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How to Grow Pole Beans

With only the small effort of building a trellis or arranging a row of stakes, pole beans give the gardener a continuous crop of delicious beans in a space saving design that also adds and interesting dimension to a home garden.

How To Plant Pole Beans

Start: Sow directly outside 2-4 weeks after the last frost, in a sunny location after soil has warmed. Plant seeds 3” apart in rows 24” apart for linear trellises or in hills of 4-6 seeds grown up poles. Cover with 1” of soil. Seedlings emerge after 10-14 days.

Water: Keep beans consistently moist especially during dry spells. Avoid wetting foliage which may promote diseases. Beans need about 1” of rain per week.

Soil: Pole beans require well-drained soil of average fertility. pH 6.0-6.5.

Light: Full sun.

Fertilize: Beans usually only need a small addition of compost to the soil to fulfill their nutrient needs. If a fertilizer is used, choose one with low or no nitrogen as beans and other legumes capture nitrogen from the air through their leaves and too much nitrogen will lead to rapid leaf growth and poor fruit set.

Harvest: Keep beans picked for continuous harvest. For fresh use, harvest pods when well filled out with beans. For dry beans, allow mature pods to partially dry on the vine then place in a dry warm place with good air circulation to fully dry.

Notes: Bean seeds can be inoculated with a beneficial bacteria when sown to increase the amount of nitrogen they can capture through their leaves. Beans should not be planted where they will shade other plants that require full sun.

Growing Up: Vertical Gardening

Bean Recipes

Mattei Family String Bean Recipes

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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Barbara Cooksey

My mother grew up in Mississippi , she taught us to grow our pole bean, (Kentucky Wonder always) right up with our corn. Saves garden space and work since you planted your support system in the ground with them 🙂 Sure makes like alot easier, just make sure to start the vines around the plants when they start to grow and vines develope.

Shanna L Travis

My mother always grew pole beans w/ a string
or twine trellis, and harvested them to dry on tread. Our pantry was always full w/ beans until dried. Remember needle and thread and a lot of thimbles. lol

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