Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bush Beans: From Seed to Harvest

There’s the Golden Wax, harvester and Royal Burgundys. These are three of the many varieties of Bush Beans available to grow at home. If you have never grown bush beans before you are really missing out. They are easy to grow and have a high yield per plant. Best of all they are extremely easy to start from seed, and that means, you will save money on your food bill.

Bush beans as opposed to Pole Beans (I’ll talk about them in my next article), are determinate. That means they will grow to a certain size, stop growing, then start producing. This allows you to know exactly how much space you will need per plant. 

Bush bean plantings have a harvest window of about 10 days. So when planting them, make sure you space out your plantings every so many days. This gives you a constant supply of beans throughout the season.

Bush Beans are fairly large seeds and that means you can plant them deeper than many other seeds that we have talked about thus far. One inch is perfect, but I have gotten away with as deep as two inches. Try to keep it within that range though.

Is your soil temperature in the seventy-five to eighty degree range? If not, it’s not the end of the world, nor does this mean they won’t germinate, however, at this range, you will find that your bush beans will pop up in as little as seven days. Maybe sooner under optimal conditions.

The jury is still out on whether or not to start your bush bean seeds indoors or simply wait until you can sow them directly into your garden when weather permits. I personally have had success using both methods here in New Jersey. If your growing season is short on time, then by all means start indoors to give your garden a head start.

Keep your soil neutral...the pH range that is. Bush beans grow best, in my own experiences, when the soil is around 6.5 to 7.0. If your soil is too acidic, add some crushed powdery limestone. Too alkaline and use a good organic fertilizer that adds acidity to your soil.

My bush beans have grown best when exposed to a full day worth of sun and weekly steady watering. By steady I mean 15 minutes under the sprinkler, first thing in the morning as the sun is rising.

Depending on the variety of bean (follow the back of your seed pack), harvest your beans when they reach their full plump size or length. Picking them right before you are about to consume them will give you the best tasting most full flavored bush beans you have ever eaten.

If you practice crop rotation, which you should, you are in luck. Bush beans get along with just about every plant out there.

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the author of Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the rest of us, the moderator for the largest vegetable gardening page on Facebook and creator of the monthly Seeds Club.

Watch the video below to learn more about Mike`s Seeds of the Month Club:


  1. I read mixed reviews on growing Bush Beans in containers. I have a container gardening and I want to grow them but I'm kinda hesitant...what's your opinion? Thanks in advance.

  2. I have tried growing them in pots and have had decent success ... it seemed the bigger the pot and the better the potting soil I used, the better results I had.