New World Little Gardens

yellow beans pattern
yellow beans

Yellow Beans

Phaseolus vulgaris

Beans are a great crop for novice gardeners, because they’re easy to grow and produce fruit quickly. Beans don’t like the cold so don’t move into the garden until October at the earliest.

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Getting started

  • Put the soil tablet on a saucer and pour 50ml of water over it.
  • Put on gloves and mix the water into the soil with your hands to make a wet mixture. Watch the soil expand.
  • Use most of your soil to fill up the pot to around 2cm below the top.
  • Carefully tear open the sachet and place the seeds on top of the soil (take care not to press down too hard).
  • Now use the rest of your soil mixture to cover the seed mat.
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done!

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the pot on a clean saucer in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun.
  • Check the soil in the morning, and before bed. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.
  • Within 1-2 weeks you should see a little plant appear from the soil. That means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden.
  • If more than one little plant grows, you can thin your yellow bean seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one and removing the others.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • When the plant has 2-3 sets of true leaves (after 2-3 weeks), it’s ready to move into the garden, but only if the weather is reliably settled and warm.
  • Get your yellow beans used to life outside: you can harden off your yellow bean seedling by putting it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever.

Planting best practice

  • Give beans a spot in full sun, with free-draining, rich soil; dig through some compost and sheep pellets a few weeks before planting.
  • This is a dwarf bean plant, so doesn’t need a trellis or a tripod to climb. It will naturally only grow to about knee-height.

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Keep watering to ensure the plant produces delicious yellow beans. Water deeply every 5-7 days, or more often, if it’s hot and dry or you are growing in a pot, or less often if it rains.

Harvest time

  • After about 2 months, the beans should be ready to harvest. 
  • The beans are tastiest when they’re young, so pick them when they’re about the length of your finger.
  • Keep harvesting beans to encourage your plant to produce more beans.

Watch out

  • Slugs and snails will nibble on young plants, so create your own pest protection, lay out bait or pick off these slimy pests.
  • If green shield beetles attack your yellow beans, put on gloves, pick the beetles off the plant and squash them. Be prepared for some major stink: these guys are known as stink bugs because of the foul smell they emit when they are squashed.
  • Aphids also like beans, so check for these pests frequently: squash them with your fingers or blast them off with the hose as soon as you see them. Don’t let these guys get comfy on your plants. Or grow your Little Garden Purple Tansy nearby to bring in hoverflies whose larvae eat aphids.