Square-Foot Gardening Green Beans [How to Plant & Care]

Square-foot gardening green beans is one of the best ways to harvest a bounty each summer.

Regardless of how you grow them, they’re so delicious and squeak with tenderness when you eat them. In warm states like Florida, you can plant beans twice a year.

Although they seem to grow effortlessly, here’s what you should know about square-foot gardening green beans.

Square-Foot Gardening Pole or Bush Beans for Beginners

Bush beans are perhaps an easier bean to grow in your garden. However, there are also advantages to pole beans as they grow vertically and leave space for other vegetables.

Many inexperienced gardeners also look to grow ‘French beans’ or Haricots vert, which is a fancy way of saying green beans. The difference between the two is when to harvest.

French beans are super tender because of the early harvest. They’re long and slender and steam to perfection. The secret is in harvesting the beans after about eight weeks.

To know if they’re ready, look for long slender pods that don’t have the inner bean showing through the skin. Of course, there are many hybrids for sale.

All bean varieties make great square-foot gardening contenders. They’re easy to grow with a large yield. They’re susceptible to diseases and an invasion of pests. Here’s how to get started.

Also Read: Square Foot Gardening Fertilizer [All about to know]

Soil Requirements for Square-Foot Gardening Green Beans

Square-foot gardening requires a healthy soil mix of equal parts vermiculite, compost, and peat moss. This mixture is ideal for most vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

Green beans are popular with home gardeners because they’re easy to grow and maintain. They’re also suitable for Hardiness Zones 2 to 11.

Green beans prefer full sun and moderately moist, loamy, well-drained soil. Aim for an acidic soil PH ranging from 6.0 to 6.2. Loamy soil contains adequate organic material like compost.

Once you have amended your soil in your raised garden bed or inground plot, you can plant your pole or bush beans after the last chance of frost.

Bush and Pole Beans in Square-Foot Gardening

Mel Bartholomew invented Square-Foot Gardening to make growing healthy foods accessible to everyone. Forty years later, square-foot gardening green beans surpassed the trend phase.

We plant green beans because we enjoy eating them. The nutritional benefits of these versatile legumes are just another bonus. Children and adults enjoy planting and harvesting this crop.

Remember the core principle of square-foot measurements when building and designing a wood frame raised bed. Sizes that divide by 12 inches make planting and designing a breeze.

Suitable raised bed dimensions are 4 x 4 feet or larger than 4 x 8 feet units. Some gardeners fasten strings to define the dimensions in their ground-level grid if they don’t have raised beds.

Some gardeners only plant one type of plant in each square. Others supplement tall-growing plants with ground-cover plants to conserve water, prevent diseases, and invite pollinators.

When blending different plants into one square, a key issue is their growing size. Some plants spread, and others grow tall. Ensure that one plant doesn’t crowd out the other.

Check Out: Square Foot Gardening Cantaloupe [Best Tips & Tricks]

Pole Beans

Pole beans are excellent beans to grow in your square-foot garden. Once you’ve set up your square-foot grid in a wood-framed bed, the fun begins.

Pole beans take up less space in a square foot, making them a better choice if your area is limited. The idea behind square-foot gardening is to maximize space and build on diversity.

Pole beans will require support growing upward with a stake, a trellis, or something the plant can lean against and climb. Space-saving gardeners often use corn stalks.

Gardeners alternate pole beans with bush beans for different harvesting schedules. Pole beans take 60 to 70 days.

Bush Beans

Bush beans are a perfect square-foot gardening plant. Don’t plant more than four per square as they grow outward. A good rule of thumb is to plant 10 to 15 plants per person for consumption.

Bush beans are also great for families who have miniature gardeners who like to help with the harvest. From a nutritional and taste perspective, bush and pole beans are the same.

Harvest for bush beans is after only 40 days – this allows you to harvest several crops per season if you stagger them ten days apart.

Have a look: Square Foot Gardening Cauliflower

Planting Green Beans

Bean seeds from a pathogen-free source are best. Bean seedlings are fragile and don’t like replanting. Pick your spot in your square-foot garden and plant directly from seed.

Some gardeners, however, use seedlings successfully.

The best time to plant beans is mid-May to early July for most parts of the USA. You can always google the Farmer’s Almanac for average frost dates. Even Florida can get frost.

Sow seeds 1 inch deep and space them evenly according to package directions. Bush beans are compact and typically require spreading space. There are many hybrids to choose from.

Pole beans require support. Either stake them or plant them along a chain link fence. Bamboo stakes or teepee stakes are great options. Corn makes a great companion.

Bush beans spread and need airflow to grow into healthy stocks. Plant the seeds 4 to 6 inches apart according to package directions. Most gardeners succeed with four seeds per square.

Overcrowding a square-foot garden depletes the nutrients and allows pests to spread.

Tip: Use a garden dibber to make even holes in a pattern for uniform planting. Also, stagger your bean planting. You can freeze, dehydrate, or can your beans, but garden fresh is best.

Companion Planting for Green Beans

Green beans are generous to other plants growing in the plot. They release nitrogen which is beneficial for flowers or flowering vegetables. People could learn a lesson here.

Companion growing is an ancient practice. Three-sister gardening is a Cherokee method of partnering beans with corn and squash. The trio forms a team and exchanges benefits.

Good Companions:

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Strawberry
  • Chard
  • Lettuce,
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions, garlic, shallots
  • Squash
  • Radish

Good Herbs:

  • Summer savory
  • Rosemary

Good Flowers:

  • Nasturtium
  • Marigold

Planting companions with your pole or bush beans provides soil diversity and increases yield. Each plant contributes to a unique exchange of nutrients, pest protection, and ground cover.

Read: How to Grow Turnips in a Square-Foot Garden

Green Bean Diseases

Although green beans and dry beans are a staple in many homes, growing comes with problems too. There are somewhere around 400 types of edible beans in the legume family.

Green beans are part of the legume family and provide an excellent source of fiber and protein. This quality makes them universal food. Sadly it also exasperated the spread of diseases.

Green beans and dry beans suffer from three unique bacterial diseases. These diseases can impact yields. Bean farming has also ensured bean recovery by certifying bean seeds.

Bacterial Diseases:

  • Brown spot
  • Halo blight
  • Common blight

Fungal Diseases:

  • Rust spots

Bacterial and Fungal Disease Symptoms

Most green beans grow in square-foot gardens without any trouble. One of the most common issues affecting small-scale bean gardeners is rust spots.

Rust Spots

Even when you shop for green beans in the supermarket, often they’re marked with unattractive spots. These spots look unappealing, but the beans still taste great if you cut the blemishes.

Wind, rainwater, animals, insects, and handling spread the fungus on green beans in hot temperatures (64 to 75°F). This invasive fungus lives on the soil and remains on stubble.

When you plant your green beans leave ample room to prevent the leaves from rubbing and spreading. That’s why square-foot gardening is ideal for green beans.

Brown Spots

If you notice tiny water-soaked marks on your bean leaves, watch and see if they develop into more prominent spots with yellow margins.

Eventually, the leaves become ragged with deep brown spots. This disease develops in the early stages of pod growth and may twist the bean.

Halo Blight

This disease is slightly more challenging to discover as it develops on the underside of the leaf. As it progresses, the tiny water spots advance and grow into reddish-brown lesions.

Further, greenish halos appear around those areas. Problematic infections will affect new leaf growth and pods. Halo blight is similar in appearance to common blight.

Common Blight

This disease develops as a leaf symptom. Look for water-soaked spots that appear as light brown marks with irregular shapes and yellow margins. These spots also form on the pods.

As the disease advances, leaflets may wither and die. Junior beans will shrivel before maturing.

The Solution

Use seeds or seedlings from a reliable source. Pathogen-free seeds are better than storing your bean seeds over winter. Clean your flower beds.

Check Post: Square Foot Gardening Squash [Most 7 Benefits]

Green Bean Insect Pests

Glad you’re still reading. Don’t let all these not-so-pleasant diseases and pests dissuade you from planting beans in your square-foot garden. Information is a powerful gardening tool.

Did you know beans and peas belong to the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family? No, it’s not a Mafia name. They share enemies that invade their territory.

Mites and beetles are prevalent pests that attack beans; chances are you’ll encounter them in your gardening adventures. While other pests might infest beans, we’ll concentrate on these.

We will categorize them by behavior and symptoms.

Pesticides or Organic Remedies

Sometimes gardeners have to treat invasive problems with chemical concoctions. However, sustainable square-foot gardening relies on companion plantings and organic treatments.

Companion planting is a great way to prevent diseases and dissuade harmful insects from taking hold of your precious crop. We provided you with a substantial list to choose from.

Bean Leaf Beetles

Look for reddish or yellow-brown beetle the size of your pinky nail with three black dots on their wings – Leaf beetles munch on young leaves and the skin of pods.

Mexican Bean Beetles

These copper red beetles have a domed body and are larger than other leaf beetles. Eight black spots mark their wings. Look for lacy holes or skeletonized brown leaves as a symptom.

Vegetable Leafminers

Leafminers are maggots with pointy heads that tunnel through the leaves, making a serpentine mine. They don’t kill the beanstalk but make beans less appealing to eat.


There’s not just one type of aphid that can harm your green beans and spread to other vegetables in your garden. These soft-bodied insects have wings or are wingless.

Aphids live in large colonies and potentially destroy your crop, causing deformed leaves, discoloration, and curling. Nests are ashy looking inside a curled leaf. They transmit viruses.

  • Bean aphid
  • Cowpea aphid
  • Melon aphid
  • Potato aphid

Related pests:

  • Potato leafhopper
  • Thrips
  • Two-spotted spider mites

Read: Square Foot Gardening Zucchini

Insects That Affect Pods

Sorry, if you’re itchy. These insects are nasty because they go after our harvest. However, not all pest insects exist in all parts of the USA. Florida will have different pests than Montana.

Corn Earworm

Earworms are the larvae of moths and are large and hairy. They feast on pods in the fall.

European Corn Borer

Borers are grayish-pink caterpillars with dark heads and enjoy boring into the pods.


Adult and larva of humpback weevils are large and legless. They borrow into the bean or peas.


You’ll recognize stinkbugs by the green or brown shield of their body. Stinkbugs pierce the pods, seeds, and beans, causing them to grow into a malformed shape. They also weaken the plant.

Many other bugs and diseases can affect your square-foot gardening plot, but these are the most common. For further reading on pests, click here.

Beneficial Insects

Nature is a balancing act. While some insects are a nuisance, some of the time, many are beneficial to your garden.

Syrphid flies, flower flies, hoverflies, and wasps are great garden companions. Yes, wasps. While we call pest control agents to destroy wasps, we’re actually killing nature’s pest controller.

Adult and larvae ladybugs consume thousands of aphids. You can even order ladybugs online or from your local garden center.

Square Foot Gardening Green Beans
Square Foot Gardening Green Beans

Furthermore, you may like some more gardening articles:


Green beans are part of many holiday traditions. They’re easy to grow and harvest and are so good for us.

Square-foot gardening green beans is a superior method to get the best out of limited garden space and the plant. Share them with your local bank or shelter if you have a bountiful harvest.