As a rule, bush beans are up to 60 cm high and, depending on the variety, can be harvested after just 8 weeks. For this reason, they can also be cultivated and harvested several times a year. They must not be eaten raw as they are poisonous. Only when the beans are heated to 70° Celsius or more during preparation does the poison completely decompose. Anyone who becomes familiar with the needs of this plant quickly realizes that cultivation and care are not very demanding in order to obtain a rich harvest. Bush beans can not only be settled in the garden, but also feel at home in the bucket or in the balcony box.


So that the plants can develop fully, they are given a sunny location that is as sheltered from the wind as possible. Close proximity to peas, fennel, chives, garlic and leeks could affect growth. Since they don’t tolerate cold, they only come into the ground after the ice saints, i.e. from mid-May. If you have the space and the options, you can grow the seeds in a seed pot or mini greenhouse from March so that the bush bean plants have already developed a certain size and resistance before they are planted. The garden soil is thoroughly prepared beforehand so that nothing prevents the bush beans from growing healthily. Since the plants are deeply rooted, the soil is dug up accordingly. If good compost is worked in at the same time during this operation,

Some blue grain can only be added to particularly nutrient-poor soil. If the ambitious hobby gardener wants to be absolutely sure that the bush beans will find the best soil for planting, they can also carry out a soil test. Suitable sets for private use are available from specialist garden retailers. If the test does not result in the desired pH value of 7, some lime powder is also sprinkled on the prepared bed and then watered. It is beneficial for germination if the seeds of the bush beans are soaked in lukewarm water for 24 hours. This measure increases the chances of as many vigorous plants as possible. Two cultivation variants have proven themselves in the private vegetable garden:

Planting as Horst

Five or six seeds are planted in a circle at a maximum planting depth of 2 cm in the ground. The distance to the next clump is at least 40 cm, so that the fully grown plants do not later take each other’s light.

row planting

With this method, a seed is planted 2 cm deep every 6 cm to 8 cm. However, the experienced hobby gardener will only consider planting in a row if cultivation as a nest is not possible for some reason.

Cultivation after growing the plants indoors

Gardeners who want to harvest the bush beans as early as possible prefer the seeds four weeks earlier. For this purpose, 4 to 6 seeds are planted at a depth of 2 cm in a 15 cm seed pot and watered lightly. The pot ideally has a water drainage hole that is covered with drainage made of gravel or granules. The cultivation substrate should be slightly sandy and permeable. Germination is accelerated if a plastic sheet is placed over the pot and secured with a rubber band. Small air holes in the film prevent mold from forming. As soon as there is no more fear of ground frost, the bush beans that have been brought forward are placed in the prepared soil of the vegetable bed.


When the young plants have reached a height of about 15 cm, their stability is strengthened by making small piles of soil at their base. In addition, the following care instructions must be observed:

  • water regularly and plentifully;
  • pull weeds every few days;
  • Mulch layer protects against weeds;
  • Fertilizing is not required;
  • harvest beans every 2 days from June;
  • Leave roots in the ground as fertilizer.

Experts recommend spreading a layer of mulch not only to protect against weeds, but also to keep the soil warm and moist. Lawn clippings, for example, are very suitable as mulch material under the bush beans. It is important to harvest the young beans promptly every 2 days, otherwise they will become woody and no longer taste good.

Grow late varieties from July

The late varieties of French beans should not be planted in the same spot where the early varieties were previously. Experienced hobby gardeners also follow the rules of the 3-year crop rotation when growing bush beans. Therefore, the late bush bean varieties are planted in another sunny and wind-protected part of the garden. This should also be prepared in depth and offer the same conditions as the bed for the early varieties. Cultivation takes place at the beginning of July at the latest, because otherwise there is a risk that the beans will fall victim to any early frosts in autumn.

French beans are good pre- and post-plants

Once the bush beans have finished blooming and have been harvested, the remains of the plants can be cut off and disposed of in the compost. The roots should remain in the ground because they act as fertilizer there. In general, bush beans are popular pre- and post-plants in mixed cultures because they leave a nitrogen-rich and weed-poor soil. Favorable types of vegetables for the pre- and post-culture are: cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, cauliflower, kohlrabi, radishes, spinach, celery and tomatoes.

diseases and pests

As a rule, the bush beans are quite insensitive to infestation by diseases or pests. If anything, the bean fly can be a nuisance to the plants, as it lays its eggs right next to the seeds. The larvae then attack the young seedlings, causing either little or no growth. However, various preventive measures can be taken to ensure that the bean fly does not get a chance in the first place:

  • avoid proximity to the previous year’s bean bed;
  • do not use fresh manure;
  • Potatoes and spinach not as previous crops;
  • Sow only in warm weather;
  • vegetable protection net up to the first leaves;
  • Prefer seeds indoors.

The last-mentioned preventive measure in particular is effective, because the bean fly can hardly harm bush beans in an advanced stage of growth.

bean aphids

Bean aphids are particularly active in warm weather and multiply rapidly. Since they occur in nests, the affected parts of the plant should be removed and disposed of in the garbage. In addition, it can be very helpful to spray the bush beans with a mixture of 1 liter of water, 15 ml of soft soap and 1 tablespoon of spirit and repeat this process at intervals of several days. Basically, the stronger the plant, the more resistant it is to pests. Therefore, sufficient watering and nutrient-rich soil quality are the best prevention.

bean rust

This plant disease, caused by the rust fungus, is the most common infection worldwide. The infestation can be recognized by rust spots and pustules on the leaf surfaces. Effective chemical pesticides have not yet been approved for private cultivation. Infected plant parts should be removed and destroyed immediately. Wide spacing when growing prevents bean rust from spreading from one clump to the next. Since the rust fungus prefers a warm, humid climate, the bush beans should only be watered from below. In addition, when choosing a variety, it is advisable to give preference to those that have proven to be resistant to bean rust.


There is no need to buy new seeds for growing bush beans every year. The propagation is also easy to carry out in the private garden. In addition to the cost savings, another advantage is that over the years, the ever new, self-bred bush beans have developed into an individual variety that adapts to the conditions in your own garden. Experience has shown that bush beans are self-pollinating. Nevertheless, the minimum distance between the individual varieties should be at least 5 m if crossbreeding is not intended. The pods intended for seed production remain on the plant until they are fully mature and, at best, are already rustling. Then they are taken out of the ground and hung upside down in a dry, rain-protected place.

Popular Varieties

Among the bush beans, the following varieties have become particularly popular:

  • Admires: early harvest and stringless
  • Maxi: threadless, hanging over the foliage
  • Brilliant: proven, robust variety, stringless pods
  • Berggold: yellow pods, well suited for freezing
  • Borlotto rosso: red speckled rarity, late maturing
  • Thick-fleshed wax: early maturing, deep yellow pods
  • Molly: maturing medium late, suitable for pot cultivation
  • Red Kidney: red Mexican dry beans
  • Purple Teepee: purple pods turn green when cooked
  • Scuba: early maturing, long stringless pods, high yielding
  • Primavera: high yielding and resistant to bean diseases
  • Castandel: early maturing filet bean, very robust
  • Sigma: early maturing, robust, also suitable for late cultivation
  • Concador: small, compact, yellow pods, very productive
  • Eclarel: threadless, very thin and yet robust

Harvesting is noticeably easier if you choose the varieties that hang above the foliage, the so-called hen types. The newer breeds in particular are aimed at increasing resistance to bean diseases and pests.

Enthusiastic hobby gardeners like to cultivate bush beans in their vegetable garden, because the strong, bushy plants are beautiful to look at, easy to care for and provide healthy food for the whole family. Growing and caring for these haricot beans is not difficult if you follow a few important tips and pointers. If the soil is well prepared and the location chosen carefully, the first tender bush beans will grow within a few weeks. French beans are an asset to any vegetable garden and you can even grow them in pots on the balcony.

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