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Learning how to grow beans from seed can be simple, fun, and a great activity for kids. Growing beans from seed can be easy, and with a little bit of guidance, it’s a great crop for a beginner gardener!
What You Need to Know to Grow Beans from Seed
Beans are considered large seeds, and they germinate very quickly and easily under ideal conditions. Like all seeds, beans require moisture to germinate. Because they are large seeds with thick seed coats, ample moisture is required to allow them to germinate. If at any point, the soil dries out during germination, the seeds will fail to thrive. That is why keeping your soil moist is a key lesson in learning how to grow beans from seed.
Temperature is another important factor when considering how to grow beans from seed. Beans are a warm-season crop, and as such, they enjoy warm temperatures to germinate quickly and evenly. Although many sources recommend a soil temperature range of 70-80 degrees for germinating bean seeds, 60 degrees and warmer will provide ample warmth for germination. The warmer the temperature, the quicker the germination of the seed will be until you get excessively hot temperatures over 90 degrees. You can easily direct sow your seeds in well-worked garden soil after the threat of frost is gone in the spring, and soil temperatures register over 60 degrees. As mentioned above, keeping the soil moist is essential for learning how to grow beans from seeds.
Direct Sowing Versus Transplanting
How you plant your bean seeds depends on your gardening situation and timeline. You can easily direct sow beans in the garden with great success if the soil is above 60 degrees and is kept moist throughout the germination period. Contrary to popular belief, bean seeds can easily be transplanted in the garden if needed for time, space, or weather events. It is rarely necessary for Zones 9 and 10 since our growing seasons are so long, and the weather is often favorable to direct sowing.
Caring for Bean Plants
Bean plants are not fussy; they can be grown with little care and will provide you with more beans than you probably can eat! The biggest factor when growing beans from seed is making sure they have full 8 hours or more of sunlight. Another important factor is to make sure they are watered at the base of the plant.
Beans are a warm-season plant and require long hours of daylight to produce a bountiful harvest of beans. By planting them in an area of your garden where they get the maximum hours of sunlight, they will be more productive and happier. We know that this can seem counterintuitive in hot regions. Because the weather can be so hot during the summer in Zones 9 and 10, the soil should be well-prepped. Adding compost, manure, and mulch to the soil helps your bean plants survive the hot temperatures.
We recommend mulching heavily around your bean plants to conserve moisture in the soil and prevent them from wilting. If the soil is healthy and deep enough, the bean plant will be able to thrive in the long days of sunlight. In inland and desert areas where temperatures are excessively hot, use shade cloth to protect your plants from the scorching heat.
Harvesting Your Beans
Whether growing pole beans or bush beans, the more you harvest, the more beans you will get! Harvesting beans when they are young and tender is best for fresh bean recipes. Allowing the beans to mature on the plant can leave you with dried beans. You can soak mature beans in water and cook them for chili or other dry bean recipes.
With these few pro-tips, you now know how to grow beans from seed! It’s easy, fun, and so rewarding!