Green beans are one of the easiest vegetable crops you can grow. These trouble-free plants seem to thrive on neglect, producing an abundant crop without fail. But how do you figure out how many bean plants to grow? And – how many green beans grow per plant? Well – there are a few bean-growing nuances to consider. They are as follows.
- How Many Beans Do You Get From One Plant?
- Common Green Bean Types
- How Many Green Beans to Plant Per Person?
- Can You Harvest Beans More Than Once?
- How Do I Make Green Beans Produce More?
How Many Beans Do You Get From One Plant?
A single bush bean plant usually produces 15 to 25 green bean pods per plant, while a green pole bean can produce up to four times as many. So you could be harvesting 100 green beans from a single pole plant – that’s pretty impressive!
Remember – when it comes to how many green beans per plant, the amount will depend on the type of beans you are growing.
Common Green Bean Types
Let’s quickly break down what exactly we mean by green beans. Green beans can refer to any bean harvested before maturity (hence why they are still green!) The most common types of green beans are:
- Bush beans – low-growing compact plants that produce long, thin beans. They are usually either green or purple.
- Purple beans – are still known as green beans because they are not fully mature. Yes, I know. It’s a bit confusing!
- Pole beans – climbing beans that grow up a trellis, cage, or tripod, reaching heights up to 10 feet tall.
Depending on where you come from, green beans may also be called French beans, string beans, snap beans, winged beans, dwarf beans, or runner beans. Any bean where you eat the tender, immature green pods!
How Many Green Beans to Plant Per Person?
The number of green bean plants per person you grow will depend on whether you plan on eating fresh beans or whether you want to store some for use at a later date.
I love green beans because they are easy to store, giving you a taste of summer all year round. My preferred method of food storage is to blanch and freeze the prepared beans, but they are also easy to can if you have a pressure canner. So, my goal is to grow enough green beans to provide a year-round supply for the whole family!
We also have a straightforward way to calculate how many beans you need per person. It is as follows.
1. Calculate How Many Green Beans Per Portion
We usually prepare around ½ cup of green beans per person when serving them as a side dish. One-half cup per person is around six to twelve whole green beans.
2. Calculate How Many Portions of Green Beans You Need
The quantity of green beans you grow will depend on how often you eat them. For example, we would probably eat green beans twice weekly throughout the year. So we’d need 104 portions of green beans per person. We’re a two-person household. So that comes out at 208 portions to feed both of us. (52 weeks * 2 portions * 2 people = 208 green bean portions).
3. Multiply the Green Beans Per Portion by the Number of Green Bean Portions
At six beans per portion, we would need 1,248 beans to keep us supplied all year round. (208 * 6 = 1,248)
4. Round It Up
I’d always rather overestimate! It always helps to have excess beans to make some of your favorite dishes. My warm green bean salad is the perfect side dish for barbeques and picnics. The recipe uses a lot of green beans! So, I always round up my total to 1,500 green beans yearly.
5. Calculate How Many Bean Plants You Need
The total number of bean plants required will depend on the type of beans you are growing.
- Bush beans produce an average yield of 20 beans per plant. So I would need 75 plants. (1,500/20 = 75 bush bean plants)
- Pole bean yields are significantly higher, but we conservatively estimate that you can bank on 60 beans per plant. Sixty beans per plant means I would need to plant 25 pole types to provide enough to feed our household all year round. (1,500/60 = 25 pole bean plants).
So, do I grow pole or bush beans? I used to cultivate a mix of both in my vegetable garden. But these days, I tend to rely more heavily on pole beans. The lengthier cropping season means you don’t have a massive glut of beans to deal with all at once, and provided you’ve got a decent trellis in place, they don’t take up all that much room. I still grow a few of my favorite bush bean varieties. I usually germinate the bush beans at the base of a row of pole beans to maximize the use of space.
If bush beans are your preferred option, you can ensure a continuous harvest for the entire season with succession planting. Sow new seeds every few weeks (or so) during late spring and early summer. As one batch of bean plants finishes cropping, the next will be ready to take its place.
These royal burgundies and mellow yellow beans taste delicious, and they’re also tiny. The plants only grow around 15-inches tall! They flourish best with full sun and produce beautiful plants with four-inch bean pods. You’ll also love the colorful harvest – it will keep your eyes and your tummy satisfied!
Can You Harvest Beans More Than Once?
The joy of green beans is that they don’t produce their crop at once. When you pick your first few beans, you will see many smaller beans developing – these will gradually mature and be ready for harvesting over the coming weeks.
So – we advise harvesting your green beans more than once. Staggering your bean harvest stimulates the plant to produce more flowers. And therefore, more beans.
Regarding the harvest season of different types of beans, pole beans go on producing for much longer than bush beans. You can expect to harvest bush beans for around three weeks if the plants are vigorous and healthy, whereas pole beans continue to produce a steady supply of beans for up to two months, often well into late summer.
How Do I Make Green Beans Produce More?
The aim is to grow healthy plants with adequate water and support if you want a vigorous growth habit. Under the right conditions, green beans are pretty much a failsafe crop, but there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the best possible harvest.
Green beans are hungry plants and grow best in fertile soil with plenty of organic matter. We have a no-till garden, and a couple of inches of homemade compost is spread over the soil surface every spring. Adding a compost layer provides the nutrients green beans need to produce a fabulous crop.
Watering Your Beans
Not only do green beans have a healthy appetite, but they also need plenty of water! Beans prefer water straight on their shallow roots. We find that our drip irrigation system is perfect for this. If you are watering by hand, do so in the morning. Watering in the morning helps reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Aim to give around an inch of water per week. A weekly inch of water is enough to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Giving Your Beans Plenty of Sunlight
Regarding location and weather conditions, beans are sun lovers and appreciate plenty of ventilation. Plant in a sunny spot that gets a gentle breeze. But not somewhere too windy, as this can damage taller pole bean plants. If you’re in a hotter region, partial shade can be helpful to protect plants from the hottest midsummer temperatures.
Supporting Your Beans
Finally, give your green beans plenty of support. Your bean supports should ideally be snug before you plant your green bean seeds or seedlings. Installing the bean supports before planting helps to avoid disturbing the delicate root systems. Pole beans need a strong trellis or teepee. Bush-type beans are less demanding – a small garden stake, twigs, or sticks can help keep them off the ground.
Thanks so much for reading our guide about how many green beans to expect per plant.
Many of our gardening friends worry too much about growing green beans. But later in the season, they realize they don’t need to count beans – because the plants produce far more than they expected!
(Green bean plants can continue producing well into late summer or early fall.)
What about you?
- Do you grow green beans in your garden?
- How many green beans do you usually get per plant?
- How often do you eat green beans?
- How many green bean plants do you grow per person in your household?
We’re diehard green bean garden geeks and love brainstorming this stuff.
And – we hope to hear from you.
Thanks again for reading.
Have a great day!