Growing Beans Organically

The humble bean epitomizes the joy and richness of cultivating your own. Once established, most beans produce delicate, tasty pods week after week (after week!). We’ll look at bush beans and climbing pole beans. So let’s start the celebration!

Beans Seedlings in Germinating Pots
Bean Seedling in Germinating Post ready for transplanting to their growing spot in the garden

Growing Beans Organically of All Sorts

Bush beans grow fast and may be sown every three or four weeks from spring through summer. They’re great for filling gaps in tubs and window boxes.
Pole or climbing beans need more space and support, but produce more beans per plant. They’re a great addition to the veggie garden.
Pods are used to classify beans. A smooth, thin green bean pod. Depending on where you live, they are called string beans, snap beans, or French beans. Runner beans have coarser pods than string beans and keep producing for a few weeks. Then there are the tropical beans like soya, lima, and yard-long beans!

High Yielding Beans

Plucked Green Tender Beans
Green Tender Beans Just Harvested from the Bean Plant

Before planting in the autumn, prepare the soil with compost or well-rotted manure.
Making a compost trench encourages growth. Make a foot-deep trench where your beans will grow. Cover it with leaves and dirt and kitchen debris. By spring, the soil will be rich and damp, ideal for your beans.

How to Sow Beans Step-by-Step

Bean Teepees
Bean teepees make a great focal point in the garden

Sow beans four to six inches (10-15cm) apart, with 18 inches (45cm) between rows for bush types. Scratch out rows using a hoe or a trowel. Put two seeds in each hole, about one inch apart and two inches deep. After that, sow every three to four weeks until mid-summer. Take the strongest seedling from each pair.
Plant seeds in a greenhouse or cold frame a month before your last frost date. Prevent slug and snail damage to young plants. Sow into deep plug trays or pots of any general-purpose or seed-starting mix. Plant one seed per module or pot, but just in case, sow a few extra!

Bush Bean Seeds

Bean Flowers in Bloom
Bean Flowers in Bloom Make a Wonderful sight for the eyes in the Garden

Beans are frost tolerant. Transplant them outside only if there will be no late frost. Harden seedlings a week ahead of time by putting them outside for a few hours each day. A cool, shady frame is good for acclimatization.
Bush bean plants should be spaced as they were sowed. Carefully remove them from their plugs or pots and plant them where desired. Make a hole with a trowel, set the plant in it, then fill dirt around it.

Planted Pole Beans

Bean Teepees
Bean teepees make a great focal point in the garden

Plant pole beans in two-foot (60 cm) rows, six inches apart. To produce beans, bamboo canes are joined at the top to a horizontal cane.
A bean frame may also be utilized. Rather of leaning into one another, the canes lean out and are secured at the top. The canes are tilted out from the center, allowing the beans to droop to the outside, making harvesting considerably easier.
Bean teepees, on the other hand, are the most appealing support option. Profit from this opportunity to build a vertical leafy accent overflowing with blooms and beans!

Care of Beans

Plants need to be coaxed up, but they will soon find their own path. Bean-laden plants will benefit from short canes, twigs, or peasticks to keep them off the ground.
Keep your beans hydrated in dry weather, especially when they bloom. Mulching around the plants keeps the soil moist longer and makes weed management more difficult. Weeds should be picked out by hand to avoid damaging the bean plant’s roots.
Pinch out the pole beans’ tops once they reach their supports. This prevents tangles and focuses the plants’ energy into more flowers and beans.

How to Pick Bean Pods

Beans Hanging in Bunches from the Bean Plant
A bounty of green beans hanging from the bean plant

Once your beans are ripe, remember the three Ps: pick, pick, and pick some more! But only if those desirable pods are picked as soon as they arrive, when they are still young and slender. If you leave them too long, they’ll get stringy and unpleasant. If you stop choosing, manufacturing stops.
Allow open-pollinated or heirloom pods to dry on the plant at season’s end. Shell the dried pods and store them inside to dry further. Recycle the paper envelopes with the variety and date labeled on them for next year’s harvest.


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