Snap beans can be one of the first warm season veggies to go out into the garden. They prefer soil temperatures over 60 degrees, and can be killed with a frost, but since they germinate so quickly, it is worth the gamble to get some in the ground as early as possible. If it does get cold again, and we lose them, we can plant more, and they will quickly catch up. Beans grow best in temperatures between 60 and 75, so they love our early springtime weather, and tend to struggle once it gets hot. The earlier we can get them in the ground, the better.

It is very important to know what type of bean you are growing and give it the proper space in your garden. If you are limited in space, bush variety beans are great, since they do not get very big, and are predictable in how large they grow. Pole beans are fun to grow since they grow so quickly, but you must have the room for them, and give them something to climb up. If you plant pole beans by accident, they will quickly take over and choke out surrounding plants. Bush beans should be planted 4-6 inches apart with the seed about an inch deep. Pole beans will need a trellis 6 to 8 feet tall.

We started our beans indoors two weeks ago, and they are already a nice size. Bean seeds are slow to germinate in cool weather. In early spring, it is better to start them inside, then transplant outside after a week or two. Bean seeds should be planted about an inch deep, and plants spaces 6-8 inches apart. I stake bush beans. The plants are usually strong enough to support themselves, but my garden is in a windy spot, and the plants will produce better if they grow straight up. Staking the plants will give them a little extra support.

Keep in mind that if we have another cold snap, these plants will need to be protected. It is probably safe to put these in the ground in our coastal counties, but in the Pee Dee, outdoor bean planting should probably wait a couple more weeks until April.