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Green beans

Green bean planting times

Green bean planting times are crucial since they are sensitive to frost They can be cultivated only when there is no longer any danger or risk of frost.  The different planting times for bush and runner beans in various parts of South Africa are listed in the table below

Green beans planted during early summer are usually more subject to bacterial blight and consequently varieties susceptible should not be cultivated during this time.

Green bean planting times must be correlated strongly with the marketing period and this determines the planting date  the planting times provided below and growing periods of the relevant varieties should be studied before fixing the planting date.

In view of the fact that green beans are harvested over a relatively short period, about three weeks for bush beans and five weeks for runner beans, they should be planted in succession at intervals of about 3-5 weeks. This will help with an even supply of green pods during the optimum harvesting period. A good practice is not to plant successive plantings to close to each other. This prevents the older plants with higher pest and disease infestations to drift over to the younger plants.

Green bean planting times are very limited in a given location. This is due to the sensitivity of the crops leaves to low temperatures and soft tissues. Other crops such as lettuce can be planted throughout the year using 4-5 different varieties but not green beans. The relative importance of the crop also plays a role. Not much research is done in developing the plant compared to lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes etc.  If you have reached the maximum planting on your farm it might be a good idea to rent or swap lands with another farmer that has different climate zones. In that way you win by crop rotation and possible staggering your planting times and stretching them out longer for good marketing opportunities.

Green bean planting times for South Africa
Production areaBush beansRunner beans
The highveld (Heavy frost in winter) Mpumalanga, North WestMid September to JanuaryMid September to January
Middleveld (with light frost in winter) Limpopo, North east, Mpumalanga & KZNSeptember to FebruarySeptember to January
Lowveld (cooler areas) Far north, Mpumalanga, KZNAugust - September and February to MarchAugust - September and February to March
Lowveld (Hot summers and frost free winters) Limpopo, Mpumulanga North, KZNMarch to AugustMarch to August
KZN MidlandsSeptember to JanuarySeptember to December
Free State and Northern Cape regionOctober to JanuaryOctober to December
Eastern Cape areaOctober to FebruaryOctober to January
Western Cape areaSeptember to FebruarySeptember to January

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