approximately 110 seeds per ounce, unless otherwise noted.
1″4″65-85°F7-10Not Required

Glycine max
Soybeans have been a staple of the Asian diet since the 11th Century B.C. Edamame soybeans are much sweeter and more digestible than other soybeans. The isoflavones in soybeans have been shown to alleviate diabetes, reduce osteoporosis, and increase bone density. These compounds may also help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Try them boiled and seasoned with a touch of sea salt for a delicious, satisfying snack.
CULTURE: Edamame soybeans are best sown directly into the soil when temperatures reach 65°F. Sow seeds 4 inches apart and 1 inch deep in moist soil. Days to emergence: 7-10. Plants do not need to be staked or trellised. Beans are relatively light feeders. One cup of our complete fertilizer per 10 row feet will provide adequate nutrition. Excess nitrogen results in excess foliage with poor pod set and delayed maturity. Optimum pH is in the range of 5.5-6.5, mildly acidic. Beans are shallow rooted and can require up to 1/4 inch of water a day during hot weather. Mulch around the roots to help conserve moisture.
DISEASE: Beans are subject to numerous diseases. Avoid wetting the foliage, remove plants at the end of the year, and practice a 4-year crop rotation to prevent potential problems.
INSECTS: Mexican bean beetles and bean weevils can significantly damage young seedlings. To treat, dust them with Pyrethrin. Optimum soil conditions foster vigorous plants, which can help plant growth outpace insect damage.
HARVEST: The harvesting period for edamames is very short so check often for mature pods. Harvest when the pods are plump and the beans are almost touching each other in the pod. Once the pods turn yellow, the beans become starchy and lose their sweet, nutty flavor. In Japan, edamame soybeans are traditionally prepared by boiling the pods in salt water and the beans are then squeezed from the inedible pod directly into the mouth.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 80%. Usual seed life: 3 years. One ounce sows 12–15 row feet.

Lima Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce plants 12-15 row feet, 1/2 pound for 100 row feet. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1″2-4″65-85°F8-16Not Required

Phaseolus lunatus
Lima beans are not recommended north of Longview, WA. See Bush Bean Culture.

Yard Long Beans

Vigna unguiculata
For growing information, refer to the Pole Bean Culture.



Dry Shelling Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce plants 12-15 row feet, 1/2 pound for 100 row feet. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1″2-4″65-85°F8-16Not Required

Phaseolus vulgaris
CULTURE: For growing information, refer to the Bush Bean culture box (Pole Bean culture box for Bingo and Cranberry.) Optimum soil temperature for germination: 65–85°F. Days to emergence: 8–16.
HARVEST: Days to maturity are for the fresh shell stage. For shelling beans, pick when the seeds are fully formed, but still soft and green. For dry beans, maturity can take 3–4 more weeks depending on the weather. Harvest when 90% of the leaves have yellowed or fallen off. If rainy weather prevents field drying, pull up the plants and finish drying under cover. Pods may be shelled by hand. To thresh large amounts, hold plants by the roots and bang back and forth inside a barrel or beat small piles of plants with a flail.
STORAGE: Make sure beans are fully dry, then store in a cool place. Bean weevils may be eliminated by freezing the seed near 0°F for 2 weeks.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 80%. Usual seed life: 2–3 years. One ounce sows 10–20 row feet. Seed counts are listed in the variety description.

Runner Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce plants 12-15 row feet, 1/2 pound for 100 row feet. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1″2-4″65-85°F8-16Not Required

Phaseolus coccineus
These climbing beans have bold, pollinator and hummingbird-attracting flowers followed by big, tasty pods. More tolerant of cool soils and partially shaded areas than other beans, plant these versatile, edible ornamentals where you can enjoy their beauty.
CULTURE: Runner beans are easy to grow but are slow to produce flowers in hot dry weather. Unlike other beans, runner bean flowers require pollination to set pods. Keep plants well watered and mulch to keep their roots cool. Runner beans germinate best in soil at 65–85°F and emerge 8–16 days later. Refer to the bush and pole bean cultures for more growing tips.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 80%. Usual seed life: 2–3 years. One ounce typically sows 12–15 row feet. Seed counts are listed in the variety descriptions.

Fava Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce sows 6-17 row feet depending on the variety. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1-2″3-6″60-85°F8-15Not Required

Vicia faba
Fava beans can be sown in the spring after the last hard frost or sown in the fall in zones 6 and above.
CULTURE: Favas work well for heavy soil and do best when well-manured. They should be sown in rows 12–30 inches apart, after the danger of frost has passed. Bears 10–15 pods per plant. For more growing tips, refer to the Bush Bean culture box.
INSECTS: Watch for infestations of aphids and treat with Azatrol or Pyrethrin if necessary.
HARVEST: The favas are ready to harvest and cook as a green shelling bean when the pods drop from their erect habit on the stem and droop down. To use favas as a dry bean, follow the harvest and storage instructions in the Dry Shelling Bean culture box.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 80%. Usual seed life: 2–3 years when stored under refrigeration.

Key to Bean Disease Resistance/Tolerance

HR indicates high resistance.
IR indicates intermediate resistance.
A* | Anthracnose
BB | Bacterial Blight
BBS | Bacterial Brown Spot
BLS | Bacterial Leaf Spot
BMV | Bean Mosaic Virus
CTM | Curly Top Beet Mosaic Virus
DM | Downy Mildew
HB | Halo Blight
PM | Powdery Mildew
PMV | Pod Mottle Virus
R | Common Rust
* Numbers indicate specific disease race.