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Growing Beans - dwarf, also French beans, Bush beans

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P                 P P P

(Best months for growing Beans - dwarf in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 61°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 2 - 6 inches apart
  • Harvest in 7-10 weeks. Pick often to encourage more flower production.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweetcorn, spinach, lettuce, summer savory, dill, carrots, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers, tagates minuta (wild marigold)
  • Avoid growing close to: Alliums (Chives, leek, garlic, onions) Sunflower
  • A dwarf bean seedling
    A dwarf bean seedling
  • Bush/Dwarf beans
    Bush/Dwarf beans

Traditionally sown in rows, dwarf beans also grow well 'broadcast' or scattered over an area. Just scatter the seed (don't worry about the odd ones which are close up). Cover with soil, potting mix, or compost and firm down with the back of a spade or rake. Grown this way the beans will mostly shade out competing weeds and 'self-mulch'.

Keep watered and watch for shield bugs and green caterpillars Pick the beans regularly to encourage new flowers. Flowering will slow right down if you let the beans get too large (hard and stringy) on the plants. For a continuous crop, plant more seed as soon as the previous planting starts to flower. Protect against snails and slugs - they will completely destroy newly sprouted beans, and will eat the leaves off grown plants.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beans - dwarf

Can be used in salads when young, blanched and cooled.
Will freeze well.

Your comments and tips

09 Oct 17, Maryann (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Why can't you plant dwarf beans by sunflowers?
19 Oct 17, Robyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there, I'm not sure if this answer helps but I have not long come back from spending the summer in Indianapolis with a friend. We canned ( bottled) lots of veges, she had three large pickings of her dwarf beans..and she had her sunflowers growing close to them.
06 Apr 17, carol o'shea (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have done several plantings of dwarf beans this past summer - green, yellow and purple varieties. The returns have been poor to say the least - perhaps 6 beans per plant if I am lucky. What am I doing wrong, if anything? It has been my first season of gardening in Tauranga and I'm told the weather has been somewhat abnormal but even so I would expect better than this. They have been grown both in the open ground, in varying situations and in planter troughs, also in differing locations, i.e. facing in different directions. Any help would be appreciated.
11 Apr 17, Nik (New Zealand - temperate climate)
dont worry it wasnt you this has been the worst growing season I have ever had cold wet spring followed by cold wet spring followed by cold wet summer means plants took ages to get going or died off (happened twice!!) and then I had to start again this applied to everything except I got 8 large pumpkins instead of 1 the year before I live in "sunny" nelson so the rest of NZ had no hope !!! Consider this your 1 in 10 year disaster year also consider planting one of each in a corner somewhere and saving the pods ( pick them when dry and brown and dry) for next years seed, the different colours of bean should grow equally well though you can also get purple and yellow climbing beans but yellow is a bit miserable compared to bush yellow plants good luck
25 Feb 17, Prakash Chandra (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Which is the last month for planting snake beans in nz sub-tropical.
28 Dec 10, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Bean disaster!! Someone forgot to close the gate in the "hare proof" fence and where we had three rows of dwarf beans with their first proper leaves - we now have three rows of stems only :(
16 Feb 10, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Rikkyurk, Water the ground well before sowing the beans, then you can leave them for a few days to germinate. But if the weather is very hot and dry, it might help to water after a day. Have you tried a different variety? Some seem easier than others.
27 Oct 09, Liz (sent in by David) (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Dani, check www.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/beans.htm for mineral deficiencies. Are you using compost or chicken manure which hasn't completely matured? That can cause nitrogen deficiency and yellow leaves.
04 Mar 09, bob kamp (New Zealand - temperate climate)
what is the best soil to use.

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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