Square Foot Gardening Pole Beans (Well Researched Tips)

Beans are a great vegetable to grow, and it is very easy to grow them, especially in square foot gardening. Beans are of two types, mainly- bush beans and pole beans. Several varieties come under both of these types. Here in this article, we will discuss square foot gardening pole beans that are super easy to grow even if you are a beginner. 

It is a pleasurable experience for most people to grow pole beans. When we use square foot gardening to grow pole beans, we can use limited ground spaces to produce a good yield. We can use the vertical space for growing pole beans, and hence they are a good crop to be grown in the urban setup as well together with the rural setup.

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Pole beans are very rich in nutrients and hence good for consumption for good health. Not only does it provide good health, but it is also good in taste and can be savored in the form of many kinds of dishes.  So let us see how to do square foot gardening pole beans.

Benefits of pole beans

Beans are not only good and fresh in taste, but they are also rich in nutrients. They are a good source of Vitamin A, B-6, C, E, K, and also contain minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. The properties of beans make it good for our health, and some of the health benefits of beans are-

  • Good for heart health – beans keep your cholesterol levels in check and thereby help in preventing artery blockages since it doesn’t have bad cholesterol. This makes your heart healthy and prevents heart attack and stroke. 
  • Lowers blood pressure – beans also help in keeping the blood pressure low and hence maintaining heart health. 
  • Rich in protein – since beans have a good protein content, they also help us maintain healthy hair and bones. This high protein level also helps in maintaining the good health of muscles and other organs of our body. 
  • Boosts immunity – adding beans to our diet is essential to maintain a healthy immune system since they are rich in vitamin C content.
  • Promotes good eye vision – beans contain vitamin A and are a good source of green vegetables that helps us maintain our good eyesight.
  • Healthy digestive system – since beans are a rich fiber source, they help in good digestion and maintain the digestive system’s health.
  • Helps in weight loss – beans are low in calories, and they are a good and healthy option to pick up when on a weight loss journey and looking for healthy diet options. As they give energy to the body and, at the same time, aid in weight loss.
  • Helps fight cancer – the high chlorophyll content in beans makes it a good option to prevent different kinds of cancer. The chlorophyll blocks the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines when they are grilled at high temperatures. 

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Square foot gardening pole beans

Square foot gardening is a way of growing plants in the form of using growing areas of a square foot. Mel Bartholomew originally introduced this form of gardening. In this form of gardening, we take a raised bed of 4 feet by 4 feet or 4 feet by 8 feet and divide this bed into areas of a square foot, each using dividers or anything.

Then we use these square foot spaces to grow one type of plant in each square foot area using proper spacing and rows. You can use as many square foot areas as you want to grow a single kind of plant as per your requirement of the plant and use the other square foot spaces for other kinds of plants.

Also, we can use wooden frames of square foot in place of raised beds. So let us see how to do square foot gardening for pole beans.

Temperature requirements

For growing pole beans, you should decide the right time to sow them according to the location or zone of America that you live in.

Since the climatic conditions for different places will be different at a particular time so you can choose the time of the year when the temperature requirements for growing this plant meets.

Pole beans do not do well when they are transplanted. Hence you should plant the seeds directly in the soil when you are growing the plant. It would be good to start sowing the seeds after the last frost of the season since it is a warm-weather crop.

The ideal temperature of the soil and weather should be around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 degrees celsius. The germination of seeds happens the best when the temperature is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and it will take around ten days for the seedlings to emerge.

After that, it takes around 65 to 80 days to mature and be ready for harvest, depending upon the variety of pole beans you are growing.

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Pole beans require full sunlight throughout the day for growing to their best potential. Hence for the plant to grow its best, make sure that you are planting the pole beans in the area where no large trees are surrounding the crop that can block the sunlight from reaching the plants.

Hence choose the place in your garden where the plant doesn’t get shade instead of the sun. The plant can continue to grow in partial shade as well; however, full sunlight conditions help the plant in growing to its full potential.

Potting mix

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An essential part of square foot gardening that makes it successful is the potting mix or the soil we use to grow our plants. The potting mix should be rich in nutrients for the plants to grow well.

For Square foot gardening pole beans, we can use organic compost, vermiculture, and peat moss in equal parts for making the soil rich, and we can also amend the soil by adding rich compost to it. 

The soil used as a potting mix should be well-drained so that waterlogging does not cause the roots to die. The richer the soil, the better.

Rich soil is needed for Square foot gardening pole beans because of better growth in spite of spacing. This is the factor that will enable the good growth of plants.

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Spacing and planting

You can grow 1 to 4 pole bean plants in each square foot and use as many square feet as per your requirement. You can use the vertical space for growing the pole beans by adding some kind of support system. It is recommended to add these support structures at the time of planting seeds itself so as to prevent damage of roots later.

These structures should be such that the vines can be supported when growing upwards. We can use bamboo poles, trellis, and other such structures that will let the vines of pole beans climb up to them. For planting the pole beans, simply place the seeds inside the ground about an inch deep, cover it with soil, and add water on it.

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Water requirements

It is recommended to water the plant upto one inch per week. If there is rain during the week, the water requirements may have been met, and you don’t need to add extra water. But when there is no rain, you are required to water the plant upto one inch every week. You should water the plant early during the day.

The plants must have moist conditions, so make sure that plants are not water-deprived and need more water in the summer season when the weather becomes hot and dry and the time when they start to give yields. We should also water the plants at the root level and not at the whole foliage.

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Pole beans take around 65 to 80 days to grow and mature depending on the variety of pole beans we are using. They are generally ready to be harvested one to two weeks after flowering when the pods have swollen.

The best time to harvest is when the pods are firm and crisp and smooth. You can keep picking the pods regularly whenever you need as this will encourage the plant to keep producing more pods throughout the harvesting season.

Picking is very convenient in the case of pole beans because they are easy to spot on the vines and easy to just pick from the plant as opposed to bush beans where we have to look for beans inside the bush. We can pick beans every 3 to 5 days interval.

Don’t wait for too long to pick the pole beans as then it might turn woody and bitter.

Varieties of pole beans

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Green beans are of two types, mainly that are bush beans and pole beans. Pole beans are the ones that are tall and are like runners and vines, whereas bush beans are shorter kinds. Within these two kinds are many different varieties of plants that you can choose from.

You can choose from them depending upon the location of America that you live in and your choice and preferences. Here are some of the varieties of pole beans that you can choose from-

  1. Rattlesnake pole – these kinds of pole beans produce dark green pods covered with purple streaks. It is a great plant to grow if you live in a sandy area since these varieties are drought-resistant varieties. 
  2. Kentucky wonder pole – it was originally named ‘Texas Pole’ and is a trendy variety grown by many home gardeners in preference. The pods of this variety are stringless, and they have a great flavor.
  3. Asian winged – if you live in an area that is hot and humid, this is a great variety to grow. The roots and leaves of this variety are edible as well together with the pods and have a nutty taste. The pods are delicious to taste. The plant produces pods that have four-winged edges. 
  4. Scarlet runner – this is a great variety to grow if you live in a cooler temperature climate as they prefer cooler temperatures than other plants and grow taller till about 10 feet in height as well. It serves as an ornamental vegetable plant because it bears beautiful red flowers.
  5. Oriental yard-long – these plants are also called snake bean and asparagus bean. They grow very fast in hot temperatures and not slower in cold temperature climates. However, they grow fast with ease and that too up to a height of about 10 feet; the pods are also long about 14 to 30 inches tall, and the pods also grow in pairs. 

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How many beans do you need for a square foot garden?

In square foot gardening pole beans, we divide raised beds of 4 feet by 4 feet or 4 feet by 8 feet in small areas of one square foot each and then use them to grow one kind of plant in each.

When we are growing pole beans in square foot gardening, we can plant one to four plants per square foot. We can sow one plant in the center of the square foot and let it branch out.

But the idea of square foot gardening is to grow more plants effectively and efficiently in small spaces. Hence, it would be good to grow more than one plant per square foot since we can use vines’ vertical space.

So we can grow up to four plants on each corner at equal distances to utilize the space to the maximum and have maximum yields.

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What is a good companion for pole beans?

Whenever we are gardening, we should make sure that the plants that are growing surrounding the plants that we have primarily grown are not destroying those plants’ growth.

We should make sure that we grow plants so that the surrounding plants benefit from the main plant that is growing and benefits in their growth. Some of the companion plants that benefit from being grown around pole beans are-

  • Corn
  • Marigold
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Radish
  • Catnip
  • Potato
  • Rosemary
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes 
  • peas, etc.

How many beans will one plant produce?

Pole beans produce beans in the form of pods on vine runners. Each pod produces six beans approximately, and on average, each plant has 20 pods. This means that one plant produces around 120 beans approximately.

So if you are planting pole beans, you will get 120 beans per plant in one harvesting season. Hence depending on your requirement, you should plant the number of plants accordingly.

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Do you soak pole beans before planting?

Yes, you can soak your pole beans seeds before planting them directly on the ground. For soaking the seeds, you need to take some pole bean seeds of the variety you choose to grow in a small bowl or container of any kind. Then add some warm water in them to about ¼ inch in a way that they get fully submerged in the water. 

Keep the seeds soaked in for two to three hours before planting without the lid. For best results, you can also keep the seeds soaking overnight and use them for planting the next day. After soaking the seeds, they would swell up a little and be ready for being planted in the ground.

By soaking up the seeds, they will germinate faster and start growing faster as compared to unsoaked seeds.

How long does it take for pole beans to produce?

It depends on the kind of pole beans you have decided to grow that will determine the number of days it takes to grow. You can choose the kind of pole beans you want to grow depending on the location of America you live in or other choices and preferences.

It usually takes about 65 to 80 days on average to grow pole beans and be mature to be harvested. However, we can keep harvesting the beans throughout the harvesting season as and when we require them.

When we harvest the beans every 3 or 5 days, it, in fact, helps increase the growth and the yield of the plant altogether.

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Will pole beans grow up strings?

Pole beans grow tall in height like runners and vines. If we provide them with some kind of support system, they will climb over them and grow further from there, which allows them to produce longer during the harvesting season. So there are many kinds of support that we can provide them with so that they can cling to them and grow. 

It makes us utilize the vertical space and is a beautiful way to make the best use of our square foot gardening and produce more yields in less space by providing support to pole beans to keep growing vertically.

Some of the supporting things that we can use for pole beans are stakes, teepee, wire or string trellis, old ladder parts, bamboos, etc. anything that can help give excellent support for the plant to vine-like runners and grow vertically.

Also, make sure that you put these supports at the time of planting the seeds themselves. It is to prevent the roots from getting damaged later on.

How much sun do pole plants need?

Pole beans love to grow in a full sunspace. They need around 8 to 10 hours of direct sunlight per day. If we plant the pole beans in an area where there is lesser sunlight, it may affect the plant’s yield. 

For getting excellent yields, we should plant the pole beans in such areas of our garden or home, which receive plenty of sunlight throughout the day by making sure that we do not set our square foot garden pole beans near tall trees that might block the sunlight coming to the plants.

The plants can survive and grow in low sunlight situations, but they will not produce good yields in lack of sunlight.

Benefits of pole beans

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Final Thoughts

Pole beans are a kind of green bean that grows vertically in the form of runners or vines and needs a support system to grow well like a trellis, stakes, bamboo sticks, etc. They are beautiful plants and come in many varieties that we can choose from depending on the zone in America we live in and other preferences and choices. 

Pole beans are easy to grow even if you are a beginner and can be quickly grown in rural and urban setup since they use up vertical spaces. Using square foot gardening pole beans, we can grow beans using small spaces efficiently. 

Pole beans are easy to grow in square foot gardening and can be savored by grilling or any other way. They are good and fresh in taste and provide nutritional benefits like being good for heart health, digestive system, immunity system, etc.

Pole beans are easy to grow in vines if we take care of the plant’s temperature requirements, sunlight, and water requirements. We can soak the beans the night before and plant them directly and take care using a rich potting mix and harvest a great crop this year.