How Many Rows of Beans Should You Plant?

Beans are easy-to-grow veggies, perfect for any garden setup. Beans prefer to grow in rows, especially when you grow many of them at a time, but just how many rows should you plant them in? 

You should plant at least two rows of beans with the plants 4-6 inches apart. Planting two rows of beans allow the plants to use each other as support, reduces soil erosion, and increases soil water retention.

In the rest of this article, I will discuss all you need to know about planting beans in rows. If you want to learn more about this, some good companion plants for beans, and overall care for your beans plants, read on. 

How To Plant Beans in Rows

Planting beans in your garden is simple since the beans don’t need to be sown indoors. Instead, it’s best to plant your beans directly into the soil you want them to grow in because their roots are extremely fragile. 

When growing any plant, it’s essential to take care right from plant selection. Although knowing the growing methods is important, choosing the right plant or plant variety can go a long way.

This brings me to the first step of planting beans — selection.

Select Your Beans 

First, you will need to select what kind of beans you wish to grow. Some bean varieties require different spacing, but most thrive in rows. Planting beans in rows is a great way to prevent overexposure to the sun and reduce moisture loss from the soil. Plus, beans will produce harvest for longer throughout their growing season. 

There are two main types of beans that are commonly grown: bush beans and climbing beans/pole beans. Which is better to plant in your garden, and do they grow well in rows? 

Bush Beans vs. Climbing Beans

As the name suggests, bush beans grow closer to the ground and out in a bushy shape. As a result, these beans don’t require support to grow. However, they can also greatly benefit from being grown in rows. 

In contrast, climbing beans require support as they are more vine-like. These beans will also attach to nearby plants and structures. Climbing beans or pole beans greatly benefit from being planted in rows as this ensures extra support for the beans.

If you’d like a more in-depth guide about how to properly string up bean poles, you could check this article out: How To Properly String Up Bean Poles (Easy Tips)

Some of the most popular garden bean varieties include:

  • Snap Beans. These beans require soil that drains well and enjoys being planted in rows. The snap bean is excellent if you want beans all season long. However, you must regularly harvest the bean pods to maintain production. 
  • Fava Beans. These beans grow similarly to peas and are relatively cold-resistant. Fava beans grow better in cool, wet climates. 
  • Lima Beans. The lima bean prefers warm soil and must be planted after the last frost. Lima beans require well-draining soil and are often referred to as butter beans. 

It’s important to note that snap beans come in both bush and climbing varieties. So you can choose the plant type that best suits your garden’s needs. It’s also okay to plant multiple varieties of beans to ensure your garden has a healthy mix of plants. 

Dig a Trench Beside Each Row 

Next, you will need to dig a trench to either side of each row. The trench will act as a delivery system for the plant’s water and ensure the beans’ roots are not disturbed. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when digging your trench:

  • Carve out dirt with a good hoe to create your rows. A small garden shovel or trowel will get the job done if you don’t own a hoe, but this can be a difficult task depending on how many crops you’re planting.
  • There should be about 18 inches (45cm) between each row where water will flow during designated watering times. 
  • The trenches where the water will pool shouldn’t be more than a few inches deep. 

Mound the Dirt on Each Row 

When creating your bean rows, it’s essential to ensure you have enough dirt on each row. You want the rows to be slightly higher than the shallow trenches the water will flow through. You can take some of the dirt excavated from the trenches and mound it on the rows. 

Plant the Beans With Good Spacing 

Once your rows are created, it’s time to plant the beans. As I previously stated, beans need to be planted directly into the soil rather than indoors. However, you should adhere to good garden spacing to ensure your beans grow healthy and strong. 

Beans should be planted 1 inch (2.54 cm) deep into the soil and spaced 4-6 inches (10-15cm) apart. Beans need good spacing as they fill in, allowing them to grow and unfurl their leaves. It’s important to note that planting your beans too deep can cause them to rot instead of sprout. 

Additionally, climbing beans require slightly more space than bush varieties. So it’s essential to consider the type of bean you’re planting when spacing out a garden. 

You will also need support if your beans are pole beans. Supports can be made from scrap wood or structures you already have. 

Grow Veg has a great video on five different ways you can support your climbing beans as they grow. He does a great job explaining how each type works and how to create them. 

Provide Adequate Care

You will need to provide proper care for growing beans. Typically it will take about two months for your beans to sprout. While you wait, the plants will need regular watering and plenty of sunlight. As the beans grow, they will fill out and begin climbing if they are a pole variety. 

Beans are generally hardy and require little care. However, you can fertilize them occasionally, and applying mulch is beneficial. Mulch acts as a barrier to trap moisture and ensure your beans don’t dry out.

How Far Apart Do You Plant Rows of Beans?

Now that you understand more about growing beans in rows, answering some vital questions is essential. First,  just how far apart do bean rows need to be for your plants to thrive? 

Bean rows need to be planted 18 inches (45 cm) apart to ensure enough room for your beans to grow. Proper spacing is vital for optimal plant growth and bean production. Additionally, good spacing allows the beans to utilize each other for support and ensures moisture stays in the soil. Plus, beans grow better in groups. 

Of course, you can plant them slightly closer or farther away, but 18 inches (45 cm) seems to work best for most gardeners. Additionally, if you’re planting bean varieties that climb, good spacing is crucial so you can fit trellises or other climbing structures. 

Can You Plant Beans in Double Rows?

Typically beans are planted in rows. However, some gardeners take slightly less traditional approaches. So what about double rows? Can and should you plant your beans in double rows?

You can plant beans in double rows; many beans often prefer being planted in double rows. Planting beans in double rows are great for keeping them close together and protecting them from the sun. In addition, double rows can help shade the soil, so it retains moisture and nutrients better. 

As you can see, double-row planting can be highly beneficial. Plus, it’s a great way to save room in your garden and group like plant types. Double rows are especially great for climbing varieties of beans and will ensure that your beans can flower.

What Grows Well Next To Beans?

Another essential thing to consider when planting rows of beans in your garden is what plants will thrive next to them. Beans generally get along with most plants, but it’s essential to do your research since you don’t want your beans competing with others for survival. 

Plants like tomatoes, spinach, celery, kale, and peas grow particularly well next to beans. You can also grow plants like carrots and cauliflower with great success nearby. However, you should avoid plants like beats as they will compete for nutrients, stunting both plants’ growth. 

Ultimately, beans are friendly garden companions and do quite well with most leafy greens. However, members of the onion family like leaks, onions, and garlic need to be avoided. 


You can plant 1-2 beans in your garden, but double rows work best. By planting beans in rows of 2, the plants get benefits like:

  • Increased protection from the elements. 
  • Better support.
  • Moisture retention in the soil.  

Additionally, double rows help keep a garden space tidy and organized.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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