There are over 5,000 varieties of beans. For every pole bean there is a bush bean with numerous colors and shapes. Because beans readily cross with each other, the possible varieties are endless!
Green beans (also known as string bean or snap bean) are the most widely planted bean type. Their tender flesh pod may be green, yellow, or purple (these turn green when cooked). Plants grow as self-supporting bushes (bush beans) or as climbing vines (pole beans) Bush plants bear earlier, but climbing vines are more productive.
Most beans are frost sensitive heat lovers and easy to grow from seed. Sow seeds in soil that is reasonably loose and open. Plant beans in ridges to increase drainage if the soil is heavy. Plant seeds 1 in. deep and 1-3 ft apart, allowing 2-3 feet between rows. Mulching is recommended to preserve soil moisture.
Moisten soil thoroughly before planting, then do not water again until seedlings have emerged. Once growth starts, keep soil moist. Feed after plants are in active growth and again when pods start to form. Watering is important, as the plant must be kept evenly moist, but not soggy. Water the soil, not the foliage, and avoid gardening in your bean patch when plants are wet from rain or morning dew.
Apply Sluggo at the same time seeds are planted to protect from marauding slugs. Bean sprouts will emerge in as few as 5 days! Pods are ready in 50 to 70 days, depending on the variety. Snap beans are ready to pick when the pod “snaps” or breaks in half CLEANLY. After harvest, the nitrogen-rich plants make great compost material! Keep beans picked every 3 to 5 days to keep plants productive. Plants will stop bearing if pods are allowed to fully mature (dry bean stage).