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Growing Green Beans: A Beginner’s Guide

Growing Green Beans: A Beginner’s Guide Blog promo
May 14, 2024

If you’re new to gardening, sorting through information and advice can feel overwhelming.  Where do you start?  What should you plant and when?  And where?  Enter: green beans! Whether bush or pole, beans are low-maintenance plants, making them an ideal option for beginning gardeners.  

If you want to know more about gardening in May, check out our garden calendar. Otherwise, let’s get the scoop on growing beans!

Growing Beans – The Basics

green beans in garden


The major difference between bush and pole beans is that pole beans will require support to grow. For either type, the seeds do best when planted directly into your garden. Choose a spot with full sun. Some shade is okay, but your yield (the amount you grow) will be lower. Plant the seeds about 1 inch deep. For bush beans, space them 6 to 12 inches apart. For pole beans, space the seeds 4 inches apart and use a trellis for support.

When and How to Harvest Beans

Beans usually need 50 to 60 days to grow. How do you know when they’re ready to harvest?  In general, they’ll be ready when they’re about as thick as a pencil and before the pods start to fill out.  Hold the plant with one hand and pull the beans off with the other!  Make sure to pick often so that the plant will produce more beans!  

To learn more about growing bush and pole beans in Oregon, check out this tip sheet.

Quick Garden Update:

Tyler, our Food Hero Test Garden coordinator shares an update: 

Hello from the Philomath Elementary School Garden! We are getting ready to plant more seeds in the garden: beans, spinach, lettuce, basil, oregano, rosemary and chives. We will build trellises for the beans so it will be easy to see how their vines curl and climb upwards.  Stay tuned for photos!

Make sure to follow us on social media (@BeAFoodHero) for photo updates!

From the Garden to the Table: Recipes with Green Beans

Once you’ve harvested your beans, it’s time to enjoy them!  Here are some tasty recipe ideas to give you inspiration:

honey mustard green beans served on tray in bowl


•    Honey Mustard Green Beans: A simple, yet tasty side dish featuring green beans tossed with honey, mustard and vinegar.

•    Southern Green Beans: Fresh green beans paired with savory ham, ready in just 30 minutes for a tasty side dish.


green beans with onions and almonds served in bowl

•    Green Beans with Onions and Almonds: Another healthy side dish.  One of our users raves, “I am kind of in love with this recipe. It has a great sweet taste, and the crunchy almonds are great in this.”

To find more green bean recipes, visit this page. To learn more about green beans, including how to store them, read the Food Hero Monthly here

Happy gardening and cooking!

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