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Growing beans in home gardens

Quick facts

  • Edible beans include snap beans, shelling beans or dry beans.
  • Bean plant growth habits include pole beans, bush beans and half-runners.
  • Bean plants do not need as much fertilizer as other crops.
  • Plant seeds directly in the garden once the soil has warmed.
  • Install pole bean supports at planting time.
  • Pick snap beans before the individual seeds inside the pods bulge.
  • Pick shelling beans when the pods are thin and tough, but not dry.
  • Pick dry beans when the pods are dry and the beans inside rattle.

Beans for different uses 

Harvested green beans

The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), is a popular garden vegetable in Minnesota, grown for snap beans, shell beans or dry beans. Some varieties are suited for all three uses.

Pods of all types may be green, yellow ("wax"), purple or striped. Purple coloring disappears during cooking. Cooked purple beans will appear dark green.

Soil pH and fertility


Selecting plants




How to keep your bean plants healthy and productive


Jill MacKenzie

Reviewed in 2018

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