How to Grow: Organic Bush & Pole Beans

2 comments by Halley -Author at MIGardener

Spring is nearly upon us! This is the perfect time of year to brush up on your knowledge of growing techniques. Here at MIgardener, we want to share all of our favorite growing secrets; from our garden to yours. As you read through todays post, you'll find there is nothing simpler than growing organic!

Beans are some of the easier to grow varieties. This growing guide applies to pole beans and bush beans. The only difference between them is that pole beans require trellising to climb up as they grow.

Let's get started.


Beans don't ask for much in the realm of fertilizing. If your fertilize your entire bed, it's best to keep a section of the soil very lightly fertilized for beans. Soil should be loose and be made up of primarily organic compost. Legumes have nitrogen fixing nodules in their roots, which means they return nitrogen into the soil as they grow. Because of this, beans only need a slight boost of fertilizer compared to other plants. If you add too much of a nitrogen-high fertilizer, your plant will grow very green but won't produce a good amount of fruit. Make sure there's a good amount of organic matter in the soil, and let the beans do the rest!

MIgardener grow guide

Ph Levels:

Beans require and even ph. Between 6.5 and 7.5.


It's best to give beans partial sunlight, about 4-6 hours. Full sun can make beans grow quickly, but could burn the leaves. Too little sun and beans will barely grow. Even amounts of sun will encourage growth while giving the plants a rest at the same time.


Beans need approximately and inch of water for a week's growth. How much is 1 inch of water? Check out this video for a description. Beans have a shallow root structure, so it's important to irrigate, especially during the pod development phase.


Trellising is vital for the healthy growth of pole beans. Trellises comes in all shapes and sizes, but the most straightforward way to keep your beans growing tall is to use trellis netting held up by stakes in the garden. Once pole beans climb the length of the trellis, you can tie or clip the plant by the stems to encourage it to grow further. For more on trellising check out our video.


Most people leave far too much space for their beans to grow, when they only require anywhere from 4-7 inches of space between them. Make sure to thin the rows by pruning smaller sprouts away so that the strongest plant is left. This prevents crowding. Beans should also be planted 1 inch deep.

Tip: For bush type, plant at two week intervals to help guarantee a harvest throughout the season.


Pole and bush beans require warm soil in order to germinate well. Approximately 65°F to 85°F is the recommended soil temp to begin planting beans. Cool soil will cause bacteria to grow and will limit the seeds ability to grow.


It's important to continue harvesting beans as they grow so that you plant stays healthy and continues to bear fruit. With the abundance of produce that can come from even just four plants, it's not unusual to be slightly overwhelmed by the fruits of your labor. All the more to go around! Beans are ideal for canning and storing through the winter months. You can give the gift of garden fresh beans to your friends, family, and maybe even a stranger on the street. The important thing is that you harvest diligently as you beans continue to give.


Written by - Kaitlynn from MIgardener 


Did you enjoy this post? MIgardener is passionate about sharing free gardening tips and information! If you are looking for inspiration in the garden, make sure to check out our Pinterest page. Check us out on youtubeInstagram, and Facebook.


  • Dawn

    Long time gardener but not so much a bean grower. How do you keep a bean plant harvested if you want to leave them to dry? Do you harvest for green beans and then leave some for drying? I’m hoping to up my bean growing game this year.

  • Diana

    I’d love to learn more about the benefits of different beans and when is the ideal time to harvest. And then there is dry bean saving vs green bean picking…

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published