How to Grow French Beans

Learn how to grow French beans — plus climbing runner beans — to create a productive vegetable addition to your garden.

| February 2013

  • Grow beans
    Add climbing French or running beans to your garden.
    Photo Courtesy DK
  • How to Grow Practically Everything
    “How to Grow Practically Everything” employs a user-friendly "recipe" formula free from intimidating jargon, covers different areas and types of gardens — from patios and terraces to beds and borders — and explores all the gardening basics, from identifying your soil to planting tips and pruning.
    Cover Courtesy DK
  • Prepare a trench
    Dig out a trench to at least one spade’s depth and fill the base with a deep layer of compost or farmyard manure. This will give your beans the energy they need. Then, use long garden canes to create a sturdy climbing frame to support them all summer.
    Photo Courtesy DK
  • Tie stems
    Plant one seedling at the base of each cane and tie the stem to it, until it takes hold by itself. You can also sow bean seeds directly into the soil in the late spring, after the frosts. If you do, plant two seeds per cane in case one fails to grow. If both come up, weed out the weakest.
    Photo Courtesy DK
  • Beans
    Beans are thirsty, so water them often, especially when they start flowering. If the plants are too dry, the blooms will drop off and you will lose the crop. Harvest the pods when they are young and tender, before you can see the beans swelling inside.
    Photo Courtesy DK
  • Sow bean seeds in pots
    French and runner beans are sensitive to frost, so sow them inside, one to each pot. Set the pots on a tray in a warm, sunny spot, and water the seedlings regularly; do not let them dry out. Plant them outdoors once all the risk of frost has passed.
    Photo Courtesy DK

  • Grow beans
  • How to Grow Practically Everything
  • Prepare a trench
  • Tie stems
  • Beans
  • Sow bean seeds in pots

Packed with hundreds of gardening projects, from planting herbs in pots to creating a vegetable garden to feed the family, How to Grow Practically Everything (DK, 2010) gives complete beginners the confidence and know-how to grow almost anything. Each project is a complete package, with step-by-step photographic details and sumptuous end shots to ensure great results. In this excerpt, learn how to grow climbing beans — great, productive vegetable plants to add to your garden. 

You can buy this book from the GRIT store: How to Grow Practically Everything. 

More from How to Grow Practically Everything

How to Plant a Tree
How to Take Care of Your Lawn
How to Compost  

Climbing French beans and runner beans are among the most productive vegetable plants in the garden, but you do have to treat them well to get the best crops. They are easy to care for once planted out and established, but the key to success is to nourish the soil well before planting time.



When to start: Spring

At their best: Summer






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February 16-17, 2019
Belton, TX

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE