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Beans (Bush and Pole)

Quick Garden Tips

  • Bush and pole beans are from the wax bean family and are easy to grow—great for beginning gardeners. The big difference between them is that pole beans need support to grow.
  • Plant the seeds in the garden about 1 inch deep. The seeds are best planted directly into the garden.
  • Space bush beans 6 to 12 inches apart. Space pole beans 4 inches apart and use a trellis for support.

Season and Location

  • Plant bush beans in full sun. Some shade is okay for bush beans, but yield (amount grown) will be reduced.
  • Water early in the day.

Container Gardening

  • Use at least a 5-gallon container. Larger containers will enable better growth, and will make it easier to maintain moisture in the container.
  • Pre-sprout seeds before planting, to increase success. Plant one pre-sprouted seed or one seedling per container.
  • Make sure your container has small holes near the bottom to allow water to drain, or the roots may become waterlogged.

Key Pests and Diseases

  • Mexican bean beetles and aphids are common pests. 
  • Avoid wetting the leaves to prevent disease.

When to Plant and Harvest Beans in Oregon

  • Central and Eastern: Plant June through August to harvest August through October.
  • Willamette Valley: Plant May through August to harvest mid-June through mid-September.
  • Coast: Plant May through June to harvest mid-June through mid-August

3 regions of Oregon showing months to plant and harvest beans

Some Types to Grow

  • Bush: Tendercrop, Slenderette, Oregon Trail, Jade
  • Pole: blue Lake, Romano, Kentucky Wonder

When and How to Harvest

  • Overall, the beans are ready to pick when they are about as thick as a pencil and before the pods fill out.
  • Harvest them by holding the plant with one hand and pulling the beans off with the other hand.
  • Pick often to help the plant produce more beans. Look carefully to find beans that are hidden in the leaves.

Storage and Cooking

  • Store the beans in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
  • You can eat them raw, steamed, boiled, roasted, sautéed or stir-fried, or use them in salads and soups.
  • Try this Food Hero recipe: Honey Mustard Green Beans
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