How to Grow Black Beans

How to Grow Black Beans from seeds in your vegetable garden.  Looking for a new plant to grow in  your garden this year?  Try growing black beans!  They’re easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

It’s the beginning of March which means your garden has already crossed your mind. We’ll start planting seeds indoors in about a week for our Spring garden, but it’s never too early to start planning for Summer.   Whenever I post a black bean recipe I get a few readers that say they want to grow black beans.  You know what? You should! You all should!

If you are looking for a new plant to grow in your 2017 garden, why not try dry black beans? 

HOW TO GROW black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden.  Looking for a new plant to grow in  your garden this year?  Try growing black beans!  They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

How to Grow Black Beans

The black beans we always grow are Midnight Black Turtle Soup beans from Johnny Seeds.  We’ve had year after year success with them so if you’re looking for a recommendation, get them. We grow our black beans in the “beans” garden bed where they grow alongside dry white beans, soy beans and green beans.  

To get a idea of how much time they take to grow, last year we planted black beans  (directly in the soil) on May 29 and we pulled them to dry on September 10.  On average they take 100-110 days to fully mature, ours took 104 days to be exact.  

The way that you know the plants are done is when the plants topple over and turn brown.  The other trick is is to shake the bean pod.  If you hear the beans rattling around then you know they’re full developed and ready to be picked.  

You’re going to want to hang up your black bean plants to dry for a week so just yank up the entire plant and tie up in some place that will remain dry.   We usually ties ours up in our garden shed.   Once they’re all dry, now comes the fun/terrible part – time to individually pick each pod off the plant, break it open and remove the beans. And just like you have black beans to use and store.\

Tips on Growing Black Beans

Tips/Info:

If you intend on eating these often, I would suggest growing 15 plants per person.   This should last you throughout all the seasons until you grow again.   If you really love black beans, grow even more!  The black beans won’t go bad, so it’s not like you’ll be wasting them if you grow too many.

Black beans are incredibly easy to take care of, they are kind of no nonsense plants.  Plant them, water them occasionally, give them sunshine and they’ll grow without any additional help.   

You can grow these in the ground or in containers – both work great.

How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

For a timeline, this is about 2 weeks after planting the seed directly in the soil.
How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!
And this is half way through the growing period, around 50 days.  This is our garden bed filled with just beans!
How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

Me as the black bean lady.   The beans were just picked and now they’ll hang in the shed for a week.
How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

And then the most tiring part… popping open the pods and taking out the beans!  If you’re growing lots of beans, put aside a entire afternoon for this.
How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

Once they’re all removed from the pods, store in a jar, preferably glass jar so you can admire them.  Beans store wonderfully,  I don’t think I’ve ever had beans that went bad.
How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!
How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

My favorite part of growing Summer dry beans is being able to eat them in the middle of Winter when it’s 30 degrees out.  It really makes Summer gardening feel special!How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

Hope you enjoyed learning about black beans and I hope you try growing them! As always if you have any growing questions leave them in the comments section.
How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

 

HOW TO GROW black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden.  Looking for a new plant to grow in  your garden this year?  Try growing black beans!  They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

 

38 Comments

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  • I am definitely going to try them this year!! I love black beans but never thought to grow them. Last year I grew pole beans on a trellis on the duck pen-a crop and shade for my babies!

  • Do you start these in containers and them move them outside? We’re in Minnesota so the early gardening season is touchy.

    • Hello Saeriu, I’m in zone 5A where it’s risky as well in early Spring. I always find it’s best to plant the black bean seeds directly in the soil. The beans usually take about 100 days to maturity so if you plant them in late May, you should have plenty of time for a full bean growing season.

  • This is so great!! BB’s are definitely one of those things I think “buy”instead of “diy” but you have challenged that!! Beautiful work and great tutorial!

    • I hope you try growing them Jessie! They’re one of my favorites to grow, especially because I can admire then in my kitchen for months after picking!

  • A couple of years ago, I had an empty raised bed and decided to toss some black beans out there to try…..not from seed packets, but from the grocery store. They did amazingly well!! So, instead of 20 seeds for $1+, I got a full pound of seed for $1+. I think I planted maybe 60?? And harvested a couple pounds of beans. A little tedious, but a fun experiment!!

  • Oh the pain of podding those beans! It hurts! BUT!!! Good news! I saw an idea from Seed Savers Exchange… Just pick off the dried pods and stuff them in a sack (the kind of plasticy woven gunny sack that bulk dried beans come in) then throw it around, hit it against a building, have a child jump on it…. Anything to break those tough pods. Then separate the beans from the chaff which you can do with a fan or the wind or your hands…. I am SO doing this next year!!!

    • Hey Alissa, I’ve totally tried this but it didn’t work too well for me and left so many broken pod pieces with the beans which were a real pain to pick out. Might be worth trying again, but if not, I always have the loving one at a time method to fall back on! Hope you have good luck with it, enjoy the beans!

  • Hi! My name is Becky and I live in central Florida. Our weather here has been a scorcher this summer, so I was wondering if it would still be OK to plant black beans. They are my family’s favorite so they’ll never go to waste. I’ve been prepping the soil with natural organic things like banana peels , Coffee grind, natural organic food and soil. But on one of your pictures I noticed you had I believe mulch around the seedlings, am I my correct and should I use this here in Florida ? Any help or ideas would truly be appreciated, I really enjoyed reading your blog. Oh sorry so many questions, are beans from a bag ok (Goya)? Thank you so much.

    • Hey Becky. I live in Brevard county and hope you get an answer about the mulch. I want to Try black beans too!

  • Pamela, Hello from Maryland. Thank you so much for this blog post with the beautiful detailed pictures! I had never grown black beans before but based on this post, I decided to give it a try. Today, I pulled 25 plants out of my square foot garden and put them in the garage to dry. I think they are going to turn out perfectly. THANK-YOU!! Rhonda

    • Hey Rhonda, your comment made my day! I’m so happy this post helped you grow black beans! Enjoy your black bean harvest all Winter long! Thanks for keeping me updated! 🙂

  • […] Once I started growing our own black beans, I started to see the beauty of dried beans.   The only thing that was holding me back 100% from joining the dried bean team was the overnight soaking, which I almost always can never remember to do (we aren’t a house that plans our meals in advance).  So I came up with this recipe of throwing them in the slow cooker for 4 hours which leads to a yummy bean perfection!   […]

  • Can you just use any dry beans such as store-bought or would I have to order them online
    I too would like to plant my own beans

  • Thank you for the past. Love black beans, eat them regularly. I garden every year but have not grown black beans. I will this year. Thanks again

  • Thank you for the detailed information, I bought some and was also wondering if they were a bush tyupe plant or vine. Mine are going in the garden today!

  • Black beans sure are a cool thing. Especially the climbing ones in my case. I love growing them along the fence the side of my property and extend their path with ropes tell they get to my balcony. Last year they were something like 6 meters high! The shade they produce is so refreshing in the hot summer…

    I think some people asked if you needed to mulch your beans. It’s not necessary, but always better, gives them a nice damp blanket they appreciate especially when they are young bean seedlings.
    Once they are taller they are pretty resistant though, in my garden the climbing black beans actually protect my other plants from heatwaves.
    Also, you can plant beans indoors before the growing season and transplant, but beans you plant directly in the soil outside catch up pretty fast with their indoor counterparts.
    You don’t need to fertilize them with nitrogen (green mulch/compost) because they are the ones who pump it from the air into the soil! Yes, you read me, they fertilize your garden for free. Try planting anything else the next season in the same soil after beans, you will get fabulous results.
    I would recommend though to fertilize beans by adding compost when they start flowering to help them produce more bean pods.

  • Hi Pamela, My name is Rosanna. I just replanted my black beans bush type in my veggie garden behind my strawberry plants. I had heard this was good for the strawberries because bean plants give off a lot of nitrogen. I would like to know I when transplanting my beans I pulled them out of the flower box they were in, unfortunately tearing some of the roots, will this be a problem for my black bean plants, will it make my plants be stunted? Should I planted them in hills? Thank you, Pamela

    • Hey Rosanna, nice to meet you! Always when transplanting, plant roots have the possibility of getting damaged. Hopefully not too much damage is done and the bean plants will recover quickly. Are they still standing straight up or do you notice them wilting?

  • I did a dumb thing, and picked the black beans when they were not dried (I thought they were green beans). There are beans inside, that are small and white. Is there anything that can be done with them, or do they just have to go into the compost. Can you eat these?

    • Hey Char, you sure can, but you’ll need to cook them to tender – make sure to fully cook the beans! Enjoy!

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