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Growing Beans in the Garden

5 Tips for How to Grow Beans

Beans are a warm-season legume grown for the tender pods. Growing beans in the garden is simple. They are prolific and easy to grow. With so many varieties available, beans are a staple in most gardens. Learn how to grow beans and add them to your garden. Keep reading for extra tips if you are growing beans in the low desert of Arizona.

1. Understand the different types of beans:

Bush beans grow lower to the ground and yield one larger crop all at once followed by a smaller harvest a couple weeks later. Planting bush beans every two weeks will ensure a continuous supply. Try varieties like dragon tongue and gold rush which are not readily available in supermarkets.

Easy to grow vegetable beans
Bush beans in a raised bed

Pole beans are grown on a trellis, and one planting provides a steady yield all season long. Look for stringless varieties like Kentucky wonder and rattlesnake.

Pole beans climbing trellis
Kentucky wonder pole beans climbing a trellis

Yardlong beans tolerate heat and humidity better than snap bean varieties. Try varieties such as asparagus beansnake beans or Chinese long bean. These are very fun to grow, kids love seeing how long the beans get in the garden. Yard beans require warmer growing conditions than pole and bush beans and have different planting dates.

Asparagus beans
Asparagus beans
How to Grow Asparagus Beans - 5 Tips for Growing Yardlong Beans

This article shares more information about how and when to grow asparagus beans.

2. Learn how to plant beans correctly

  • Bean seeds do best when sown directly into the soil.
  • Plant seeds 1 inch deep, and space them 2 inches apart.
  • Growing beans should sprout in 5 to 10 days.
  • Like many other garden plants, beans need plenty of sun to grow properly.
  • Keep soil moist and well-drained for happy beans.

3. Plant beans at the right time

Beans need warm soil to sprout and grow well. Begin planting in the spring after last spring frost. Seeds will germinate more quickly in soil temperatures of 70°F – 90°F (21°C – 32°C). Succession plant bean seeds every two weeks throughout the growing season for a fresh supply of beans all season long.

When to plant beans in Arizona

  • Plant snap beans (bush and pole type) from March 15 through April and again from August through September
  • Lima beans can be planted from March 15 through April and July- August.
  • Plant yardlong beans from March 15 through July.
  • Pinto and tepary beans can be planted in March and with the monsoons in July – August.

4. Plant companion plants for beans

Good companion plants for growing beans include carrotscauliflower, marigolds, corn and celery.

Of special note: Beans planted near any member of the garlic or onion family may inhibit the growth of both.

Beans as a companion plant for corn

5. Harvest beans at the right time

Harvest beans when the pods are firm and about the diameter of a pencil. Pick beans when young for best flavor. Harvest beans often to encourage production. As beans mature they lose flavor and the pods begin to bulge with seeds, this signals to the plant to stop producing.

Most beans do not store well; once picked, use them as soon as possible. Store in the fridge if not using them right away. Beans are delicious raw (when picked young) or cooked. Beans are high in vitamins A, B and C, as well as calcium and iron.

Kentucky Pole Bean Harvest

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Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Do runner beans grow in the low desert?

Angela Judd

Friday 27th of May 2022

I have not had good luck with them.

Martin Harter Slusser

Friday 4th of October 2019

Yori Cahui yardlong finally decided to bloom. this is a first. Usually they're in bloom most of the summer (Zone 9 A, San Pedro valley) despite harsh winds. This year was odd, tho, and most didn't start to vine till after the first monsoon rain. White Tepary are giving a lot of dry beans now, and starting to bloom again. Just planted the bush beans, and tomorrow will try, again, to get scarlet runners to produce. They like the cool weather, and seem to thrive in it, but if frosts are too hard, erk. Some frost, no problem and many of the roots resprout in late spring.


Monday 19th of August 2019

Hi Angela,

I planted bush beans couple months ago. They started growing to about 3-4 inches tall and then started dying. Is it a watering issue? I'm on a drip system, 1gph drip line. How deep does my soil need to be (if it is a drainage issue). It's been two years like this, it's frustrating. I tried growing them in different area of the garden, same issue. Thank you for your advice.

Angela Judd

Monday 19th of August 2019

Where are you located? It may be a timing issue. Here in the low desert, we have an early spring planting of beans and a fall planting, but summer's heat is too much for them.