In the Spring, plant beans after all danger of frost has passed. In the Fall, plant beans 10 to 12 weeks before the first expected frost. Plant bush beans 1 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart in the rows that are 2½ to 3 feet apart. Planting in moist soil is best for seeds to germinate and emerge quickly. After the beans have sprouted, thin the plants to 4-6 inches apart.
|1-2 inches, thin to 4-6 inches
|2 1/2-3 feet
Watering: Water the plants about once a week in dry weather. Try not to let the soil dry out while the beans are blooming or the blooms will drop and yields will be decreased.
Weeding: The roots of beans grow near the soil surface. When hoeing and pulling weeds, try not to dig too deep to prevent the plant's roots from damage.
Fertilizing: As the plants begin to flower and set beans, you may optionally apply fertilizer to help plants produce more beans. Apply by scattering between the rows about 1/2 cup of fertilizer for every 10 feet of row. Water the plants after fertilizing.
Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.
Diseases: Diseases may be a possibility during cool, wet weather. If spots appear on leaves or bean pods, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used.
Cranberry beans can be picked in the shelling stage or the dry stage. To pick beans during the shelling stage, pick when the pod has changed color and the beans have been plumped, but before the pods and seeds have dried. During the dry stage, pick dry cranberry beans when the pods are dry and brittle and seeds inside are hard. Fresh beans can be frozen or stored in a refrigerator for a week.