Greens beans are a type of snap bean that actually come in several colors, despite the name. 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 Bean Care Must-Knows
Green beans are easy 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.
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.
Green Bean Harvest Tips
Harvest most green 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.
Related: Quick and Healthy Green Bean Recipes