Grow Guide Conditions:
Beans are a frost-sensitive, warm-season crop. They grow best on well drained, loamy soils with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5. Amend planting area with compost, phosphorus and potassium.
Grow Guide Seed:
Always direct-seed beans. Plant in late spring when danger of frost has passed and soils have warmed. Germination is best at 70–85°F. Inoculate seed with Rhizobium bacteria prior to planting to enhance nitrogen availability. Plant seeds ½ to 1 inch deep, 2-3 inches apart, 18-30 inches between rows. Water well just once at planting time to avoid seed rot. After the seedlings emerge (6–12 days) keep moderately moist, allowing the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Avoid water-stress during bloom and pod set.
Grow Guide Pests:
Seed rot and seedling disease due to damping-off pathogens may be a problem in cool soils. Shallow plantings into 60°F or warmer soils will reduce risk of seedling disease. Avoid or minimize potentially devastating White Mold by practicing crop rotation and irrigating early in the day to allow drying of foliage. Bacterial blights of beans can be controlled through crop rotation and composting of crop debris. Encourage beneficial insect activity by planting cilantro and other umbels nearby to help control the many kinds of insect pests that love beans. Spray with pyrethrins and neem oil as a last resort to control heavy infestations. Seed late in the season and release Pediobius foveolatus wasps for suppression of Mexican bean beetles.
Grow Guide Harvest:
Harvest fresh snap beans when plump, but before they become lumpy and tough. Pick frequently to encourage more production. Harvest fresh shelling beans when the seeds are full size, but before the pods dry. Harvest dry beans when 75% of the leaves have yellowed and the pods have begun to dry. Pull the entire plant and dry either in the field on a tarp, or move indoors to dry in wet fall areas. Thresh by beating the dry plants with a flail or length of bamboo.