Growing beans is a relatively easy and rewarding summer activity no matter your experience level. There are many types of beans - some are eaten fresh, while others are harvested dry to be stored for later use. We will focus on the staple garden beans, which includes two main categories: bush beans and pole beans.
Bush beans are low growing bushy plants that don't need a trellis to grow. Pole beans are vining plants that require a trellis for support as they climb. We enjoy growing both types depending on the spot in the garden.
Beans do well in a sunny location with well-draining soil. They prefer a pH that is close to neutral and benefit greatly from lime applications in Western Oregon. Members of the legume family (peas, beans, lentils, etc) also benefit from inoculation with nitrogen fixing bacteria.
It is recommended to plant beans directly into the garden as they don't do well with root disturbance. If using an inoculate, wet the seeds and coat with the inoculate powder prior to planting. Most beans need fairly warm soil (70 to 90 degrees) to germinate well. Plant seeds 1" deep and space plants 3" to 6" apart, depending on the variety.
Planting dates for Western Oregon
May 15th to July 15th
Plant every couple weeks for a continuous harvest all summer long.
Most beans are best picked around 5" to 7" when young and tender. Keep the beans picked frequently to encourage new pod formation.
Click on each variety to learn more