rows of plants in the garden

Green Bean Companion Plants

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Some plants make good neighbors in the vegetable garden and some don’t. Find out what are the best green bean companion plants. Companion planting is a practice of planting plants together in the vegetable garden that support each other’s growth.

Hand holding a fresh green bean off the vine

There are plants such as sunflowers that have great properties, such as feeding birds and removing heavy metals from the soil, that have bad properties too.

Sunflowers stunt or impede the growth of other plants with chemicals they give off as they grow. It’s best to grow them on their own.

Green beans are a wonderful plant for eating as well as putting nitrogen into the soil. There are small nodes on the end of the plant’s roots that contain nitrogen. They leach it into the soil as they decompose and feed the other plants around them. Click here for how to grow green beans in your garden.

Many other plants are heavy feeders meaning they need a ton of nitrogen to grow and produce well. Planting them next to green beans could help them attain more nutrients from the soil and thrive.

Bush bean companion plants

Green beans come in two types, bush beans, and pole beans. Bush beans grow on a little bush and pole beans grow in a vining pattern and need to be trellised. The same companions work well for both pole and bush bean varieties. The exception would be if you wanted to grow something tall for the pole beans to trellis on.

Green beans growing with some tiny blossoms

The Cherokee people have a method of growing called the three sisters where each plant helps the other plants grow in a symbiotic relationship. The traditional three sisters method uses corn as the trellis for the pole beans and the pole beans feed nitrogen to the corn.

In addition, they plant summer squash with the combination, and this shades the roots of the other two plants. The three plants work in harmony to feed, shelter, support, and repel pests from the other two in the group.

Flea beetles are a common pest that attack green beans and catnip repels them so catnip is a great companion plant for green beans.

green bean sprouts growing next to corn

Beans can tolerate light shade that is given by corn, so this makes them great companions as well.

What to grow with beans

Cucumber, eggplant and radishes all grow well with green beans. Each of these plants encourages strong growth.

Marigolds are a great companion plant in the garden as they repel many pests. They are actually edible and medicinal. For green beans, they repel the Mexican bean beetle. They also suppress nematodes in the soil from attacking the roots.

Bean plants repel the Colorado potato beetle and potato plants repel bean beetles so these two make a wonderful pair.

Some other plants that make great companions for beans include carrots, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, celery, kale, strawberries, swiss chard, tomatoes, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, parsley, spinach, and savory.

What to avoid planting with bean plants

Beets make a great companion for bush beans, but stunt the growth of pole beans and pole beans stunt the growth of beets.

Onions, garlic, and other members of the allium family stunt the growth of beans and don’t allow them to add nitrogen to the soil.

Some other plants that don’t make a great pair with beans include fennel and kohlrabi.

Companion planting broad beans

Broad beans are a kind of drying bean that grows in a shell and also has an inside membrane to remove before eating. They are commonly called fava beans. They enjoy the same good companions in the garden as green beans. Most drying beans, such as pinto, black, and kidney beans are pole beans and they enjoy the same good companions in the garden as green beans do.

For lots of great ways to use green beans from your garden, check this post out.

For more ideas on companion planting, check these out:

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