How to Grow Bean Plants

Green ones, yellow ones, purple ones — who knew there was magic in a bucket of beans? Learn how to grow bean plants in your home garden with this step-by-step guide.
Dwarf French Beans Yield Bumper Crop

Dwarf French Beans Yield Bumper Crop

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - Ready Set Grow

The magic of growing beans is the sparkling assortment of colors, shapes and sizes of bean variety just waiting for you to grow. For this example, we will use dwarf French bean seeds, which grow more quickly than other beans. Choose a sunny place that is sheltered from the wind. Use rich, well-drained potting soil. Dwarf beans grow 20 in (50 cm) high. The seeds germinate in 7-10 days, and the beans are ready to pick in 10 weeks.

Materials Needed:

  • black bucket
  • foil food containers
  • kid-safe scissors
  • dwarf French bean seeds, different varieties
  • small jar
  • potting soil
  • plastic bag
  • glue
  • glitter
  • empty plastic bottles
  • plant stakes
  • cotton string
  • tape
  • broken eggshells and seashells (optional)

1. Decorate a black bucket.

Cut stars out from foil food containers and stick them to the bucket with any strong, quick-drying glue that is suitable for plastic.

Starry, Starry Bucket

Starry, Starry Bucket

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Buy your bean seeds.

Choose a few varieties of dwarf French bean seeds to produce different colored beans. We used dwarf green, purple king and yellow rocquencourt beans.

Dwarf French Bean Seeds

Dwarf French Bean Seeds

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

3. Soak the beans overnight to encourage germination.

After soaking, the seeds will have begun to swell.

Overnight Soaking of Beans to Promote Germination

Overnight Soaking of Beans to Promote Germination

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

4. Make room for the bean seeds.

Make a few 2-inch-deep holes spaced equally around the soil-filled bucket, and put a soaked bean into each hole. Fill the hole with soil and cover with a bag.

Create Holes in Soil to Plant Bean Seeds

Create Holes in Soil to Plant Bean Seeds

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Spread glue on the bucket's lip.

Cover it with glitter to keep slugs away from the seedlings. For extra protection, sprinkle glitter, broken eggshells or crushed seashells on the soil. Put newspaper underneath the bucket to catch any spilt glitter.

Glitter Helps Deter Garden Pests

Glitter Helps Deter Garden Pests

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

6. Watch for seedlings.

When they appear, cut both ends off some plastic bottles and use them to protect each one from slugs. Keep the plants well watered as they grow.

Plants in Plastic Containers

Plants in Plastic Containers

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

7. Secure your plants.

Tie the plant stems to plant stakes or twiggy branches to stop them from falling over. Use a figure-eight loop so the stems don’t rub against the supports. Keep well watered.

Secure Young Plant Stems to Stakes for Strength

Secure Young Plant Stems to Stakes for Strength

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

8. Check under the leaves for aphids (also known as plant lice).

Remove them by wrapping tape around your fingers (sticky side out) and rubbing them off, or spraying them with water to knock them off.

Remove Aphids With Masking Tape

Remove Aphids With Masking Tape

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

9. Pick the beans.

Wait until they're about 4 inches (10 cm) long, before they mature and become too tough to eat. This also encourages more to grow.

To get seeds for next year, leave one or two beans to over-mature before picking. Then let them dry out and split.

Pick Mature Beans to Encourage Growth

Pick Mature Beans to Encourage Growth

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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