Growing Pole Beans from Seed

If you were to pick only one crop for your garden, we would recommend the venerable bean.

With minimum effort and relatively little space, you can produce tremendous yields from graceful pole-type varieties. Pole beans are available in green, yellow, purple varieties, or varieties suitable for shelling or drying.

Beans will tolerate a wide range of soil types, but make their best growth in light, organic, and well drained soil with a pH of about 6.5. Beans have a distinct dislike for cold, wet soils, so plant seed only after the soil has warmed to at least 16 C (60 F). Plant seed 2.5cm (1″) deep and 8cm (3″) apart in rows spaced 45 to 70cm (18 to 28″) apart.

Pole beans require support for proper growth. Just about anything sturdy will work. You may use trellises, open weave fencing, supported nylon bean netting, or bamboo pole teepees. We have gardeners that let pole beans mingle with tall pants at the back of the annual beds. Just remember as the vines mature, they get heavier!

One packet sows 6m (18′) of row, and 250g (1/2lb) will sow 75′ of row. Keep beans evenly watered, particularly when the plants are in flower and when production of the pods begins. Avoid the use of high nitrogen fertilizer as this will promote excessive foliage. To help avoid rust or blight diseases, avoid disturbing beans when the leaves are damp.

Adverse hot and dry growing conditions may cause flowers to drop. There’s not much you can do except keep vines watered and wait for better weather to return.

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