Green beans are a popular vegetable to grow in containers. They’ll benefit from the warmth and protection that containers provide. What’s more, they are fun and easy to grow, great for children and families and can even thrive indoors. Here are some instructions on how to grow green beans in containers.
BEST CONTAINERS FOR GROWING GREEN BEANS
Green beans need at least an 8″ container. For best results, use a 12″ container or larger. The larger the container, the less the plants will need to be watered and fed. More soil is always best for growing vegetables. Be sure your container has good drainage holes. To help drainage, add an inch layer of gravel in the bottom before adding soil.
WHEN TO PLANT
If you’re growing green beans indoors, they can be planted any time of year. For outside containers, they should not be planted until the danger of frost has passed. Soil temperatures should be between 65° F and 70° F. For best results, particularly if you live in a short growing region, green bean seeds should be sown indoors 4 to 6 weeks prior the last frost of the winter.
4 inch transplants can be planted in outdoor containers after daytime temperatures reach 75° F.
WHERE TO PLACE GREEN BEAN CONTAINERS
Green beans containers should be placed where they will receive at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. They can be grown successfully indoors in a sunny window but often need assistance from grow lights to really thrive, particularly in the winter. Bush bean containers will need more space around them than pole varieties. Pole beans will grow upward around a stake, trellis or other means of support.
Green beans need loose soil that has been enriched with mature compost. The best way to ensure healthy, productive vegetables when growing in containers is to use rich soil. Be sure the pH of the soil is between 6.0 and 6.8.
Bush bean seeds should be sown about 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Thin them to about 6 inches apart once they reach 3 inches tall.
For pole beans, sow seeds 4 to 6 inches apart along a trellis (for long containers) or around a stake (in pots, buckets or other round containers)
If you are growing seedlings indoors, they can be transplanted to larger containers once they reach at least 3 inches tall. Keep in mind that green bean seedlings can be very sensitive. They need to be hardened off if moving from indoors to out and even then, some will not survive the transplant. Be sure to have a stake in place before transplanting pole bean seedlings to avoid damaging the roots later on.
Green beans tend to need about ½ inch of water per week, but container-grown crops tend to need more frequent watering. Keep an eye on them as they develop to see how quickly the soil dries out. It should be kept moist but never muddy. If possible, water in the morning and try to keep the leaves dry.
Even container green beans will benefit from a bit of organic mulch to help retain moisture and warmth in the soil.
Green beans do not need a lot of feeding to thrive. However, container vegetables will often benefit more from occasional feeding than those grown in garden beds. Try feeding them once per month with a compost tea.
Most varieties of green beans are ready for harvest after 45 to 75 days. Check your seed packet. The pods will begin to bulge when they are ready. Pinch or snip them off carefully to avoid damaging the plant. Harvest often to get the most from your plant before the growing season ends.
Do you have tips on how to grow green beans in containers? Let us know in the comments section below.