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  • Writer's pictureStronger Roots

Growing Beans


-Beans are high in amino acids, the building blocks of protein (There are 20 amino acids and 9 add essential. soybeans are the ONLY beans with lol 9 essentials)

-Contain Folate (B vitamin) essential for overall health, to make healthy red blood cells, and help prevent neural tube defects in a fetus during pregnancy.

-Rich in polyphenols, antioxidant’s that fight the effects of free radicals ; also assist the immune system through antibacterial effects

✨ The color of the bean coat appears to affect the antioxidant capacity because this correlates with total phenolic content of the bean. Colored beans (red, brown or black) possess greater antioxidant activity than white beans

-Excellent source of Fiber; help with digestion, passing of stools, help prevent cardiovascular disease, help lower blood glucose, and help curve appetites (aid in the feeling of fullness) Fiber ; help with digestion, passing of stools, help prevent cardiovascular disease, help lower blood glucose, and help curve appetites (aid in the feeling of fullness)

-Help improve gut function by improving intestinal barrier function and increasing the number of beneficial bacteria.

-Source of iron which make blood proteins (hemoglobin and myoglobin) that help move oxygen around your body. It's also a key nutrient for your hormones, and connective tissue like tendons and ligaments

-Source of magnesium which helps make protein and bone, and stabilizes blood sugar.

-Source of Zinc which helps fight off germs


-Planted 1” (ideal) in depth .. depending on soil conditions, can plant 1/2” to 2” in depth

-Plant Bush Beans 1” to 3” apart / Pole beans 4” to 6” apart. Rows Bush 2’ to 3’ apart / Pole 3’ to 4’ apart

-Four to six seeds can be planted in mounds/hills that are spaced about 30” apart

❗️IF starting seeds inside (suggest using peat pods or the likes of to be careful NOT to disturb the roots when transplanting -NOT RECOMMENDED TO TRANSPLANT- Better to Direct Sow) Soaking the seeds is only recommended for 12-24Hrs. Any longer and you risk the seeds rotting! ✨Warm water will decrease soak time.

-Seeds Germinate more successfully in temps between 70° and 80°

❗️Temperatures below 60° will result in slower germination and seeds are susceptible to rot

-BROAD, LIMA, and POLE beans can be planted and grow in “not so ideal” conditions better than other cultivars

-Inoculating the seed with rhizobium bacteria may increase yields if you have alkaline soils

-Germinate in average soil temps/around 60°

❗️ Beans do not like to be transplanted and are therefore best direct-seeded into the garden.

❗️ If bean diseases have been a problem in previous years, do not replant in the same location. Overwintered bacterial and fungus diseases can cause issues


-Full sun

-Well drained

-Soil pH 6.0-6.8 (slightly acidic) ;

-BUSH: Space (Thin) plants 3” to 4” apart / Space rows 16” to 2’ apart POLES:✨Requires some type of support

-Mulch when plants have reached a height of 6”+ to help soil retain moisture

-Optimal temperatures for growing will be between 65°-85° (warm weather crop)

-Beans require consistent moisture. Best way to water if the rain/weather isn’t ideal, is to water deeply but infrequently

❗️Plants that are under watered will stop flowering

❗️ Plants under heat or water stress are more prone to becoming stringy. ALSO heat can cause blossoms to fall and fail to produce

-As legumes, beans fix nitrogen in the soil, so avoid a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

❗️When weeding, careful not to disturb beans SHALLOW roots.

-Beans are self pollinators.

❗️to ensure seeds are true to type, make sure to space beans far enough apart (ideally around 10’) to not cross pollinate between different cultivars

-Containers : Aim for a container that is at least 1’ deep with drainage holes.


Bush: Can be used as cover crops/ grow up to 24” tall/ ready to pick in 50 to 55 days after planting

Snap, Shell, and Dry beans

Pole: yield two to three times as much as the bush types/ ideal for vertical growing (trellis, stakes, netting, etc.)/ can grow 10’ or higher/ disease resistant/ ready to pick in 55 to 65 days

Various cultivars:

Green Beans

Lima Beans

Tepary Beans

Runner Beans

Broad Beans



Hyacinth Beans


Fava Beans


-Gently pulling each bean from the vine or by snapping them off at the vine end

-The more you pick, the more beans the plants will set.

-Harvest when the beans are young and tender

❗️Harvesting over mature beans can be tough and stringy

❗️Harvest only when bean plants are dry to avoid bacterial blight

-Pole beans can be harvested for an average of 3 to 4 weeks / Bush beans can be harvested (continuously) in an average of 60 to 90 days

-Snap (like…Bush and Pole) best harvested when still young and tender and before the seeds inside are visibly evident when looking at the pod.

-Shell (like..Kidney,Black and Fava) can be harvested at three different stages:

1.) When young in the pod before the seeds are visible from the outside (bump free.

2.)They can be harvested when a bit mature (but still green), when the beans inside have formed significantly but before the pod is dried; separate the “shell outs” from pod

3.)The common way to harvest is to leave the pods on the plant until they are hard and dry (but before the pods split and drop the seed).


-Collect Seeds: Pop open Dry pods to collect seeds and store them in an airtight container; Viable for 3/4 years

-Freezing: Rinse your green beans in cool water and then drain. Cut the ends of the beans off and then cut the beans to preferred length and then freeze

-Blanch: Put the green beans into boiling water, cover the pot and boil them for 3 minutes. Immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Keep them in the ice water for 3 minutes. Drain them well then pop in freezer and airtight ziploc bags

-Canning: Put the raw green beans into a jar leaving one inch of space at the top for expansion during cooking. This is the time to add salt, about 1/2 teaspoon.

Slowly pour boiling water into the jar just covering the green beans. Use a plastic spatula to remove any noticeable air bubbles. Wipe the rim and place the flat lid and screw band tightly onto the jar.


•🪲Common Insects

-Mexican Bean Beetles: They eat the flowers, beans, and leaves - Destroy overwintering locations, handpick, use row covers, planting less preferred bean types, utilizing trap crops, or using spray with azadirachtin, garlic, cedar oil, or mineral oil

-Leaf Hoppers: *damage shows up as browning and curling of leaves from insects saliva* / control with row covers and SUCCESSIVE plantings

-Cutworms: control by plowing to kill overwintering larvae or us Bt (organic bacteria pesticide) on larvae

-Bean Leaf Beetles: The larvae can feast on plant roots, nodules, and stems and the adults eat (usually young) leaves (underside) and pods. / Hand pick off plant, use a spray bottle with soapy water, use a bucket of soapy water and tap leaves to knock them down into it, neem oil, encourage ladybugs and birds to your yard with appropriate plants like nectar filled flowers or alyssum, or strong scented herbs that will repel them

-Bean Weevil: Usually an issue in the spring time, damage can be identified as U shaped bites on edge of leaves/ Remove by hand, kill with soapy water, utilize row covers Especially on young plants, diatomaceous earth

-Leaf miners: These maggots make serpentine mines, slightly enlarged at the new end, on leaves/ Spraying with products that have Spinosad, utilizing BLUE Sticky Traps to trap adults before they lay eggs, Plant trap crops like lamb's quarters, columbine and velvetleaf.

-Aphids: They feed in colonies and cause discoloration, curling, and deformation of foliage/ Insecticidal soap, Pressure or “Blast” of water onto plants can help rid majority of colony.

•🦠Common diseases

-Bean Blight: Avoid or reduce chances with crop rotation, avoiding harvesting or working the bean fields with leaves that are wet, plowing down bean stubble, and spraying with copper

-Bacterial Brown Spot: To prevent.. Use drip irrigation, avoid working with plant when it’s wet, and do not save seeds from infected plants, spray with copper bactericide

-Powdery Mildew: Avoid by making sure ample air flow/space is between plants and foliage, avoid working with plants when wet OR watering above to where the plants leaves get wet, plant in sunnier area (thrives more in shady areas), Potassium bicarbonate– Similar to baking soda, this has the advantage of eliminating powdery mildew once it's there. Potassium bicarbonate is a contact fungicide which kills the powdery mildew spores.

-Anthracnose: Maintain weed control and DO NOT plant infected plants seeds; can be a carrier, make sure to remove plant residues, organic fungicides

-Mosaic Virus: Discard and destroy infected plants, use floating toe cover when plants are young or unhealthy to prevent flying insects from visiting plant while they have the virus,


-Bean and pea plants can look somewhat similar. However, pea stems are usually HOLLOW while bean stems are typically SOLID.

-North Dakota produces 1/3 of the USAs beans.

-January 6th is national bean day

-The word “Bean” originally meant the seed of the broad bean

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