Many people feel that pole beans have a richer bean flavour than bush beans. The effort of trellising them is more than repaid by the ease of picking and their extended, abundant harvest. Pole beans are a good choice for small gardens because they use vertical space. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Pole Beans Guide  and grow food.

Latin
Phaseolus vulgaris
Family: Fabaceae

Difficulty
Easy

We Recommend: Fortex (BN132). If you haven’t tried Fortex, we think you should. The elegant beans are long and narrow, and very tender with fabulous flavour.
For Urban Growers: Matilda (BN134). If your space is limited, grow up! Trellis these tall plants and enjoy lots of straight beans from productive plants.

Season & Zone
Season: Warm Season
Exposure: Full-sun
Zone: All zones

Timing
Direct sow from mid-May to the beginning of July. Try to plant during a warm, dry spell. Soil must be warm – if it is not warm enough, seeds will rot, especially our untreated seeds. Optimal soil temperature: 21-32°C (70-90°F).

Starting
Seeds can be started indoors, or sowed directly. Set seeds 7-10cm (3-4″) apart and 3.5cm (1½”) deep at the base of a support. Plants will climb by twining around almost anything. Try rough poles, lumber, re-bar, or build a strong trellis 2-2.5m (6-8′) tall. Seeds will sprout in 8-16 days, depending on soil conditions.

Growing
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.5. Well drained, warm soil in full sun is best. Use 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer for every wm (10′) of row. Too much nitrogen fertilizer is often the cause of poor pod set and delayed maturity. If beans flower but do not set pods, the cause can be zinc deficiency. Try spraying the plants with kelp based fertilizer. Wet leaves on crowded plants are subject to diseases. Thin plants to increase air circulation and avoid touching the leaves while they are wet.

Harvest
Because pole beans are always climbing, there are always beans at different stages of maturity. It is important to keep picking regularly so the plant does not fully mature seeds and stop producing new pods. If pods get fat with seed, the plant will stop flowering. The smaller the bean, the more tender they are.

Seed Info
In optimal conditions a tleast 75% of seeds should germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100′ row: 400 seeds. Per acre: 43.5M seeds.

Diseases & Pests
If beans flower but do not set pods, the cause can be a zinc deficiency. Try spraying the plants with Kelpman. Wet leaves on crowded plants are subject to diseases. Thin plants to increase air circulation and try not to touch the plants while they are wet.

Companion Planting
Beans fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant with Brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, and strawberries. Avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks, and onions. Pole beans and beets stunt each other’s growth.

More on Companion Planting.

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