How To Plant Pole Beans

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Since we featured a post on building a teepee trellis for planting pole beans and garden peas yesterday, today we will discuss how to plant pole beans. Pole beans are very easy to plant and grow in the home vegetable garden. Pole beans perform best if the seeds are directly sown into the garden soil. Transplanting pole bean seedlings typically do not grow or produce well. The root system does not like being disturbed much.

Here is how I plant pole beans seeds in my vegetable garden.

Preparing The Seeds

It is a good idea to soak pole bean seeds in warm water for at least three to four hours before planting. This soaking will help to speed up germination.

Just place all the pole bean seeds in a shallow container, such as a small Tupperware bowl. Fill the bowl up with enough water to cover the seeds with about a 1/4 inch of water. The seeds will soak up some of the water as you will see after a couple hours. Here I am soaking Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean seeds for my vegetable garden.

Soak Pole Bean Seeds In Water To Speed Up Germination

I like to soak my seeds overnight to make sure they are good and ready for planting. Just let the seeds and water-filled container sit on a countertop overnight uncovered in warm water.

This is what they will look like the next morning after the water has been drained out. You will immediately notice the pole bean seeds have swollen considerably. That’s just fine – they have soaked up some of the water.

Drain Water After pole Bean Seeds Have Soaked

Preparing the Bed For The Pole Bean Seeds

Pole beans should be planted in fertile soil that has been amended with good organic matter, such as compost. The soil should have good drainage and loosened well to allow for root development. Pole beans should be given some type of support to climb up, such as a trellis, arbor, pole, or a teepee.

As I mentioned earlier, I will be using a homemade teepee trellis for planting my pole beans, but it’s the same basic process for whatever type of support you are using.

Creating The Planting Holes

Sowing the pole bean seeds is very simple. First, I use my finger to poke a hole in the soil where I want to plant the pole beans. Since I’m using the teepee trellis, I will create a hole, about one inch deep, on both sides of each teepee leg.

Create Holes Next To The Teepee Trellis Legs for Planting Pole Beans

I go around to each leg of the teepee trellis and repeat creating the holes on both sides of the leg until I have all the planting holes dug. If you don’t like using your fingers, try using a stick or rake handle to create the holes.

Two Holes for Planting Pole Beans Around Each Teepee LegContinue Creating the Planting Holes for Each Teepee Leg

Sowing The Pole Bean Seeds

Once all the holes for the pole beans have been created, I simply drop at least two, sometimes three, seeds in each planting hole.

Sow At Least Two Pole Bean Seeds Per HoleContinue Sowing the Pole Bean Seeds Until Every Teepee Leg Has Seeds

It is important to place at least two seeds per hole. This is something like insurance – by planting at least two you will have a better shot of at least one of them germinating and growing into a seedling. If one seed doesn’t germinate then you have a back up. If more than one seed germinates in each hole, just come back later and thin out the weakest plant to leave just one strong one.

Now that all the seeds have been placed in the planting holes, it is time to cover them up with soil. Before covering the seeds up, take your finger and give the seeds a gentle push down. Do not drive the seeds further into the soil, just a very slight nudge. This will ensure the seed makes good contact with the soil – very important once the seed germinates.

I give the seed a slight push with my finger to seat the seeds as I’m covering them up with soil.

Cover the Pole Bean Seeds With Soil

After the seeds are covered I pat the soil with the palm of my hand – again, gently. This will ensure the seed makes good contact with the soil. Do not pat the soil so hard it compacts it, just a light pat will do.

Once all the pole bean seeds are covered and sown, it is time to give them a thorough drink of water. Water the entire area very well, and continue watering at least once a day. You want to keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy. It is best to water at least twice a day depending on how much rain you receive.

After eight to fourteen days you should begin seeing pole bean seedlings sprout up from where you planted. If needed, thin out the weakest plant from each teepee leg and train the pole beans to begin climbing up the support.

You will have fresh green beans in about 50 to 70 days, depending on the particular cultivar you are growing.

How do you sow your pole bean seeds? Please sure your process!

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Comments

  1. This is the first year in a long while I’ve planted beans. But I figured we eat green beans probably more than any other veggie I should grow some. :) I totally forgot to soak them before I planted. oops. I know better lol. However, I just checked the garden this morning and I have three rows of beans coming up YAY!!!

    I am going to do something similar to the teepee you showed, except I’m going to make it square ~ and then have strings coming down for each bean to climb. Hopefully this will work. We had plans to fence in the garden and I figured they would grow up the fence, but plans changed and we fenced in the chickens instead. :)
    .-= Jackie Lee´s last blog ..What’s holding you back? =-.

    • Hi Jackie,

      You don’t have to soak the pole beans seeds but it generally helps speed up germination. I’m glad you have little sprouts already!

      Your square teepee sounds very interesting – I hope to see some pictures of them sometime! Fencing in the chickens is pretty funny. I have to put up a temporary fence around my two garden plots each year to keep my dogs out, especially while everything is very small.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. I’m a new Fl gardener & any tips to prevent insects on my beans will be appreciated

  3. What should I do now that my pole beans are taller than my 6 ft trellis? Pinch the tops to encourage them to grow beans, or just leave them alone?

    Thanks

  4. My beans are dense with leaves and going over a 6 foot trellis but with very little flowing. Any suggestions. I am using fish emulsion to fertilize.

    • Hi Denise – if you have been experiencing very warm temperatures your plants could be suffering from blossom drop. This is quite common during periods of very high temperatures. You may need to wait until the temps have dropped some (back in the upper 80′s or so) before the flowering picks up.

      I hope this helps and good luck!

  5. When should I plant pole beans?
    You mentioned blossom drop over 80F, is it OK for the weather to be hot after they set fruit? Summer temperatures are over 100F where I live.

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