Here is a page on growing dry beans in your backyard garden.
Dry beans (shell beans) are usually harvested in the fall after their pods have matured, and the leaves of the plant have dried and fallen. Dry beans can either grow on bushes or vines, and the size and color of the pods can vary. Pods can be anywhere from 3-4 inches to 12-14 inches long, and can be green, yellow, white, or speckled. The leaves of dry beans contain three leaflets with yellow or white flowers.
Dry beans are a tender annual, and should be planted early in the season as soon as the frost has passed. Beans grow best in temperatures between 50 F and 85 F. To get a head start on growing dry beans, you can start them indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost.
When growing beans choose a location in your garden that receives full sunlight. Beans will grow in partial shade, but the harvest won’t be as successful. Beans require loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, and soil pH of 6.0-6.8. Prepare your site in advance by working in aged compost. Planting beans where nitrogen is high in the soil, or where green manure crops have grown, should be avoided. If not, the plants will produce green foliage, but very few beans.
Sow your beans 1-1 ½ inch deep, and plant the beans 3-4 inches apart in rows 18-24 inches apart. Dry beans take 70-120 days to reach harvest. To know dry beans are ready to be harvested, bite a couple of seeds. If the seeds hardly dent, they are dry and ready to harvest. If the pods have withered but are still moist, pick them and then spread them on a flat screen or surface in a warm place where they can thoroughly dry. The plants itself can also be taken up whole and hung upside down to dry. Pods that are full dry will split open to reveal the dried beans.
Enjoy your dry beans and happy gardening!
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