Beans (Snap and Lima) - Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide - University of Illinois Extension

Beans (Snap and Lima)


Beans are warm-season vegetables, but during excessively hot weather they may drop their blossoms and pods. Since beans are sensitive to frost, they should be planted when all danger of frost is past and when the soil is warm. Seeds of many bean varieties tend to crack and germinate poorly when exposed to very moist conditions. Therefore do not soak bean seed or irrigate immediately after planting.

For a continuous supply of snap beans, make plantings every 10 days until the first part of August.


The bush types of beans, which are most commonly grown, should be planted in rows. Pole varieties, which must be supported by poles or trellises, should be planted in hills 3 feet apart each way.

Red kidney beans, and edible soybeans are grown much like limas and snap beans.

To control bean diseases, do not handle or work among bean plants when the foliage is wet from dew or rain.

The Mexican bean beetle, the bean leaf beetle, and the potato leafhopper should be controlled.

Harvest snap beans when the pods are young and succulent and before the seeds are mature. Lima beans harvested for green limas should be picked when the seeds are nearly full size but before they turn white. For dry beans, let the pods mature on the plants, but harvest them before the pods get so dry that they shatter.

Crop Amount for 100
ft of row
Variety recommended for use in Illinois Days to harvest Resistant to
Snap beans (seed) ¾ pound Bush, green
Blue Lake 274 58 Mosaic
Contender 53 Mosaic
Derby 57
Provider 52 Mosaic
Tendercrop 54 Mosaic
Tendergreen 57 Mosaic, rust, bacteria, blight and wilt
Topcrop 51
Bush, yellow
Cherokee Wax 52 Rust, mosaic
Gold Crop 54 Rust, mosaic
Slender Wax 56
Lima beans (seed) ½ pound Burpee Improved Bush 75 Mosaic
Fordhook 242 75 Mosaic
Baby Fordhook 80
Henderson 70
Vegetable Hardiness Recommended planting period for central Illinois (b) Time to grow from seed to field (c)
For  overall
Bean, bush, lima Very Tender May 10-June 15 …….
Bean, bush, snap Tender Apr. 25-July 15 …….
Vegetable Spacing in row
Seed to sow per foot Distance between plants when thinned or transplanted Distance between rows Planting depth
inches inches inches
Bean, bush, lima 3-4 Do not thin 18-30 1-2
Bean, bush, snap 6 Do not thin 18-24 1-2
Bean, bush, lima 3-4 Do not thin 18-30 1-2
Bean, bush, snap 6 Do not thin 18-24 1-2