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The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

Looking to Grow Beans in your Southern Garden? Discover the top varieties that thrive in hot, humid conditions, from tasty snap beans to prolific pole beans and more.

Growing beans is a summer tradition for many Southern gardeners. These nutritious legumes are packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and a host of vitamins and minerals. Lucky for us, beans come in dozens of tasty varieties well-suited for the hot, humid weather found across the Southern states.

 The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

Whether you love classic green beans, flavorful heirloom varieties, or exotic edibles like yard-long beans, there’s a bean for every taste and garden space. Here are some of the best bean varieties to try growing in your Southern garden.

1. Green Beans

Green-Beans-1024x1024 The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

Let’s start with one of the most popular Southern veggies – green beans! These crisp, bright beans are versatile in the kitchen for everything from quick stir-fries to classic dishes like Southern-style green beans.

Bush Green Beans If you’re limited on space or want beans perfect for containers, go for bush-type green bean varieties. These compact plants don’t require staking or trellising.

  • Derby – High-yielding, tender 6-7 inch pods on compact plants
  • Contender – Dependable producer of straight, flavorful 6-inch beans
  • Maxibel – Dutch heirloom with wide, meaty 6-inch beans
  • Roma II – Reliable Romano bean with flat, broad 5-6 inch pods

Plant Attributes: Compact bush growth 2-3 ft tall, concentrated harvest period

2. Pole Green Beans

Pole-Green-Beans-1024x1024 The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

For bigger harvests over a longer period, plant vigorous pole green beans using a trellis or stake support. The climbing vines yield over many weeks.

  • Fortex – High yields of 8-inch straight, smooth beans
  • Kentucky Blue – Heirloom with streaks of purple and green 5-6 inch pods
  • Yankee Bloomsdale – Vining plant with meaty 5-7 inch pods
  • Rattlesnake – Eye-catching streaked beans, 7-8 inches long

Plant Attributes: Vigorous vining growth 6-10 ft, continual production over many weeks

3. Wax Beans

 The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

As their name implies, wax beans have eye-catching yellow pods tinged with pale green or purple hues when mature. They have the same great flavor as green beans.

  • Gold Rush – High yields of uniform, bright 6-inch pods
  • Dragon’s Tongue – Heirloom Dutch wax with streaked purple pods
  • Golden Wax – Classic variety with bright 5-inch yellow pods
  • Gold Mine – Compact bush wax bean, ideal for containers

Plant Attributes: Varieties come in bush or pole habits

4. Snap Beans

Snap-Beans The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

Snap beans encompass both green and wax bean varieties meant to be harvested and eaten whole when immature, pod and all. They’re super crispy and tender! Great for snacking, salads or stir-fries.

  • Solstice – Early, extra slim 5-6 inch stringless purple pods
  • Roma II – Flat, wide, tasty Romano snap beans
  • Jade – Gourmet wax bean with long, straight 7-inch pods
  • Velour – French heirloom with velvety, streaked purple pods

Plant Attributes: Traits depend on variety, snap when immature

5. Shelling Beans

Shelling-Beans The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

While snap beans are harvested young, with shelling beans you wait until the pods are fully mature and dry on the plant. Then you shell out the beans inside, discarding the fibrous pods.

  • Grandma’s Yellow – Heirloom shelling bean with golden dried seeds
  • Dragon’s Tongue – Pretty streaked pods hold flavorful shell beans
  • Windsor – English heirloom fava shelling bean
  • Tongue of Fire – Speckled, flavorful dried beans

Plant Attributes: Leave pods on plant until mature and dry

6. Edamame

Edamame The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

Edamame are immature soybeans harvested when the fuzzy pods are plump and green. The sweet beans make a healthy, protein-packed snack or addition to stir-fries and salads.

  • Midori Giant – Very productive, large edamame pods and seeds
  • Envy – Early edamame with bright green 3-inch pods
  • EdamameOvergreen – Prolific with excellent edamame flavor
  • Edamame Sayamusume – Long harvest window of large edamame

Plant Attributes: Bushy plants, fuzzy green pods, harvest immature

7. Yard-Long Beans

Yard-Long-Beans-819x1024 The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

Grown across Southeast Asia, these vigorous pole beans can produce pods up to 3 feet long when trellised! They have a distinctive nutty, asparagus-like flavor.

  • Red Noodle – Striking bright red 18-inch pods, productive
  • Celestial – Long, slender 20-inch purple-green pods
  • Asparagus Yard-Long – green pods up to 3 ft, asparagus bean flavor
  • Bountiful – Heavy yields of dark green 15-18 inch pods

Plant Attributes: Vigorous vining growth, very long edible pods

8. Cowpeas/Southern Peas

CowpeasSouthern-Peas-819x1024 The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

A staple of Southern cuisine, these heat-loving pea/bean hybrids include blackeyed peas, crowder peas, creams and more. Eat the pods and dried peas.

  • Texas Cream – Tan cowpea with plump, creamy-tasting peas
  • Big Red Ripper – Flavorful, elongated red pea pods
  • Rattle Crowder – Curved pods filled with crowded red-speckled peas
  • California Blackeye No. 5 – Heavy yields of classic blackeye peas

Plant Attributes: Bush or semi-vining habits, drought-tolerant

9. Limas

Limas-1016x1024 The Best Types of Garden Beans to Grow in the South

Don’t forget about limas! These Southern staples come in large-seeded pole varieties like butter beans as well as compact bush types for small gardens.

  • Henderson – Classic small-seeded bush lima, very productive
  • Fordhook 242 – Heavy yields of large, plump bush lima beans
  • Christmas Pole – Heirloom butter bean with vibrant red-speckled seeds
  • King of the Garden – Tall, productive pole variety with large seeds

Plant Attributes: Bush or pole habits with different lima seed types

With so many delicious options, it’s easy to grow a bumper crop of nutritious homegrown beans tailored to your gardening space and cooking preferences. From heirloom varieties to exotic edibles, beans are a staple of Southern gardens and plates. Give some of these top-performing varieties a try!

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