Beans are fun, fast-growing plants that take little care to perform well.
It makes sense to inoculate beans before sowing, which boosts the nitrogen levels of your garden soil with no work whatsoever. Inoculant is available at garden centers.
Sow bean seeds about three or four inches apart in the row around the third week of May. Thinning is not necessary, but do keep the plants weeded, especially when young. Bush beans begin to bear in about 50 days, and their crop is produced in one brief burst lasting about two weeks; to have a steady crop, plant additional beans every two or three weeks for the first half of the season.
For most tender green beans, harvest when young, slightly thicker than a pencil. Our favorite way to prepare these is to pan-fry them with strong curry or Cajun seasonings. To harvest dry beans, let the plant mature; pods will dry on the plant towards the end of summer. Pull the plants up by the roots and allow to air dry under cover if prolonged wet or cold weather sets in early. Once fully dry, shake plants back and forth within a plastic garbage can; the beans will release from their pods and settle in the bottom of the pail.