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Green Beans, Snap Beans

Phaseolus vulgaris

Greens beans are a favorite type of snap bean available to the home gardener. Check your favorite seed source for a rainbow of snap beans options. Yellow or gold beans are often called wax beans and have a mild flavor. Purple beans boast a slightly more intense flavor and are just as productive as their green and yellow cousins. Whether you choose to grow bush varieties or those that ramble up a pole or across a fence, homegrown snap beans are a must-have summer treat.

Green beans are a cinch to grow from seed planted directly in the garden. One of the keys to a great bean crop is to wait until the night temperature regularly stays above 55° F before planting. Bean seeds germinate poorly if planted too early. Select a full sun planting site that has fertile, well-drained soil. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart in rows 18–24 inches apart. Sow seeds every three weeks or so until the end of June to provide a long, continued harvest. 

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Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

From 1 to 20 feet

Width:

18-30 inches wide

Propagation

Harvest Tips

Harvest most snap beans when pods are 6-8 inches long, before pods and seeds reach full size, 45-55 days after planting. Specialty bush beans called filet beans should be harvested when pods are only 1/4-inch in diameter. Harvest shelling beans once seeds have reached full size, about 80 days after planting. Dried beans take approximately 100-120 days to reach maturity. Because dried pods may split open and drop beans to the ground, place a large pan or bucket under the plants when harvesting dried beans.

Make delicious—and healthy—green bean dishes using these fresh recipes!

Green Bean Care Must-Knows

Beans are one of the most productive garden crops. Harvest them regularly and they will continue to produce new crops of fresh, tasty pods. Commonly munched by rabbits and deer, protect bean plants with fencing if these garden invaders are a problem in your area. Few other pests and diseases threaten beans. Prevent disease in future years by planting beans in a different spot in the garden each year. This practice is called crop rotation and cuts down on disease proliferation.

Harvest most snap beans when pods are 6–8 inches long, before pods and seeds reach full size, 45–55 days after planting. Specialty bush beans, called filet beans, should be harvested when pods are only ¼ inch in diameter. Harvest shelling beans once seeds have reached full size, about 80 days after planting. Dried beans take approximately 100–120 days to reach maturity. Because dried pods may split open and drop beans to the ground, place a large pan or bucket under the plants when harvesting dried beans.

Find out how to eat garden-fresh green beans all year long here.

More Varieties of Green Beans

'Blue Lake 274' bean

This cultivar is a bush type that produces 6-inch-long green pods on bushy plants.

'Derby' bean

'Derby' bean produces tender, 7-inch-long pods that are easy to harvest. Plants resist disease well.

'Jade' bean

'Jade' bean offers slender, deep green pods that remain tender and productive in the heat of summer.

'Roc d'Or' snap bean

This variety is a yellow-pod type that's also called wax bean. 'Roc d'Or' bears 6-inch-long yellow pods 52 days after planting.

'Royal Burgundy' bean

'Royal Burgundy' bean bears nutritious purple pods that turn green when cooked.

'Romano' pole bean

This selection forms a vigorous vine, which features pods that remain stringless even when large.

'Scarlet Runner' bean

'Scarlet Runner' bean is named for its attractive orangy-red flowers produced on vining plants. It is a different species (Phaseolus coccineus) than snap beans. It's most often grown for its ornamental value, but it also produces tasty shelling beans.

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