Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), also called string beans or snap beans, are a staple of many vegetable gardens because they are easy to grow and incredibly productive even in a limited space. And even though most green beans are green, you can also find them in yellow, purple, red, and striped varieties.
If you want to grow green beans indoors, then this article will give you all the information you need before starting green beans indoors.
Read on to find out everything you need to know before starting green beans indoors, including how to choose and prepare green bean planting sites, how to start green beans indoors, and how to care for your green bean plants properly.
What Are The Differences Between Bush Beans and Pole Beans?
Green beans are small bush beans that are very easy to take care of and can even grow better in containers. They are classified into two primary types: bush and pole (AKA runner). Green beans grow either as vines or bushes.
|Bush Beans||Pole Beans|
|Growth||– Low-growing compact plant that stands about 1 to 2 feet tall.|
– Does not require extra support from a structure, such as a trellis.
– Usually come in all at once; therefore, try to stagger your plantings every two weeks to make a continuous harvest.
|– Grow as climbing vines that may reach 6 to 7 feet tall and requires staking or trellis.|
– Need their vines to grow, and if you keep harvesting, pole beans will produce for a month or two.
|Sunlight||– Full sun|
– Bush beans can tolerate partial shade, but it will reduce yield.
|– Full sun|
– Pole Beans can tolerate partial shade, but it will reduce yield.
|Soil Conditions||Requires well-drained soil and consistent moisture||Requires well-drained soil and consistent moisture|
|pH level||6.0 to 6.8||6.0 to 6.8|
|Pros||Easier to grow and require less maintenance.||Essentially disease-resistant and typically yield more beans for longer.|
|Cons||Fragile roots and, generally, beans do not like to be transplanted.||– Fragile roots and, generally, beans do not like to be transplanted.|
– Usually, the seedlings fall over and die without support
|Spacing||Generally, sown with rows 30 to 36 inches apart.||Between-row spacing should be about 36 to 48 inches, and the in-row spacing should be about 6 to 9 inches|
|Bloom time||– Mid-summer|
– Late summer
– Late summer
|Harvest Time||– 50 to 55 days|
– Harvested at the “mature green” stage, when the beans have attained maturity. The pods are still tender, and the concentrated pod set allows all of the beans to be harvested at once.
|– 55 to 65 days|
– They are generally harvested over an extended time, with about three to 10 harvests occurring approximately every three to five days. Try to remove mature beans to encourage immature pods to develop and increases flowering. Beans left on the plant will ultimately mature to the dry bean state, diminishing flowering and “mature green” bean production.
|Amount of Seed Required||– 75 to 90 pounds (34.01 to 40.82 kg) with typical plant spacings.||– 20 to 45 pounds (9.07 to 20.41 kg) per acre.|
Are Bush or Pole Beans Better?
- If you have a small garden, then planting bush beans will be better for you. In addition, bush beans grow short and sturdy, and they don’t have any special support needs.
- If your vegetable garden has a lot of space (particularly vertical space), pole beans are a better option. Also, pole beans need sturdy trellis or bamboo poles to grow up.
Can You Start Green Beans Seed Indoors?
You most definitely can. Growing green beans seed indoors is one of the best options for you if outdoor gardening is not possible. Starting green beans indoors requires both creativity and effort, but it is all worth it in the end. Their compact size and efficient growth abilities make them a perfect plant to grow indoors. They are adapted to container culture as well.
However, most gardeners recommend not starting green bean seeds indoors because of their fragile roots, and they may not survive transplanting. Beans are always direct-seeded since there is no advantage to transplanting, according to the University of Georgia.
Growing green beans inside can be very beneficial and therapeutic. For a major population that lives in the city, indoor gardening is the only option for them.
When to Start Green Bean Seeds Indoors?
Similar to other bean types, green beans are frost-sensitive, so start your green bean garden in spring when there is no danger of frost. You can also begin your green beans garden in the fall, about 10 to 12 weeks before the first expected frost. And, if you want to give yourself a head start on the bean harvest, start seeds indoors three to four weeks before the last average frost date and transplant your seedlings around two weeks after the last frost date for your region.
The ideal time to plant green beans is in spring because of the low risk of frost while starting green beans indoors, as green beans are sensitive to frost. However, both types require a temperature between 50 to 85 Fahrenheit ( 10 to 18.33 Celsius) degrees.
Plant the seeds of your green beans in midsummer. The temperature of the soil is ideal for them, which is 50 to 60 Fahrenheit. Since green beans are tender to frost, they should not be planted in the winter.
Although they may be warmth-loving, too much hot temperature may hamper the germination process of green beans. The soil temperature should not increase by more than 80 Fahrenheit.
Before starting green beans indoors, make sure:
- The soil is well-drained and has full exposure to sunlight.
- The soil must be evenly moist so that germination can go on properly.
- The soil in which green beans are planted must be watered regularly to prevent them from drying out, or else there may be a significant decrease in the yield.
The table below shows the best time to plant and harvest green beans.
Timeline for Successfully Planting and Harvesting Green Beans
How to Choose and Prepare Green Bean Planting Site?
- Choose a site within your garden where you didn’t grow beans the previous year.
- Choose a well-draining soil with normal fertility. Beans don’t typically need supplemental fertilizer because they fix their own nitrogen in the ground.
- If your soil is poor soil, try adding aged manure or compost in the fall before planting.
- Also, beans grow better in a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH (6.0–6.8).
- Set up some supports for pole beans before planting.
How to Start Green Beans Indoor?
How to start green beans indoors depends on the money and space that you have. Although it is possible to grow both the bushes and vine variety of green beans indoors, both have their own set of challenges and require effort.
As a gardener, you must first select a good-sized container, as they grow best in large containers. The container must be 20 cm deep and narrow for an efficient growth process. The container should be filled with a potting mixture that is enriched with nutrients and organic compounds.
It is unlikely for green beans to need additional fertilizer. However, if you feel the need to fertilize them, then make sure to do it before watering them. Keep in mind to not water the leaves while watering the green beans, as this will prevent infestation.
The vines of green beans would require extra space to crawl. They will need extra sunlight exposure to grow properly, which may not be possible if you have a limited space allocated for indoor gardening. However, starting green beans indoors with the bush varieties will require limited space in containers, and they are much easier to handle.
You can directly sow the green beans in the potting mixture. The soil should be at least 2 or 3 cm deep for the seeds to be sown properly and start germinating.
- The process of germination starts almost after a week of sowing.
- Keep the plants near windows or glass ceilings, so they receive an adequate amount of sunlight.
How To Care for Green Beans Plants?
In addition, here are a few tips before starting green beans indoors to prevent bugs from destroying your plants.
1- Remove Weed
Before planting the green beans, make sure to remove all the weed that is around the soil. Weed can provide shelter to cutworms and other pests. From weed, they may travel to your plants and destroy them.
Also, beans have shallow roots. Be careful and do not hoe deeply.
If possible, perform a soil test before planting green beans to ensure the soil fertility and pH are optimum for maximum yield. pH level is about 6.0 to 7.0 for beans.
Start by putting pole bean supports in place at planting time. You can make a simple trellis of six-foot stakes and twine or set up a teepee of bamboo poles or long branches.
And then, plant your green bean seeds in a row in front of the trellis or circle around a teepee trellis.
3- Beneficial Bugs
Let beneficial bugs such as ladybugs enter your garden. They feed on a lot of pests, such as thrips and aphids.
Plant blooming flowers such as dill and catnip to attract beneficial insects. Also, spray water on the plants for the bugs to use.
4- Spread Mulch
On the soil, spread a thick layer of mulch so that pets can stay away. The layer should be at least 2 inches thick so that the insects may not be able to lay their eggs in the soil.
Mulching can help keep your soil evenly moist and decrease weeds.
5- Remove Damaged Leaves
Remove all the damaged leaves so that the infestation may not spread any further. Look out for the first sign of infestation on young leaves and remove them as soon as possible.
Beans are a legume and do not require extra nitrogen fertilizer.
6- Use Insecticides
Spray insecticides and pesticides on aphids, thrips, or cutworms. Spray the stems and leaves of the green beans with a strong pesticide. Numerous effective insecticides may work out for you. You can prepare them naturally as well. There are organic soap-based sprays available as well. Moreover, neem oil is the most effective insecticide.
However, before starting green beans indoors, it is suggested to avoid all these methods to get rid of the pests when the green beans are blooming, as they may reduce bean yield.
7- Watering Scheduling
Depending on weather conditions, watering beans varies considerably throughout the growing period. However, the peak water demand can be as high as 1.5 to 2 inches per week and generally occurs during the latter stages of enlargement, particularly during periods of warm weather.
Unlike most other crops, green beans do not usually wilt when they experience moisture stress. Because moisture stress is difficult to detect by visual inspection, it is essential to monitor soil moisture by installing electric resistance blocks, tensiometers, C-probes, or other devices in your garden.
Beans Watering Tips
- Keep your soil moist but not soggy, and allow the soil surface to dry up to a half-inch deep between waterings.
- On average, beans will require around 1 inch of water per week.
- Ensure that you keep your beans moist throughout and after bloom to get the best yield and well-shaped pods.
8- Preservation and Storage
You can store beans in a relatively humid and cool place, ideally with temperatures of about 45°F. Beans can tolerate a few days in the refrigerator but will develop water-soaked spots or browning if you keep them longer.
The average yield for beans is about 3 to 4 pounds per 10-foot row.
Check out the video to find out the ways to safely home preserving green beans.
Here is all the essential information you need before starting green beans indoors. Below is everything you need to know and remember before starting green beans indoors:
- Remove Weed
- Beneficial Bugs
- Spread Mulch
- Remove Damaged Leaves
- Use Insecticides
- Watering Scheduling
- Preservation and Storage