Tips For Growing Bush Beans

Bush beans are small, compact plants that do not require trellising like pole cultivars. They grow into a small, bushy shape and produce a single harvest before they die back.

Beans thrive in full sun and need well-draining soil that is rich in organic material. Soak dry bean seeds overnight before planting to soften the protective seed coat and speed germination.


Bush beans thrive in full sun and rich soil that is both loose and well-draining. Work some organic compost into the soil before planting. This is particularly important for clay-like soils that tend to compact around bean roots. Bush beans prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0.

Soak dry bean seeds overnight before planting to soften the protective seed coat and improve germination. When you plant the seeds, lightly pat the soil to ensure good contact between the seed and the growing medium.

Bush beans do not need trellising like climbing varieties, but it is a good idea to provide some form of support for them as they grow. Wooden trellises or metal cattle panels are popular choices. Harvest beans often to encourage them to produce more.


During the growing season, bush beans are relatively low maintenance. They do best in full sun and moist, fertile soil that drains well. One deep watering per week is sufficient. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to rotting roots and disease problems.

These plants can be grown directly in the garden or in containers such as old barrels and milk jugs. We grow them in a combination of these methods, as well as in our traditional vegetable garden.

Harvest bush beans regularly to keep the plant producing (if it gets fat with pods, it will stop flowering). Use a sharp knife or pair of snips to cut the pods off at the stem. Wash the beans to remove any dirt that may be stuck inside.


Unlike many vegetables that require nitrogen fertilizers, beans create their own supply of the essential nutrient from the nodules in their roots. Therefore, it’s best to avoid nitrogen-rich fertilizers around bean plants.

Since bush beans produce all at once, it’s a good idea to stagger planting by sowing seeds every two weeks for a continual harvest throughout the season. Succession planting also helps keep pests, like flea beetles and vegetable weevils, at bay.

Before you plant, soak your dry bean seeds in water overnight to soften their protective seed coat and aid germination. Plant in rows 18 inches apart, then water the garden lightly to settle and nourish the soil. Be careful not to overwater. Too much water can hinder growth. Bush beans prefer full sun and loose, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.


Bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) are one of the most practical vegetables to grow in your vegetable garden. They fill in empty spaces quickly, require little tending and thrive in most climates. There are two main types of beans: bush beans and pole beans.

Bush beans are smaller and lower to the ground, while pole beans are climbing vines that need a trellis or staking to grow tall. Choose the type that best suits your needs.

Regardless of what type you grow, your bean plants need full sun and rich soil. Conduct a soil test to determine your garden’s pH and amend it as necessary. Beans like slightly acidic soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0. Water your beans thoroughly, but avoid over-watering. It’s best to water early in the morning so the plant leaves can dry off before nightfall, which helps reduce fungal disease problems.


Beans are often called the dandelion of vegetables; they grow easily and quickly wherever they’re planted. They also fix nitrogen into the soil, helping other crops like squash and tomatoes grow vigorously. Bean seeds are best direct-sown outdoors, a week after the last spring frost, in rows or beds 18 inches wide.

Pole beans need some form of support to climb as they mature, but bush varieties don’t. You can create a simple trellis by using a wooden pole, metal cattle panel or mesh fabric that the plants’ tendrils can wrap around. Pick beans daily to encourage plant production; don’t wait until the pods start to bulge, which slows growth. Sow bush bean seeds every two weeks to have regular harvests throughout the summer and fall.