Growing beans in your own home garden has never been easier. Read on for our tips and tricks that will have you growing an abundance of fresh green beans this season.

Nothing says summer like crisp string beans straight from the garden. Green beans can be eaten raw in salads, sautéed in a little olive oil as a side dish, and tossed in stir-fries. Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the vegetable garden, and if you happen to have a surplus harvest, they preserve well too.

Whether you’re just starting your first vegetable garden, or are expanding your growing area and want to add more diversity, no garden is complete without at least a few bean plants. Read on for some tips and tricks to help you choose which bean varieties are best suited for your space, and how to keep your plants healthy and thriving so that you maximize your harvest.

About Beans

Beans, also referred to as common beans are a variety of legumes that are grown worldwide for their edible seedpods and seeds. They are one of the earliest domesticated plants, and archaeologists have found evidence of their widespread use in the Mediterranean and Americas from as early as 9,000 B.C.

There are numerous types of beans that come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, pod texture, colors, and tastes. Beans are grown for their pods, seeds, while others for dried beans. Some varieties can be harvested at different stages for all three uses.

Beans provide a number of essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they are a popular ingredient in many cuisines.

Bush Beans vs. Pole Beans

Beans come in a wide range of sizes, colors and tastes, but for growing purposes, they are primarily categorized in one of two ways: bush beans or pole beans:

Bush Beans

Bush beans grow rapidly into compact plants that flower and produce bean pods that are ready for harvesting within 45 to 50 days. The pods usually mature around the same time, making them a perfect choice for preserving.

Bush beans grow particularly well in hotter climates. Because of their short size, they require less maintenance than pole beans, and rarely need support. Bush beans are a very good choice for small spaces and container gardens.

If you succession plant bush beans every four weeks, you will have plenty for fresh eating and preserving throughout the growing season.

Some common types of bush beans include Royal Burgundy Bush Beans, Provider Bush Beans, and Gold Rush Yellow Wax Beans.

Pole Beans

Pole beans are large, indeterminate growers, with long vines that can grow up to 12 feet. Pole beans grow slower, but you will get more yields per plant than bush beans.

Provide pole beans with a trellis support and they will wrap themselves around and up the support as they grow. Only when the vines are established will pole beans begin to blossom and produce beans. Pole beans are ready to harvest 60 to 65 days after planting, and continue to produce pods until your first fall frost.

Pole beans are easier to harvest, generally more prolific producers, and have better resistance to common pests and pathogens. For added interest or privacy in your garden, consider planting pole beans along a trellis to form a natural screen.

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