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
  • 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

23 Apr 22, Chris (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Why can’t bush beans be planted near sunflowers?
26 Apr 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5b climate)
The flowers would shade the beans too much.
26 Mar 22, Annette (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I am interested in planting my bush beans in a 3ft tall 5ft wide planter. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you
29 Mar 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 4a climate)
Plant in rows. Plant and water well then don't water for 3-4 days. Then lightly. Leave until they germinate.
20 Dec 21, Cheryl (Australia - temperate climate)
When you say "Avoid planting close to....", what minimum distance should be kept from these plants? A few metres or something else?
31 Dec 21, FaithCeleste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
When and if you plant your beans too closely together (or if you plant in the shade) - they will REACH for the light, becoming very leggy. Planting too close together stops the light from hitting the sides of the plant (plants in the middle are effectively in the shade with exception to the top portion), only the top portion of the plant gets sunlight and therefore the plant reaches that way.... "up". You could, if you were planting only one row provided the row ran N/S plant closely together because 2 sides get full sun (if rows run W/E the plants in the same row tend to shade each other -- plant large plants on the North side of rows that run N/S; this is Northern Hemisphere). That's why spacing is usually given as, between plants (within a row that runs N/S) and then the distance between rows (running W/E). Of course if you are planting on a steep slope, than run your rows parallel to the slope as a general rule of thumb This is the above ground portion of plant spacing. There is also the below ground portion of plant spacing: roots, water and nutrition. If you were to just look at the root (and ignore for a moment the above ground portion): tap rooted plants can be planted closer together than fibrous root plants, because the tap root goes DOWN, and fibrous spreads out and down. Companion planting takes root and sunlight requirements into account: for example: you can plant carrots AROUND a tomato plant ; because carrots don't need much light (and the tomato does), and carrots being a tap root don't interfere with the fibrous roots of the tomato plant, which just go around the carrot. Mind you when you pull the carrot you do disrupt the tomato a little; but not so much that I would be concerned. You can get more vegetables in a smaller space when you learn which plants can work as "understory" plants to others. When it comes to plant nutrition; spacing ensure there is enough soil to source the appropriate vitamins and minerals a plant requires. When planting tightly; or using companion planting you need to take into account that you are planting tighter than the recommended spacing and therefore increase the nutrition (manure/compost) in areas where tight planting is happening.
28 Dec 21, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
Don't overthink it just plant away. You can space them out but no harm if they grow closer together.
21 Dec 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Different garden beds or a few meters should be good enough.
27 Sep 21, Selina (Australia - temperate climate)
Why are my dwarf beans leaves yellowing? They’re planted with cherry toms and spring onions so it gets lots of water so I’m thinking it is that. Am I able to transplant them into pots? They’ve got flowers but no beans as yet.
28 Sep 21, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I just googled it - overwatering. Tomatoes need a good deep watering 2-3 times a week. Give a light fertilising and cut the watering back to 3 times a week.
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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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