Most home gardeners raise beans for their pods, so these are the most commonly grown at homes, and have been bred for succulent, flavorful pods. 130 varieties are listed in Stephen Facciola’s Cornucopia. Pods may be green, golden, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin “fillet” types to wide “romano” types and more common types in between. French Haricots verts (green beans) are bred for flavorful pods.
- Blue Lake (green) *My favorite
- Golden Wax (golden)
- Purple King (purple)
- Dragon’s Tongue (streaked)
- Red Swan (red)
Water regularly, occasional deep watering is better than frequent light watering. The latter can also contribute to mildew. When plants are actively growing, you can fertilize them, then again when pods start to grow. Depending on variety, pods will form after 50-70 days. Harvest every 5-7 days. Once pods are allowed to mature, production stops.
Plant seeds when the soil is warm, or indoors for a headstart, then set out when soil is warm. Plant an inch deep in full sun and good soil, which has been loosened a bit so the heavy seeds can emerge. Bush types can be planted 1-3 inches apart in rows which are 2-3 feet apart. Pole type planting depends on support system, but a wigwam of 3 or 4 8ft poles can have 6-8 beans planted on each pole, and thinned to 4, as can single poles, 3 or 4 feet apart. Poles may be placed closer as well, just 1-2 feet apart, and seeds planted in rows as well, every 1-3 inches. You can also of course sow along a sunny wall, fence, or trellis and train the vines with light strings supported by wires or heavy twine. Water ground thoroughly before planting, and do not water again until seedlings emerge.