How To Plant Green Bean Seeds

These pole green beans are growing in the shallow end of the pool up a 10′ makeshift wooden trellis. After that we ran them sideways about another 10′ along twine to the porch roof. It made a green bean arbor and plenty of green beans come harvest time.

It’s important to remember at planting that pole green beans require some sort of support to climb while they grow, bush beans do not.

Should I Soak Green Bean Seeds Before Planting?

It is not necessary to soak green bean seeds before planting. The point of soaking seeds before planting is to increase germination rates and speed up germination.

The main factors that will affect germination are soil temperatures and moisture availability. If you’re worried about the viability of seeds you can easily sprout them with the paper towel method.

It’s a popular method and there are videos and better descriptions out there but basically you keep the seeds wrapped in moist paper towels in a ziploc bag in a warm area and the seeds should sprout in 2-3 days. The seeds can still be planted this way.

Bean seeds should be planted when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees or higher. The optimum soil temperature for green bean seed germination is 80 degrees.

Soil temperatures can me measured with a soil thermometer. The cheap ones are basically meat thermometers that read down to lower temperatures.

Knowing the soil temperatures along with the last frost date is the best way of knowing when to plant different seeds directly in the garden. With warm weather crops planted later in the season the last frost date becomes irrelevant because all chance of frost has already passed.

That’s soil temperature, now lets talk moisture.

Should I Water Green Bean Seeds After Planting?

You should water green bean seeds after planting them and before they sprout. Moisture is essential for germination. It activates catalysts within the seed that create the germination process.

Moisture also weakens the seeds shell and combines with proteins and starches present inside the seed to form a soluble that will supply the small plant embryo with nutrition.

Watering right after planting gives seeds the moisture they need to germinate and helps set them in place where they were planted.

Continue to water the seeds where they are planted until the plants sprout, and after! However, do not leave the seeds in a puddle of water. Wait until the soil has mostly dried out and then water again. It doesn’t need to be bone dry to water again just mostly dried out.

How To Plant Green Bean Seeds in a Starter Tray

Plant green bean seeds 1/2″ deep in starter trays. Make a hole with a pen or other such tool and drop the seeds in. Make sure the seeds are covered and water gently from the bottom.

To water a starter tray from the bottom fill the bottom of the tray or other container with about 1/4″ of water. Put the starter pots or tray inside the flat tray with water and wait about 30-45 minutes.

Check on the pots or tray by feeling the top of the soil mix. If it feels moist water has wicked it’s way up through the soil and you can pitch the rest of the water in the bottom of the container.

Lifting the tray and feeling its weight is a good way to know when to water again.

How To Plant Green Bean Seeds in a Pot

Give green bean plants at least 3 gallons of dirt per plant. Use containers that are at least 12″ deep and if you’re using something from around the house make sure to make holes for good drainage at the bottom.

Plant seeds 1″ deep with 6″ of space in between them. If you’re using a 10 gallon container plant 2-3 green bean plants. You can plant in shapes for easy spacing: a triangle, diamond, pentagon, hexagon.

How To Plant Green Bean Seeds in a Raised Bed or Garden Plot

The appropriate spacing for green beans according to most seed distributors is every 4″ in a row for bush beans and every 6″ in a row for pole beans with seeds planted 1″ deep.

Bush beans are planted in rows 2-3 feet apart and the distance between rows of pole beans is similar but depends on the trellis system that a grower will use.

These are two different green bean commercial grows with pole beans on the left and bush beans on the right. Bush beans are more commonly used as processed beans for canning or frozen beans.

Common practice is to plant green bean seeds closer, every 2″ for bush beans and every 3″ for pole beans, and then to thin down to the desired spacing when plants reach about 4″ tall.

To thin down plants pick plants that are too close together or plants with poor growth and shear them off right above soil level.

It’s good gardening practice to shear the plants and not pull them out to avoid disturbing the roots of the plants you want to leave.

To plant the seeds take a tool or a stick and make a straight line in the dirt. For pole beans use make a hole 1 inch deep every three inches. For bush beans make a hole 1 inch deep every two inches.

Put the bean seed in the hole, cover with dirt and tamp down lightly. If you’re growing pole green beans you’re going to need to have some support in place. If you set up the support before planting you’ll be sure and not disturb the roots.

To learn more about how far apart to plant green beans and about adding a nitrogen fixing aid when planting legumes check out “How Far Apart to Plant Green Beans“.

Please comment below with your own thoughts on planting green bean seeds.

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