Propagate by seed - Do not start seeds inside. Beans do not like to be transplanted. Plant germinates best when the temperature is 70-80 F. Construct trellis, teepee, cattle panel, or single-pole support before seeding to avoid injurying plant roots later. Bamboo poles or saplings lashed together make easy, inexpensive supports. Do not position trellis where it will shade other plants that need full sun.
Plant seed 1" deep, a little deeper for sandier soils. Plant in hills of four to six seeds at the base of each pole.
For a harvest that lasts all summer, sow beans every 2 weeks.
When to Water
Water 1" per week. Do not allow the plant to dry out nor should you let the soil be soggy. If you water, avoid wetting foliage, which encourages disease. Water early in the day so foliage dries quickly.
Do not plant until danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Germination is poor when soil temperature is below 60 F. Cold air temperatures (even above freezing) can injure plants and reduce yields.
Pests: Mexican bean beetles, Leafhoppers, Seedcorn maggot. Diseases: To reduce disease spread, do not work among wet plants. Bacterial blights and White mold - Avoid wetting foliage if possible.
Prefers well-drained soil, but with consistent moisture. Only requires average fertility. pH 6.0 to 6.8.
Pole bean plants can reach a height of 5-10 ft.They need a support structure at least 6 feet high.Take that into consideration when planning your garden. Make sure there is enough distance between your tall vegetables and short vegetables. That way both will get enough sun light.
Harvesting beans begins as soon as the pods are full and swollen. Beans should be picked every three to five days to avoid harvesting older beans which can be woody and bitter.
Plant pole beans when you're sure danger of frost has passed, as pole beans don't tolerate even light frost. Germination and growth is poor when soil temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Optimal temperature for germination is a soil temperature between 70 and 85 degrees. Conversely, pole beans don't tolerate extreme heat and usually cease to produce when temperatures remain over 85 to 90 degrees.
Pole beans need little fertilizer. Fertilizer should be added to the soil before planting pole beans. Side dress with manure or mulch or use black plastic to conserve moisture, minimize weeds and keep soils warm for increased yield. Beans require normal soil fertility. Only fertilize where levels are low. Begin fertilizing after heavy bloom and set of pods. Too much fertilizing will get you lush plants but few beans.
Beans do not transplant well and do best when directly sown into the garden.
Beans need a little help climbing their support structure, especially when young. It is important to get them up off the ground early to prevent rot and loss of blooms.
Beans generally don't need extra nitrogen for good growth because the beneficial bacteria that live in nodules on bean roots help to provide nitrogen for the plants. To speed up growth, give beans a midseason side-dressing of compost or kelp extract solution.
Pole beans like full sun and do well when they get about 8 hours of sunlight. Can tolerate partial shade but will reduce yield.
Garlic, Onions, Peppers, Sunflowers should not be planted next to pole beans.
The following vegetables will do well when planted next to pole beans: Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Squash, Strawberries, Tomatoes. Planting certain vegetables next to each other can deter insects and encourage growth.
"Next year, DO NOT plant bush beans , peas, lentils, groundnuts, broad beans, alfalfa, peanuts, clovers, lupins, and soya in the same location where you planted pole beans this year. Because they are all members of the Legume (Leguminosae) family. Instead use that spot to plant other vegetables from a different family such as:
- Carrot (Umbelliferae): celery, carrots, parsley.
- Nightshade (Solanaceae) - tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers.
- Mustard/Brassica (Cruciferae): broccoli, caulifower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes.
- Sunflower (Compositae): lettuce, artichokes.
- Cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae): pumpkins, melons, squash, gourds, cucumbers.
- Allium (Amaryllidaceae) - onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives.
- Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae): spinach, Swiss chard, beets.
Growing Pole Beans Overview
Pole beans are not hard to grow as long as they get enough sun light and warm temperatures 70-85 F. They are members of the legume family, which also includes peas, lentils, groundnuts, broad beans, alfalfa, peanuts, clovers, lupins and soya. For more planting information, please visit our Farming Tips homepage.