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15 Best Green Bean Varieties to Grow at Home (with Pictures)

Green beans

Green beans are a popular vegetable to grow in home gardens. These warm weather crops are easy to grow once the last frost has passed. Green beans come in two distinct types and a wide range of varieties.

First, you have pole beans that grow in a vining manner and typically need extra support. Then you have bush beans, which are more compact and grow in a bush-like manner, and are best for compact spaces or raised beds. There are plenty of varieties within these two types, so let us take a look at some of the best varieties to grow in your home garden.

garden flower divider

The 15 Best Green Bean Varieties to Grow at Home

Pole Beans

1. Kentucky Blue

green beans
Image Credit: flockine, Pixabay
Soil Temp for Germination: 60–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 2-4”
Days to Emergence: 6-14 days

Kentucky Blue is a combination of Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake pole beans, and they have the best characteristics of both. The pods reach 8 to 9 inches in length and are straight, smooth, and plump. They have light strings and dark green stems.

The plants get to be 5 to 8 feet and they will bear abundant beans throughout the summer. These are great beans to grow in any garden. Seeds should be planted one inch into the soil and spaced 2 to 4 inches apart. It takes about 6 to 14 days for germination and 60 days for maturity.


2. Kentucky Wonder

green beans
Image Credit: pixel1, Pixabay
Soil Temp for Germination: 60–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 2-4”
Days to Emergence: 8-16 days

The Kentucky Wonder is a dark green heirloom pole bean plant with high yields. These beans first appeared in the mid-1800s and continue to be one of the most popular green bean varieties to this day.

These beans are easy to grow regardless of which part of the country you are in. They do well fresh, frozen, or canned. Seeds should be planted one inch deep in the soil and it will take about 8 to 16 days for germination. They should be harvested when they are young, at about 4 to 5 inches long. If they are allowed to fully mature (about 58 days), they make a better shelling bean.


3. Blue Lake

pole beans
Image Credit: Robinotof, Shutterstock
Soil Temp for Germination: 65–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 2-4”
Days to Emergence: 8-16 days

Blue Lake pole beans produce heavy yields and set pods from the base to the top of the vine. They are stringless, crisp, and reach about 6 inches in length. The plant itself reaches 5.5 to 6 feet and it takes about 63 days to reach full maturity.

These beans have a tender, full-bodied flavor and should be harvested when they are young. To start growing at home, you place the seed about one inch deep in the soil and space them 2 to 4 inches apart. For the best yield, keep picking throughout the season to keep the plant producing.


4. Scarlet Runner

Scarlet Runner
Image Credit: AmazingPixels, Shutterstock
Soil Temp for Germination: 50–80°F
Seed Depth: 2-3”
Seed Spacing: 4-8”
Days to Emergence: 7-14 days

Scarlet Runners are native to the mountains of Mexico and Central America and are one of the oldest cultivated foods in America. They have beautiful, edible, scarlet-colored flowers that attract hummingbirds and bees. This plant is commonly used as an ornamental plant because of its display.

Whether you want Scarlet Runner for the beans or for the looks, they are much more cold-hardy than other varieties. These plants are used to high altitudes and seeds can be germinated anywhere from 50 to 85 degrees. They are to be planted 1 inch deep and about 4 to 6 inches apart. They are typically ready to harvest between 75 and 85 days.


5. Purple King

Purple King Beans
Image Credit: Rachael Holzman, Pexels
Soil Temp for Germination: 65–80°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 4-6”
Days to Emergence: 7-14 days

Purple Kings have very shiny, flat purple pods that reach between 5 and 6 inches. You plant these seeds about one inch deep in the soil and space them apart approximately 4 to 6 inches. Germination takes one to two weeks, and you can expect to harvest between 10 and 12 weeks. To encourage bushier growth of this plant, pinch the tips out. This is a climbing bean that will require support by either a trellis or netting.


6. Fortex

Fortex beans
Image Credit: MikeGoad, Pixabay
Soil Temp for Germination: 70–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 3-4”
Days to Emergence: 4-10 days

The Fortex, also referred to as the French filet bean, can grow to over 10 inches. These round pods can be harvested at any size but will reach full maturity in around 70 days.  They have a delicious nutty flavor and are used in many restaurants. You will need to plant the seeds about 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. You can expect to see them emerge somewhere between 4 to 10 days.


7. Romano

Romano beans
Image Credit: erdemates, Pixabay
Soil Temp for Germination: 65–85°F
Seed Depth: 2”
Seed Spacing: 10”
Days to Emergence: 14-20 days

Romano pole beans are a green bean variety that has been around for a very long time. They are also called Italian green pod beans, or Italian flat beans. These beans are stringless, flat, thick, and very tender. These seeds should be planted about 2 inches deep and spaced about 10 inches apart.

It will take about 14 to 20 days for germination and 60 days for them to reach full maturity. The plant reaches between 6 to 8 feet tall, and the pods typically get about 8 inches long. Yields are typically very high and if you want a continuous harvest, you need to pick them when they are young and tender.

divider 5Bush Beans

8. Blue Lake #274

Soil Temp for Germination: 65–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 2-4”
Days to Emergence: 6-10 days

Blue Lake 274 is a beloved classic and a long-time favorite. Seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep within the soil and spaced 2 to 4 inches apart. Germination takes anywhere from 6 to 10 days. They grow very quickly once established and will yield early with no needed support.

You can expect about 58 days to harvest Blue Lake #274 beans. The pods will be about 5.5 to 6.5 inches long. These beans are delicious and maintain their freshness even when canned or frozen.


9. Early Bush Italian

Soil Temp for Germination: 65–85°F
Seed Depth: 2”
Seed Spacing: 3”
Days to Emergence: 8-16 days

Early Bush Italian beans are easy to grow and very quick to yield. These seeds do well when planted about 2 inches deep and spaced 3 inches apart. The plant itself reaches about 16 to 18 inches and the pods are between 5 and 6 inches long.

It will take about 8 to 16 days for germination. It has an early yield at about 50 days to maturity, once you harvest you will surely enjoy the robust flavor of these beans, which also do well-maintaining flavor when frozen.


10. Contender

Soil Temp for Germination: 70–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 2”
Days to Emergence: 7-14 days

This bean gets the name Contender because it’s one of the top beans to have in your garden. This is a stringless variety that has been a popular favorite since 1949. The plant is fairly resistant to disease and reaches about 12 to 20 inches.

To get started with the contender variety, you should plant the seeds 1 inch into the soil spaced about 2 inches apart. It will take one to two weeks for germination and 50 days for maturity. The pods can reach up to 8 inches, but it’s best to harvest them at about 5 inches in length for the best flavor.


11. Provider

Soil Temp for Germination: 65–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 4”
Days to Emergence: 6-12 days

The Provider is a very dependable variety of green beans that was first introduced in 1965. It is easy to grow, produces good flavor, and is one of the very best types for canning or freezing. The provider does well in cool soil and is much more adaptable than average. It is also known for being disease resistant.

The plants are very compact and produce round, straight pods that grow quite heavily. Seeds should be placed 1 inch deep within the soil but spaced 4 inches apart. It has about an 80 percent minimum germination rate and takes about 50 to 55 days to full maturity.


12. Gold Mine

Gold Mine beans
Image Credit: Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova, Shutterstock

 

Soil Temp for Germination: 65–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 3-4”
Days to Emergence: 8-16 days

The Gold Mine bean is a great variety to grow because it is the most consistent yielder of all the golden wax beans. They are crisp, sweet, and often eaten fresh. The soil temperature can be between 65 and 85 for germination but the upper 70s is the most ideal. Plant these seeds 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart.

It will take about 55 days for the gold mine beans to reach full maturity, which is about 5 to 5.5 inches in length. These plants are well adapted to grow in a variety of climates and will produce a concentration of clusters of yellow-colored beans.


13. Derby

Soil Temp for Germination: 65–85°F
Seed Depth: 1-1.5”
Seed Spacing: 3-5”
Days to Emergence: 7-14 days

The Derby variety is a great bean to grow in home gardens and is very disease resistant. These seeds can be planted 1 to 1.5 inches deep and about 3 to 5 inches apart. It will take about 7 to 14 days for germination and between 50 and 65 days to reach full maturity.

This plant reaches between 12 and 24 inches in height and produces beans that reach about 6 inches long, but most like to pick them when they reach the 5-inch mark. These beans are great for freezing and canning.


14. Royal Burgundy

Royal Burgundy beans
Image Credit: Teresa Otto, Shutterstock
Soil Temp for Germination: 60–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 2-4”
Days to Emergence: 6-10 days

The Royal Burgundy bean is an heirloom bush variety of green beans. It produces a heavy concentration of rich, deep purple beans that will reach between 5 and 7 inches. and is a relatively low-maintenance plant.

These beans have a 90 percent germination rate and are best planted 1 inch into the soil, spaced at 2 to 4 inches apart. It will take somewhere between 6 and 10 days for emergence. Full maturity typically takes between 55 and 60 days.


15. Tenderette

Soil Temp for Germination: 60–85°F
Seed Depth: 1”
Seed Spacing: 2”
Days to Emergence: 6-10 days

The Tenderette is an annual snap bean that was first introduced in Twin Falls, Idaho in 1962. Tenderettes are stringless and flavorful and will produce high yields throughout their lengthy harvest season. These beans are common in stir fries but are also great steamed or raw.

These plants reach about 20 inches in height and produce straight beans about 5 inches long. Like most varieties, seeds should be planted 1 inch deep with about a 2-inch spacing between each seed. Germination takes 6 to 10 days, and you can typically harvest about 55 days after planting.

garden flower dividerTips for Growing Green Beans

Track Temperature

Most green bean varieties, whether they are bush or pole beans, will need the soil to be at least 55 to 60 degrees before seeds can be sown. They should always be planted after the last frost for successful growth. They are all warm-weather crops that will produce best in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees.

Sow Seeds Directly

Green bean varieties do not need to be started indoors like many other vegetables. They have extremely fragile roots that make them very hard to transplant. Always wow green bean seeds directly into your soil. For a continuous harvest throughout the season, it is recommended to sow seeds every two weeks.

Let There Be Light

Green beans are going to require at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. You need to plant them in an area that gets direct sunlight. You may consider using row covers during a period of high heat to prevent heat damage.

beans in a basket
Image Credit: congerdesign, PIxabay

Provide Ample Space

As you can see, most bean seeds will be planted 1 inch into the soil, but they will need enough spacing in between the seeds for proper growth. Bush beans should be planted about 3 inches apart on average and rows should be at least 18 inches apart. For pole beans, rows should be kept 2 or 3 feet apart. Always check the instructions for planting on your seed packet.

Water Properly

Green beans grow best in well-draining soil to prevent root rot and powdery mildew disease. Water should be provided directly to the soil, and they will typically do best with about 2 inches of water per week.

Balance Soil pH

Green beans thrive in slightly acidic soil with a pH of around 6. They typically do well in nutrient-rich soil without the need for fertilization, though some pole beans may need some about halfway through the growing season to keep yielding. If fertilization is necessary, compost is the best option.

Support the Pole Beans as Needed

Most pole beans are going to require a trellis or teepee to support their growth. Make sure to check the variety you are planting for instruction on how to properly supply the plant with the needed support.

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Conclusion

There are so many varieties of green beans that can make an excellent addition to your garden. Whether you want to plant bush beans, pole beans, or both, they have very similar care needs but it’s best to be familiar with the specific type you choose for the best yield.


Featured Image Credit:CogSciLibrarian, Shutterstock

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