Climbing Beans are popular in home gardens across Australia, they are easy to grow from seed and take up very little space.
Climbing beans are a little different from bush bean in a number of ways
- They need a supporting frame or trellis, and a simple tripod is a great support for smaller
paces and containers.
- Climbing beans are also space savers, as they grow up, you get more beans for from the space available.
- You can also use climbing beans to create shade for other crops, basil, coriander and other shade loving greens are examples.
Lots of different varieties although we do like Blue Lake, it’s stringless, produces heavy crops and has good flavour. It is a heirloom variety and has been around since the late 1800s.
Growing Climbing Beans
Also known as Pole Beans, Climbing Beans are grown from seed, are best sown after the danger of frosts has past in spring.
Beans are are warm growing crop. They like a good amount of sun and a well drained soil with lots of organic matter that retains moisture
You will need:
- A warm sunny position,,
- A humus rich soil that retains some moisture.
- A trellis.
How to Plant Climbing Bean Seeds
Climbing bean sets can be planted directly into the soil or into seedling pots.
Sowing into pots gives the seeds a chance to commence growth early and avoid slug and snail damage.
Sowing directly helps avoid transplant shock.
- Soil should be prepared well before planting.
Add compost and aged cow manure.
Provide a trellis or tripod to support the beans as they begin to climb.
- Plant seed at around 2cm deep.
Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
Protect from slugs and snails.
- Plant pot grown seedlings into the garden when the reach around 10cm in height.
Again water in with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
Mulch around the plants tp maintain a cool moist root run,
- Seeds should germinate in around 7 – 14 days.
Beans are generally low care once established.
- Make sure new plants can attach to the trellis.
- Mulch around the plants to maintain a cool root run. Beans are shallow rooted vegetables so need moisture and mulch to perform well.
- Water as the soil begins to dry a little.
- Use a watering wand to water the soil avoiding watering the foliage as this can cause fungal problems such as powdery mildew.
- Use a liquid seaweed and fish fertiliser every 3 weeks.
- Harvest the beans as soon as they are large enough, this encourages more flowers and therefore more beans.
From seedling to harvest will depend on the type of bean, some are quicker than others,
Generally you can harvest climbing beans around 60 – 80 days, however you can harvest then as soon as they are large enough to eat. And young beans are sweeter and more tender.
Beans can be eaten fresh, cooked or preserved.
Can you save your own bean seeds?
Yes, simply leave a few pods on the plant to allow the seeds to develop.
When the pods begin to dry and split, remove them and then remove the dry seeds, make sure they are dry and then store them in a cool dry place until next season.
At the end of the season plants can be dug back in to the soil or composted.
7 Best Climbing Bean Varieties.
- Blue Lake – Very popular green bean, stringless.
- Purple King – Purple pods that go green when cooked.
- Lazy Housewife – Another heirloom variety, stringless until the pods age.
- Rattlesnake – Green pods with flashes of red. Used mainly as dried beans.
- Giant Of Stuttgart – Heirloom climbing bean,
- Snake Bean (Yard Long Bean) – Red Dragon – popular in Asia cuisines, green beens with red seeds
- Snake Bean Black seeded.
Tough stringy beans.
If you harvest the beans too late this will be the problem. Harvest the beans when they are smaller and before the seeds begin to swell in the pod.
Other common pests include
- Downy or Powdery mildew
- Birds and other bean eating pests