Green beans are the perfect place to start if you’re interested in growing a vegetable garden. Sure, they may be easy enough to pick up at the grocery store, but nothing tastes as good or as fresh as homegrown veggies. Anyone can learn how to grow pole beans at home.
The pole plants don’t take up much space, and there are a few different methods for you to try, like growing pole beans in pots instead of in an outdoor garden.
Growing pole beans from seed has been happening for thousands of years. There are numerous bean plants to choose from as well. These veggies are quick to germinate, great for canning or freezing, and are low maintenance.
Types of Beans
Beans will likely thrive in your garden bed regardless of your growing zone. All your worries about starting a home garden will subside once you start working with these wonderful veggies.
Beans are called Phaseolus vulgaris, and they are categorized as legumes. There are also two different bean varieties for you to grow in your garden bed. Many bean cultivars are divided into either bush beans or pole beans. The way to grow vanilla beans is completely different and harvesting is more complicated.
Bush beans are compact varieties that only grow about 24 inches tall and wide. However, they do require quite a bit of space in your garden despite not needing any support.
Pole beans are ideal if you have limited garden space. How tall do pole beans grow? These bean vines are climbing varieties that reach up to five feet tall. They must have some type of support such as trellises, bamboo poles, or a teepee structure. Early spring is the best time to plant next to corn, as corn stalks serve as an excellent support for pole beans.
It’s interesting to note that pinto beans grow as both bush and pole beans, so choose your favorite.
It’s up to you to figure out which type of bean will work best in your garden space, whether you are planting black beans, sugar snap peas, or are planting kidney beans. Growing pole beans in pots is possible if you lack outdoor space, or try growing pole beans in raised beds.
Either way, growing pole beans from seed is going to give you success. Keep reading if you’re ready to learn how to grow pole beans at home.
How to Grow Pole Beans
The first step in growing pole beans from seed is choosing which cultivars to grow, just like the way to grow chickpeas or any other bean type. There are lots of heirloom varieties that are fast growers and resistant to some pests and diseases.
Some favorites are Kentucky Blue, Blue Lake Stringless, Kentucky Wonder, Romano, and Scarlet runner beans. Other common types are Filet and Fortex.
Don’t forget about how many different bean pods there are. Between green beans, string beans, long beans, snap beans, kidney beans, and wax beans, there is truly no shortage to choose from.
Most beginning gardeners prefer green beans, but venturing out could surprise you and help you find a new favorite.
Growing Pole Beans from Seed
Plant pea seeds or bean seeds, as they are usually the best way to start the growing season since these plants don’t do well after being transplanted.
This method also means that it isn’t recommended to start seeds indoors if you plan to move them outdoors later. If you start planting pole beans in containers or you follow the way to grow peas in containers, pick a large pot for it to mature in.
It is okay to sow seeds outdoors when the last frost of winter has passed. Since the spring frost is sometimes unpredictable, waiting a couple of weeks for the warm weather to come in is recommended to keep your plants alive.
Another good sign it is time to sow seeds is when the soil temperature remains around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature usually means the danger of frost is gone for the rest of the season and increases the chance of germination.
Make sure to have a trellis in place or some type of supports for planting pole beans before sowing seeds. You don’t want to disturb the roots too much once they start sprouting.
Clear your garden beds of debris and amend the soil with lots of organic matter for extra fertilization. Choose an area that you know receives full sun throughout the spring and summer.
Purchase bean seeds from your local garden center instead of dry beans from the grocery store since not all grow into healthy plants. Sow seeds about three inches apart and one inch deep. Cover the beans with dirt and keep the soil moist.
When the bean plants are a few inches tall, thin them back to keep each pole plant four inches apart to give them adequate air circulation.
Seeds typically germinate within a week if the soil is kept warm and moist. Adding a thick layer of fresh mulch is a great way to speed up the process. Overly wet seeds might not germinate at all.
Growing Pole Beans in Pots
Growing pole beans in containers or growing bush beans in containers isn’t too different from growing them in traditional garden beds. While you may start them indoors early, you will likely have to move them outdoors.
Try to clear a space outside or on your patio where they’ll still receive full sun. You also have to have a supporting structure put in place before sowing your seeds in the pot.
Caring for Pole Beans
Try to keep up on weed maintenance throughout the growing season to stop them from competing for resources. Check the soil moisture by sliding your finger in the ground or your container. If the top few inches are dry, they need more water.
Green beans are self-pollinators with both male and female flowers. Self-pollination also means they don’t require insects to pollinate them. However, you still have to protect them from pests.
Common insects that you don’t want hanging around are aphids and Mexican bean beetles. Thankfully, they are easy to remove by hand or deter with floating row covers.
Harvesting Pole Beans
You may start to harvest your pole beans once the bean pods look full and swollen, similar to harvesting lima beans. Try to pick them every three to five days. Know when green pole beans are bad so you don’t waste time eating or preserving them. Older beans might taste woody and bitter if not harvested early enough.
A single pole bean plant yields three or four pounds of beans, so don’t plant too many if you’re not prepared to cook with them or can them for longer storage purposes.
Prepare your grill by getting it hot and brushing the grate with a little olive oil. Combine the oil and freshly chopped garlic in a saucepan and cook over medium heat on the stove until fragrant.
Remove the hot pan and let it cool before stirring in the red pepper, parsley, and lemon zest. Put the Romano beans in a large bowl with the other half of olive oil. Season everything with some salt and pepper and toss it to combine.
Place the beans directly onto a grill or in a grill basket and cook them for five minutes or until charred and tender. Return the cooked beans to a large bowl and drizzle the garlic-parsley oil over the top. Squeeze in some lemon juice and stir in the leaves of the mint and basil before serving.
The best way to store green pole beans for later eating is by canning, freezing, or pickling. There are many options.
Growing pole beans in pots, raised beds, or outdoor gardens is a simple way to start supplying yourself with fresh veggies. These are fast growers that are low maintenance and provide plentiful yields.
Even if you’re never grown anything before, pole beans are the perfect place to start with your home gardening journey.
If learning how to grow pole beans has helped you start a vegetable garden, share this guide for growing pole beans from seed on Facebook and Pinterest.