How To Grow Beans Successfully in Your Backyard: Expert Guide

How To Grow Beans
15 min reading time

Do you want to enjoy the taste of fresh, homegrown beans? Growing beans in your backyard is easier than you might think. With the right techniques and care, you can have a bountiful bean harvest that will supply you with delicious and nutritious beans for your meals.

In section 1 of this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to grow beans in your backyard. From choosing the right bean variety to harvesting your beans, we will cover everything you need to know to cultivate healthy and delicious beans. Whether you have a large garden or a small space, our tips will help you achieve a successful bean harvest.

Key Takeaways:

  • Growing beans is easy and enjoyable.
  • With the right techniques and care, you can achieve a successful bean harvest in your backyard.
  • From choosing the right bean variety to harvesting your beans, we will guide you through the entire process.

Choosing the Right Bean Variety

Before you start growing beans in your backyard, it’s essential to choose the right bean variety that suits your preferences and growing conditions. Different types of beans have different requirements for sunlight, water, and soil conditions. Below are some bean planting tips and best practices for growing beans in your backyard.

How To Grow Beans: Consider Your Growing Conditions

The first step in choosing the right bean variety is to assess your growing conditions. Consider the amount of sunlight, soil drainage, and temperature of your backyard. Beans generally require at least six hours of sunlight per day and well-drained soil. They also prefer moderate temperatures between 60-80°F.

Determine Your Bean Preferences

There are two main categories of beans: bush and pole. Bush beans are compact and grow as a bush, while pole beans require support to climb. Bush beans are perfect for smaller gardens or containers, while pole beans are ideal for larger spaces. Consider the types of beans you prefer, such as green, yellow, or purple varieties, and choose accordingly.

Research Bean Varieties

There are numerous bean varieties available, ranging from heirloom to hybrid, and each has slightly different growing requirements and flavor profiles. Some popular varieties include the Blue Lake bush bean, Kentucky Wonder pole bean, and the Dragon Tongue bean. Research the different types of beans to find the variety that best suits your growing conditions and preferences.

Choose Disease Resistant Varieties

Beans can be susceptible to various diseases, including mold, rust, and blight. To minimize the risk of disease, choose disease-resistant varieties of beans. Check seed packets or catalogs for the terms “Resistant” or “HR” (highly resistant) for disease-resistant varieties.

  • Consider your growing conditions, such as sunlight and soil drainage when choosing the right bean variety.
  • Determine your bean preferences, such as green, yellow, or purple varieties, and choose accordingly between bush and pole beans.
  • Research bean varieties to find the variety that best suits your growing conditions and preferences.
  • Choose disease-resistant varieties to minimize the risk of disease.

Preparing the Soil for Bean Planting

Healthy soil is key to growing healthy beans. Before you start planting, take the time to prepare the soil to give your beans the best chance to thrive.

Clearing the Area

Start by clearing the area of any weeds, rocks, or other debris that may obstruct root growth or harbor pests and diseases. Use a hoe or rake to loosen the soil and remove any large clumps or rocks.

Testing the Soil

Next, test the soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content. Beans prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and require adequate nitrogen to grow.

You can purchase a soil testing kit from a garden center or send a soil sample to a lab for analysis. Once you know the nutrient levels and pH level, you can adjust the soil accordingly.

Adding Organic Matter

To improve soil structure, water retention, and nutrient content, add organic matter such as compost, aged manure, or leaf mold to the soil. Spread a layer of organic matter over the soil and work it in to a depth of about six inches using a garden fork or tiller.

Consider Legume Inoculant

Beans are legumes, and like other legumes, they have a beneficial relationship with bacteria that live in the soil. These bacteria form nodules on the roots of the beans and fix nitrogen from the air into a form the plant can use. Adding a legume inoculant to the soil before planting can help establish this beneficial relationship and improve plant growth.

Follow these guidelines for preparing your soil and your beans will be off to a great start!

Planting Beans

How To Grow Beans

Once your soil is ready, it’s time to plant the beans. In this section, we will discuss the best practices for planting beans to ensure optimal growth.

Tip: Before you start planting, make sure to check your local weather forecast and select a day with no chance of frost or extreme temperatures.


When planting beans, it’s crucial to space them out properly to avoid overcrowding, which can stifle growth or lead to disease.

To determine the spacing, consider the variety of bean you are planting. Bush beans need to be planted approximately 4-6 inches apart, while pole beans require about 6-8 inches of space between them.

If you are growing beans in containers, ensure that the container is large enough to accommodate the plant and provide ample spacing between the plants.


Beans need to be planted at the right depth to ensure proper growth.

For bush beans, make a hole about 1 inch deep in the soil and place the seed inside. Cover the hole with soil and gently press down.

Pole beans need to be planted a little deeper, about 2 inches deep, to provide support for the plant as it grows taller.

Container Planting

If you are limited on space, planting beans in containers is a great option. Select a container with proper drainage and at least 6 inches of depth.

Fill the container with a high-quality potting mix and plant your beans at the recommended depth. Ensure that the container is placed in an area with sufficient sunlight.

Tip: To maximize space, consider using a trellis or stake to provide support for your pole beans.

With these bean planting tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful bean harvest.

Providing Proper Watering and Sunlight

Watering your bean plants properly is essential for their growth and development. Beans require about 1-2 inches of water per week, depending on the weather conditions. It’s important to water deeply, at least once a week, rather than light, frequent waterings. This ensures that the roots grow deep into the soil, improving their ability to absorb water and nutrients.

It’s also crucial to avoid getting water on the leaves of the bean plants, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Instead, direct the water to the base of the plant, using a soaker hose or watering can.

As for sunlight, beans require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Make sure to plant them in a location that receives adequate sunlight, and avoid planting them in shady and damp areas, which can lead to poor growth and disease.

Proper watering and sunlight are essential for healthy bean growth, so make sure to provide your plants with the right amount of water and sunlight to ensure success.

Fertilizing and Mulching Beans

Fertilizing and mulching are important for maintaining soil moisture and providing necessary nutrients to bean plants. Proper fertilization and mulching can lead to healthy growth and increase bean yield.

First, it is important to select the right type of fertilizer for your beans. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are typically recommended for legumes like beans. However, too much nitrogen can lead to excessive foliage growth and fewer beans, so it’s important to find the right balance. Consider using compost, well-rotted manure, or a balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Mulching is also important for conserving soil moisture and preventing weed growth. Organic materials like straw, leaves, or grass clippings can make great mulch for your bean plants. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants, making sure to leave a little space around the stems to prevent rot.

Another benefit of mulching is that it can help regulate soil temperature, keeping it cooler during hot summer months. Mulching can also protect your bean plants from disease by preventing soil from splashing onto the foliage during watering or rain.

When applying fertilizer and mulch, it’s important to avoid covering the leaves of the bean plants. This can cause them to rot and become more susceptible to disease. Instead, apply the fertilizer and mulch around the base of the plants, leaving a little space around the stem.

With proper fertilization and mulching, your bean plants will receive the necessary nutrients and moisture to produce a healthy and bountiful crop.

Supporting Bean Plants

As bean plants start to grow, they require support to keep them upright. Without proper support, bean plants can become tangled and damaged by wind or heavy rain. There are several bean gardening techniques that you can use to support your plants and help them grow healthy and strong.

Using Trellises

A trellis is a structure made of wood, metal, or bamboo that can be used to support bean plants. Simply place the trellis next to the bean plants and gently tie the stems to the structure using twine or string. As the plants continue to grow, guide the stems towards the trellis to help them climb upwards.

Trellises are great for growing pole beans, which can grow up to 10 feet tall. They can also help increase the yield of your plants by allowing them to grow vertically and taking up less space in your garden.

Using Stakes

Stakes are another effective way of supporting bean plants. Simply insert a wooden or metal stake into the soil next to each plant and gently tie the stem to the stake using twine or string. Stakes are best used for bush beans, which tend to grow shorter and require less support than pole beans.

Make sure to insert the stakes at the time of planting to avoid disturbing the roots of the plant later on. Staking your bean plants also helps improve air circulation, which can prevent disease and improve overall plant health.

Other Support Structures

Other support structures, such as cages, netting, or even old bicycles, can also be used to support your bean plants. The primary goal is to keep the plants off the ground and allow them to grow upwards. Be creative and find what works best for your garden!

Remember, providing proper support to your bean plants is essential for healthy growth and bountiful harvests. Use these bean gardening techniques to keep your plants growing strong all season long.

Managing Pests and Diseases

How to Grow Beans

When it comes to bean care, preventing and managing pests and diseases is crucial. Some of the most common pests that affect bean plants include aphids, cutworms, and Mexican bean beetles, while common diseases include fungal infections and bacterial blights.

One of the best ways to prevent pests and diseases is to maintain good growing conditions, including proper soil preparation, watering, and fertilization. Additionally, practicing crop rotation and maintaining clean growing areas can help prevent the buildup of pests and diseases.

If you do notice signs of pests or diseases, it’s important to act quickly to prevent their spread. Consider using organic pest control methods, such as introducing beneficial insects or applying neem oil, to deter pests. For diseases, remove any infected plants and avoid overhead watering, which can lead to the spread of fungal infections.

Regular monitoring of your bean plants can also help you catch any issues early on and prevent them from becoming major problems. By following these best practices for growing beans, you can keep your plants healthy and productive.

Tips for a Successful Bean Harvest

Harvesting beans at the right time is essential for the best flavor and tenderness. Here are some tips on when and how to harvest your beans:

  • Check your bean plants daily for pods that are ready to be picked.
  • Harvest your beans while they are still young and tender, usually around 2-3 inches in length.
  • To pick the beans, hold the stem with one hand and gently pull the pod with the other hand.
  • Don’t wait too long to harvest your beans, as they will become tough and stringy.
  • If you’re unsure if your beans are ready to be harvested, try tasting one. If it’s tender and juicy, it’s perfect.

Growing legumes like beans can also provide a continuous harvest throughout the season. To encourage more beans to grow, harvest your beans regularly, as this will signal the plant to produce more pods. Happy harvesting!

Storing and Preserving Beans

After a successful bean harvest, it’s important to store and preserve your beans properly so they maintain their quality and freshness for future use. Here are some tips for storing and preserving your beans:

  • Remove any debris or broken beans from the harvested crop.
  • Store beans in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Use airtight containers, such as glass jars or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids, to prevent moisture and pests.
  • If storing for a longer time, consider adding oxygen absorbers or vacuum seal the containers to keep the beans fresh for a longer duration.
  • If you prefer to freeze your beans, blanch them first by boiling them for a few minutes and then immediately submerging them into a bowl of ice-cold water. Next, dry them before storing in a freezer-safe container or bag.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your homegrown beans remain fresh and flavorful for months to come!

Troubleshooting Common Bean Growing Problems

Despite your best efforts, you may encounter certain problems while growing beans. Here are some common bean growing problems and best practices for dealing with them:

Yellowing Leaves

If your bean plant leaves are turning yellow, it could be due to several reasons, such as over-watering, under-fertilizing, or a nitrogen deficiency. To restore the plant’s health, reduce the watering frequency, apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, and avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers, which can damage the plant roots.

Pest Infestations

Bean plants are prone to pests like aphids, spider mites, and beetles. To control pest infestations, you can use natural remedies such as spraying the leaves with neem oil, placing sticky traps, or introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings.


Bean plants can be affected by fungal diseases like powdery mildew, rust, or anthracnose. To prevent and control diseases, avoid watering the leaves, maintain good air circulation around the plant, and remove any diseased plant parts. You can also use a fungicide as a last resort.

Poor Fruit Set

If your bean plant is not producing enough fruit, it could be due to low pollination or a lack of nutrients. To increase fruit set, you can hand-pollinate the flowers using a small brush, or use a foliar spray of phosphorus-rich fertilizer to boost the plant’s nutrient uptake.


Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully grow beans in your backyard. We hope this guide has been helpful in providing you with step-by-step instructions and best practices for growing beans.

By implementing the tips and techniques shared in this guide, you can enjoy a bountiful bean harvest and savor the fresh flavors of homegrown beans. Remember to choose the right variety, prepare the soil, plant the beans properly, provide adequate water and sunlight, fertilize and mulch, provide support as needed, manage pests and diseases, harvest at the right time, and store and preserve your beans properly.


How long does it take for beans to grow?

The time it takes for beans to grow depends on the variety you choose and the growing conditions. Generally, beans can take anywhere from 45 to 60 days to reach maturity.

Can I grow beans in containers?

Yes, you can grow beans in containers. Choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep and has good drainage. Make sure to place the container in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

How often should I water my bean plants?

Bean plants need regular watering, especially during hot and dry periods. Water them deeply once or twice a week, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot.

What are some common pests and diseases that affect bean plants?

Common pests that can affect bean plants include aphids, beetles, and spider mites. Diseases such as powdery mildew and bacterial blight can also impact bean plants. Implementing proper pest management practices and providing good air circulation can help prevent and manage these issues.

How do I know when to harvest my beans?

Beans are ready to be harvested when the pods are firm, crisp, and have reached their full size. Snap beans should be harvested when they are young and tender, while shell beans should be harvested when the pods have started to fill out, but before they become dry.

How long can I store harvested beans?

Harvested beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. To store them for a longer period, blanch them and freeze them in airtight containers or bags. Properly stored beans can maintain their quality for several months.

What should I do if I encounter problems while growing beans?

If you encounter problems while growing beans, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, it could be due to nutrient deficiencies, pests, or diseases. Refer to our troubleshooting section for solutions to common bean growing problems or seek guidance from a local gardening expert.

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