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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 = Plant in the garden.

  • 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

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
01 Apr 17, Lynne Jones (Australia - temperate climate)
Growing Beans - over winter do not cover the soil with leaf matter where you are planning on growing your beans, this will encourage a breeding area for weevils, flea beetle, snails and slugs. Put out Yellow Sticky Traps at end or winter (late August) in the garden bed on a stick or on the fence close by to trap mite, thrip etc. Use potash & blood & bone in the bed prior to planting, check the pH if not done for 12 months. If you have a sandy soil use Dolomite for the magnesium. When plants have begun to flower use a side dressing of liquid manure or blood and bone to increase size of your crop. after 2 months put out fresh Yellow Sticky Traps. Water in the mornings.
25 Feb 17, Prakash Chandra (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Which is the last month for planting snake beans in nz sub-tropical.
06 Nov 16, Lynnette (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My dwarf banjo bean seedlings look like cucumber plants with roughish leaves is this correct. They don't look like what I thought beans should look like thank you
05 Nov 16, Barbara Hayes (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
This is the first time I have grown dwarf beans, they have started to die, they are going brown, then disappearing, I'm not sure if they are being eaten, I fed them when I planted them, & have get them watered, they are planted in a bed with beetroot, what can I do to save the rest of them With kind regards Barb Hayes
29 Sep 16, Lynne (Australia - temperate climate)
My newly planted bush beans are being eaten by something I put pet friendly snail bait what do I do please. ?
30 Sep 16, Jim (Australia - temperate climate)
I have same problem and it was earwigs.Look for them at night.
23 Sep 16, Peter Oberthur (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What bush beans should I plant that will not get destroyed by bean fly/bug. Generally my beans get to the flowering stage then the stem is attacked and they all fall over - dead. I live in Brisbane.
19 May 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have the same problem - plant March April and they grow really good then the stem is eaten and they fall over shrivel up and die. I have read to put Boron in the soil. I also read to grow them in the spring. I also read to put toilet roll cardboard centers over the plant into the soil to stop snails etc. When I first moved into this house 18 years ago in late September I planted beans and had a fantastic crop. I'm waiting until late winter to plant and I'm putting some trace elements in my soil - contains some boron. Will see how that goes.
Showing 1 - 10 of 93 comments

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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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