How many beans to fill bean bags

Planting Beans: Instructions for Growing Beans

Beans are a reliable source of many nutrients. We'll show you how you can plant healthy beans in your own garden.

Bush and runner beans can be grown in the garden. The French bean is significantly smaller than the runner bean and is therefore particularly popular in small gardens. The runner bean is far more demanding than the French bean: it needs a lot of warmth, a lot of space and a good soil. On the other hand, runner beans are more productive than their little relatives.


When and how do you plant beans?

Both varieties of Phaseolus vulgaris, i.e. both French and runner beans, should only be sown when the earth has warmed up enough and no more frost is to be expected. The middle of May is usually a good time to sow. In order to be able to harvest over a longer period of time, French bean seeds can be planted at several times, for example, each time offset by 14 days. Overall, sowing is recommended until mid-June. Then there is a risk that the seedlings will dry out easily. The harvest time of runner beans is a little longer, which is why the staggered laying of the bean kernels is not absolutely necessary.

Beans like light, humus rich soil and a sunny, sheltered location. In partial shade, French beans grow even better than runner beans. Before sowing, the soil is loosened well and some compost is worked in flat. The bean seeds are sown 3 cm deep and at a distance of 15 cm from the next seed in the row. There should be 40 cm of space between the rows. Often not all beans germinate, which is why two beans can always be planted next to each other to be on the safe side. If both germinate, the weaker seedling can be pulled out and, if necessary, moved or disposed of on the compost.

Good neighbors for beans are cucumbers, cabbage vegetables, salads and celery. Savory and nasturtiums can protect plants. Leek plants like all types of onions and of course leeks as well as garlic and peas should not grow next to beans.

Tip: Beans take a long time to reach their full size. Sow radishes next to the future planting sites for the beans a few weeks before planting the beans. These use the freestanding space and can be harvested before the beans take over the entire location.

The name suggests that runner beans need a climbing aid. This can be made of wood, aluminum, wire or other materials. For the best possible yield, each plant needs its own pole. If you want to grow two rows, two poles can always be leaned against each other and tied together. These and other ways of leaning the poles against each other sometimes cast shadows on the plants and are therefore only beneficial in some gardens. So that the bean plant can develop well, the seedlings must have enough water available.

When and how do you plant beans?

  • Bean seeds are usually sown or placed about 3 cm deep in the ground
  • The time to sow is from around mid-May, when frost is no longer expected
  • Protect seedlings from snails and drought (water in the morning)
  • French beans are less complicated, but they have a shorter harvest period and are less productive
  • Sunny to partially shaded locations, ideally sheltered from the wind, are preferred by beans
  • Beans grow well alongside savory, cucumber, cabbage vegetables, salads, and celery
  • They don't like leeks, garlic, onions and peas around them
Floragard organic soil delicious

Plant beans in the pot and on the balcony

Beans have a soil-improving value because like all legumes they fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil. Actually, it is not the beans that do this, but so-called nodule bacteria that live in symbiosis with the beans. These bacteria get sugar from the beans and provide nitrogen in return. If the roots and the plant matter remain on the bed after the bean harvest, this ensures nitrogen enrichment in the soil after they have decomposed. In order to take advantage of this positive effect, it is advisable for bed owners to plant beans in the bed. If you don't have a bed, you can also sow beans there if the planters are large enough. Runner beans can make good use of the vertical space on balconies and even look great.

Caring for beans: watering and fertilizing

Watering is particularly important for the seedlings. Apart from that, more developed plants are also to be protected from drought in dry periods. Unfortunately, bean sprouts are often eaten by snails. Watering them in the morning can help save them from snail deaths at night.

When planting, you should make sure that the soil is enriched with sufficient nutrients. In a location with poor soil, you can enrich the soil with ripe compost or a fertilizer with long-term organic effects before planting. With our Plantura organic tomato fertilizer, you create optimal conditions for your beans to grow right from the start. This not only has a positive and gentle effect on beans of all kinds, but also on the soil and the animals in your garden.

You can find detailed instructions for fertilizing beans here

Plantura organic tomato fertilizer

Types and varieties of beans: A wide variety

When choosing the type and variety of beans, it is easy to lose track of the variety. Due to the growth characteristics, the varieties of the common bean, the Phaseolus vulgaris, are divided into bush and pole bean varieties. Usually their pods are greenish, but there are both French and runner beans with yellow pods. This type of bean is also called a wax bean. In addition, there are special bush and runner beans varieties, of which the entire pods are not prepared and consumed as usual, but only the bean kernels are harvested. These beans stay in the bed much longer, after all, the bean seeds have to ripen completely.

Typical varieties for using the bean kernels are, for example, 'Borlotto' or 'Canadian Wonder' (these are the typical red kidney beans). To make things a little more complicated, there are also the firebeans and broad beans. Both have meatier pods that are only eaten when harvested very young. If you wait longer, you can harvest milk-ripe bean kernels or ripe, dry bean kernels from these types of beans. Firebeans ('white giants', 'prize winners') are particularly suitable for cooler, damp locations. A large selection of green and yellow French and runner beans as well as broad bean varieties can be found here.

Harvesting beans: the right harvest time

The main harvest time for beans is in July and August. If the beans were planted later (possible until the beginning of July), they can be harvested until October. Runner beans have a slightly longer harvest time compared to French beans.

Break a bean in half: if it breaks well and you get a smooth break, the beans are likely ready to be harvested. Most of the time, the beans are not yet clearly visible on the pod at this point. The bean seeds inside the pod should not be larger than 1 cm. The younger the pods are harvested, the more tender the beans are. If you want to harvest bean kernels, you of course have to wait for the bean seeds to ripen (milk). You can find more tips on harvesting and preserving beans here.

Store beans and preserve them

There are different ways to preserve and preserve beans. We'll introduce you to a few.

Freeze beans

The most vitamin-friendly way to preserve beans is to freeze them. Contrary to what is often claimed, beans don't necessarily need to be blanched before freezing. Beans are washed and the ends cut off before freezing. If the beans are to be used later for a stew, for example, they can also be cut into smaller pieces before freezing.

Reduce the beans

Beans, like many other vegetables, are traditionally cooked in glasses with vinegar and sugar. This type of preservation has the advantage that when the jars are opened later, ready-to-eat beans can be served, for example as an accompaniment to dinner. The downside to canning, however, is that vitamins and flavor are lost.

Another way to preserve green beans for a shorter period of time is to pickle them. A recipe for pickling beans can be found here.

Dry beans

If you want to harvest grain beans (the varieties 'Borlotti' and 'Canadian Wonder' are well suited for this), you should let the beans ripen completely and let them dry for as long as possible in dry weather. To make sure that the beans are completely dry and have a long shelf life, they are spread out in a dry place (for example on newspaper) for at least two weeks after the harvest. Cans or glasses are best for storage.

Are you having problems with aphids on your beans? The black bean louse in particular can often be found on the plants. We'll show you how to successfully fight the pest.

Receive our garden mail

Register now for our free gardening post and receive great gardening tips and inspiration regularly in your email inbox.


I study crop science and have always enjoyed gardening, even if my first attempts as a small child tended to be unsuccessful. With the expertise from my studies, I can now do almost anything - I find topics such as mixed culture, raised beds and composting particularly exciting.
Favorite fruits: cherries, plums and pears
Favorite vegetables: broccoli, Swiss chard and peas