Pole beans are a popular summer vegetable and not without good reason! Pole beans require the setup of a trellis, a tepee made of poles or fencing to cling onto. By growing vertically means they require less space and can be grown just about anywhere. Most pole beans can be harvested at any stage of the growing process as either fresh snap beans, shelling beans, or drying beans; however, some varieties are better suited to one use over another, so research the different varieties before choosing which type to grow if you plan using for a specific purpose.
- BOTANICAL NAME: Phaseolus vulgaris
- PLANT TYPE: Vegetable
- GROWTH CYCLE: Annual
- SEASON: Spring Summer Fall Winter
- USDA ZONE: 3a -11b
- LIGHT: Full Sun
- SOIL TYPE: Loamy
- YIELD: 1-1.5 lbs. per plant
- SQUARE FOOT GARDEN: 2-3 plants per square foot
- Germination Soil Temperature: 55–75°F, optimal 65°F
- GERMINATION: 7-10 days
- MATURITY: 60-75 days
- HARVEST: 60-95 days
- Seed Depth: 1/2″
- Plant Spacing: thin 6″
- Row Spacing: 8″
- Sow Indoors: Transplant carefully.
- Sow Outdoors: 1 to 2 weeks before average last frost. Successive sowings every 3 weeks until 4 weeks before first fall frost. Sow in fall for winter harvest in USDA Zones 8 and warmer.
Pole beans prefer warmer climates and do best in more southernly climate zones; however, they’ll still grow during the summer in other regions once temperatures reach approximately 60–70°F. Note that while beans can be grown for a fall harvest in warmer climates, growth slows as temperatures drop to 60°F or lower, so you may experience a loss of yield if planning on planting for the fall. While they do prefer lots of sun and warmth, yields will also start to decrease once temperatures surpass 90°F, so provide protection if you live in climates with extreme heat
Full sun or partial shade in extremely hot weather
Prefers well-drained, nutrient-rich soil with lots of organic material. A soil pH of 6.0–8.0 will get plants growing, with an ideal range falling between 6.0–6.8.
Water: Requires moderate levels of water: approximately 1″ per week. Keep soil evenly moist but not soggy. This is particularly important in the early stages of growth as overwatering the seeds can cause damage and decrease your germination rates.
Nutrients: As pole beans tend to produce their own nitrogen (as long as the proper rhizobia bacteria are in the soil), they do not generally require the addition of this nutrient. Adding a light layer of compost or nutrient mix with higher levels of potassium and phosphorous, however, can benefit your plants if added prior to planting and once again when plants have reached about 6″ in height.
Mulching: Apply a light layer of straw, reusable black landscape fabric, or wood chips around your bean plants to keep moisture and heat in your soil and suppress weed populations.
- Army worms
- Blister beetles
- Cucumber beetle
- Leaf hoppers
- Leaf miners
- Spider mites
- White flies
- Bacterial blight
- Bean mosaic virus
- Downy mildew
- Powdery mildew
- White mold
As pole beans are a member of the Three Sisters, they will grow well with corn and squash. Also does well when planted with savory, radishes, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, and potatoes. Avoid beets, cabbage, kohlrabi, and members of the onion family.
To harvest your beans for fresh eating, wait until pods appear swollen and are firm to the touch. If you’re looking to shell your beans, wait until the pods are fully formed and start to lose some of their green color. For dried beans, allow the pods to dry entirely on the stalk and then remove from the plant.
Fresh pods will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Do not wash your beans until you are prepared to use them.
This veggie is great for preserving for future use either by pickling, drying, or freezing depending on how you want to use them.
If eating your beans raw, trim off the stem end of the pod and remove any string unless their stringless. After doing so, simply eat as is, steam, boil, sauté, or bake as desired.
The green bean is a great, low-fat source of nutrients that is high in vitamins A, C, and K. Pole beans are also a good source of fiber and contain trace amounts of many minerals including manganese, magnesium, calcium, and iron. They’re also a good source of antioxidants Nutrition Facts
Pole beans provide antioxidants, there have been studies suggesting that they may contribute to cardiovascular health by lowering blood fat content. The vitamin K and calcium content in beans has also been linked to increased bone density and overall bone health.