Growing green beans in Florida is very easy and can be enormously rewarding for Florida gardeners. In fact, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as going out to your garden and picking a bunch of beans that you can have for dinner.
Here’s our complete guide for growing green beans in Florida.
Choose the Right Variety
The first thing you want to do is choose a variety that will do well in the Florida climate. If you want to grow bush beans that don’t need to be supported by a trellis, consider varieties such as:
- Bush Blue Lake
- Roma II
- Cherokee Wax
You could also try shell bean varieties such as Pinto, Black Bean, Horticultural, and Navy.
For pole beans that will need to be supported by a tall trellis or other climbing structure, consider varieties such as:
- Blue Lake
- Kentucky Wonder
Make Sure that you Grow Beans in the Right Season
In Florida, you want to grow both bush and pole beans during the warmer months because they are warm-season crops.
Here’s a quick guide for deciding when to plant your beans depending on which part of Florida you live.
|Type of Bean||North Florida||Central Florida||South Florida||Days to Harvest|
|Bush Beans||March to April and August to September||February to April and August to September||September to April||45 to 60|
|Pole Beans||March to April and August to September||February to April and August to September||September to April||50 to 70|
You’ll notice that in both north and central Florida, green beans can be grown twice a year, while in south Florida, they can only be grown once a year but over an extended period of time.
Choosing the Right Location
Green beans need around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight on a daily basis. Therefore, you want to grow your beans in a sunny spot anywhere in your garden.
Bush beans can be planted among your other vegetables, but you might want to grow pole beans along a fence and support them with horizontal wire lines that you’ve attached to the fence beforehand.
You could even consider attaching a nice trellis to one wall of your house or some other garden structure such as a shed or garage. As long as the spot gets plenty of sunshine, your beans should thrive and add a nice bit of greenery to an otherwise bare area.
Planting your Beans
Whether you choose to grow bush or pole beans, it’s better to sow these as seeds rather than using transplants. This is because green beans have a relatively weak root system, and this can easily be damaged when transplanting.
But, bean seeds are extremely easy to sow, and most of them germinate fairly readily. If you’re growing pole beans, make sure that you install your growing structure before you plant your seeds so as not to disturb their root system later on.
For bush beans, space the seeds around 2 to 4 inches apart and plant them at a depth of 1 to 1.5 inches. It’s always a good idea to put a couple of seeds in each hole in case one of the seeds doesn’t germinate. If both seeds happen to germinate, you would just remove the weakest seedling.
For pole beans, you want to space the seeds around 2 to 4 inches apart and plant them at a depth of 1 to 1.5 inches.
If you’re going to plant several rows of beans, space these around 18 to 30 inches apart.
Important note: It’s not necessary to soak the seeds before planting them. In fact, this is discouraged because it could lead to poor germination.
Keep the Soil Evenly Moist
In order to get the best germination rate from your bean seeds, it’s important to keep the soil consistently moist. Do this until you start to see the young bean plants emerging from the soil.
Once all the seedlings are growing, you only need to water when the surface of the soil has dried out.
Regarding soil, beans are not too fussy about the type of soil they will grow in. In fact, they will thrive even in poor soils. That’s because beans are legumes and will actually fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil.
That’s why beans are usually a great first crop in any garden area that has not been used previously to grow vegetables.
Don’t worry about enriching the soil too much before you plant your beans because this could even be detrimental to your bean production. This is because too much nitrogen in the soil will result in lots of green growth but not many beans.
Beans are also great for growing after your previous crop of vegetables has depleted the soil of vital nutrients. The beans will add nitrogen back into the soil, and you’ll then be able to grow plenty of delicious greens in the same spot.
Don’t Over-fertilize your Beans
As you may now understand, beans don’t require a lot of fertilizer. In fact, you only want to apply half the normal dose that you would use for other vegetable varieties that you grow.
You might even just want to apply a half dose of liquid seaweed instead of a fully balanced fertilizer. Many liquid seaweed formulations don’t contain large amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. However, they do help condition the soil and keep your plants nice and healthy.
Harvest your Beans Regularly to Increase their Yield
One of the most important tricks that you can learn about growing green beans is that the more you harvest them, the more they will produce. Therefore, you want to harvest some of the bean pods as soon as they are large enough to consume.
Continue harvesting, even on a daily basis, and you’ll find that your plants will just keep producing lovely tender beans for you to enjoy.