Best Fertilizers For Green Bean Plants: Ratings, Reviews, and Top Picks
Looking to fertilize your green beans this growing season, but aren't sure which type of fertilizer is best? Green beans are fairly easy to grow, but can be picky plants when it comes to fertilizer. In this review, we compare our favorite brands by comparing fertilizer formulas, pH balance, fertilizer balance, and more.
A good harvest of green beans can make or break your summer meal and canning plans. If you have a background in gardening, you may already know that this plant produces nitrogen. However, nitrogen alone isn’t enough. That’s why your green beans need fertilizer to help keep them nourished through their growing season.
The type of soil where you live can help determine how well your green beans will grow. They stand little chance of thriving if you live in an area where the soil lacks nutrients, which is where fertilizer comes in. Depending on where you live, properly balanced fertilizer can be essential to the growth of your plant.
So, whether you want to use fertilizer to make your soil more suitable for growing green beans or simply want a larger and more bountiful veggie yield that returns each year, read on to learn about the best fertilizers for green beans.
At A Glance: Top Green Bean Fertilizers
Dr. Earth Organic Vegetable Fertilizer
Down to Earth Organic Fertilizer
Miracle-Gro Performance Organics
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Choosing the right fertilizer can have a significant impact on how big or how small the yield of your crop is. You want the biggest harvest you can get for both eating, and for canning when it comes time to pick them. So, below are some items you should keep in mind when choosing a fertilizer.
One of the first decisions you’ll make when picking a fertilizer is the application type. This will depend mostly on the soil type you have, the climate you live in, and what type of fertilizer you prefer. You’ll have the following three options to choose from.
Liquid fertilizer is an excellent option for fast absorption. It typically comes in a concentrated or powder form, so you’ll need to mix it with water in a watering can. Alternatively, you can use a hose attachment. Just make sure you don’t apply this fertilizer when rain is in the forecast. Otherwise, the rain might wash it away before your green beans can soak up the nutrients.
Dry, granular fertilizers come in quick and slow-release versions. You apply it by pouring it into a spreader, which distributes the granules. An advantage of using dry fertilizer is that you can see where the fertilizer falls, so you can identify any spots you missed.
Spikes are an excellent option for people who don’t want to spend much time fertilizing their plants. You simply take the stick-shaped product and push it into the soil next to your plants. By doing so, the plant then enjoys a slow-release fertilizer method.
Green bean fertilizers come in organic and synthetic options. Aside from their ingredients, one of the primary differences between organic and synthetic fertilizers is that synthetic fertilizers feed the plant directly.
In contrast, organic fertilizers immerse the soil with nutrients, which promotes the production of microorganisms. Therefore, they help feed the plant for a longer time on a slower time frame.
Unlike many plants, green beans produce nitrogen. Therefore, it isn’t essential to look for a fertilizer containing high amounts of it. However, below are some important nutrients you should look for in a green bean fertilizer:
Top Fertilizers for Green Beans
Now that you have a base for what to look for in a green bean fertilizer, we’ll share our favorites with you. Each of these fertilizers is well thought of for many different types of growing applications. If you are fertilizing green beans, the same fertilizer formulas can also be used for other vegetable plants. You can use many of these formulas when fertilizing asparagus, or fertilizing bell peppers.
Miracle-Gro Shake n’ Feed
- Natural ingredients.
- Guaranteed not to burn your plants.
- Suitable for in-ground and potted plants.
- Provides three months’ worth of nutrients.
- Long shelf life.
- Requires watering after application.
- Strengthens roots.
It’s hard to go wrong with a household name like Miracle-Gro. Their all-purpose Shake’ n Feed will give your green beans a slow but constant dose of nutrients for up to three months.
By using this fertilizer, your plants will benefit from having nourishment above and below ground. You can expect a larger, more bountiful yield as a result of Shake n’ Feed stimulating microbes to break down its ingredients. Thus, your beans will develop stronger roots.
To use, gently shake this dry product onto the soil before you plant, or beside the plant after planting. Then, use a garden rake to mix the fertilizer into the first 1 – 3 inches of soil.
Down to Earth Organic Vegetable Garden Fertilizer
- Safe for transplanted bean roots to touch it.
- Broad nutrient profile.
- Organic Materials Review Institute approved.
- Suitable to apply throughout the season
- Several size options.
- Multi-purpose use with trees and shrubs.
- Not excessive amounts of nitrogen.
Down to Earth’s 4-4-4 is an excellent fertilizer because it balances its nitrogen content with 4% each of phosphate and soluble potash. Furthermore, it contains considerable amounts of calcium and iron.
The label is a delight to read, as it contains a unique mix of ingredients. Examples include fish bone meal, alfalfa meal, and kelp meal. Needless to say, this organic fertilizer will encourage your plant to produce a bountiful yield without you having to worry about washing chemicals off them.
Down to Earth’s fertilizer comes in dry granules. You’ll need to use up to six pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting. You’ll want to mix it into the top three inches of your soil for optimal results.
Dr. Earth Home Grown Organic
Dr. Earth offers the best fertilizer for green beans if you want to use the fertilizer for several stages during your beans’ growth. It’s safe to use before planting, during transplanting, and as topsoil for mature plants.
Not only does this fertilizer increase the soil’s microbe levels, but it also contains mycorrhiza, a fungus that has a symbiotic relationship with plant roots. That’s in great part to it containing a mixture of land and ocean plants.
Because of Dr. Earth’s feed-grade ingredients, they break down slowly and naturally. Therefore, they help most plants withstand drought conditions, receive a slow supply of nutrients, and yield a larger production.
Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food
- Apply with water.
- Safe for all plants and trees.
- Can apply every 7 – 14 days.
- Strong nutrient concentration.
- Won’t burn plants if used correctly.
- Works with Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder.
- 1 gallon per 10 square feet.
Dry fertilizer has its advantages. However, if you want a quick solution for fertilizing a large green bean garden, Miracle-Gro’s All-Purpose product is an excellent choice.
We love this fertilizer because you can attach your hose to a Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder, and it’ll automatically mix the water with an appropriate amount of powder fertilizer. It doesn’t get easier than that!
Alternatively, if you’re only growing a few plants, you can mix the powder into a watering can and fertilize your plants that way. Technically, you can use this all-purpose Miracle-Gro as frequently as every seven days. However, since green beans produce their own nitrogen, like all fertilizers, we recommend using it sparingly.
Espoma Garden-Tone Organic Plant Food
- Specially formulated for vegetables.
- Slow-release feed.
- Bio-tone microbes.
- No fillers or sludges.
- 100% natural ingredients.
- Contains several bacillus species.
- Maximum monthly application.
- Dual-use for herbs.
Espoma touts their fertilizer as generating bigger and more abundant harvests. And it’s no wonder—their 100% organic ingredient list contains green bean-healthy items like bacillus, poultry manure, and greensand.
Bio-tone microbes allow this fertilizer to work its magic on your veggie patch long after you apply it, as they turn the soil into a sustainable nutrient-producing machine. You can use this Espoma fertilizer before planting, 7 – 10 days after transplanting, and monthly until you harvest your beans.
If you don’t have a tiller, get ready for a workout; Espoma recommends mixing their granular fertilizer into the top four or five inches of your soil. Alternatively, you can mix in a little fertilizer with your potted green beans.
Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles
To keep up with the times, Miracle-Gro has a cutting-edge organic fertilizer. They guarantee you’ll see results within seven days, provided you weren’t already giving fertilizer to your green beans.
The Organic Edibles jar comes with a clever top that allows you to easily sprinkle this fertilizer around your plants without transferring it to another container. Unlike many other granular fertilizers, you don’t have to mix Organics Edibles into the soil.
Instead, simply use a watering can or hose to encourage the fertilizer to soak into the soil. You can apply Organic Edibles every four to six weeks. Just make sure to avoid putting the fertilizer too close to your green bean’s stems.
Tank’s Green Stuff 100% Organic Fertilizer
With an ingredient list containing worm castings, gypsum, blood meal, and bat guano, Tank’s Green Stuff may leave you doing a double-take. Although it’s far from an appetizing mix, your green beans will appreciate the all-natural ingredients that’ll help them increase their production.
You can mix Tank’s Green Stuff’s rich, soil-like fertilizer into the soil before planting. All you need is ½ cup per square foot. Alternatively, if you plan to grow your plants in pots, you can mix one cup of fertilizer for every ten gallons of soil.
Aside from their outstanding organic fertilizer, we love Tank’s Green Stuff because they’re a small Arizona-based company committed to building sustainable gardens.
Xtreme Gardening Mykos Organic Root Enhancer
- Contains Rhizophagus intraradices.
- Stores nutrients.
- Retains moisture.
- Increases crop yield.
- Apply weekly until they flower.
- Supplements other fertilizers.
- Prevents pathogens and diseases.
We’re taking the liberty to veer off a little with the traditional path with this pick. Although Xtreme’s root enhancer isn’t a traditional fertilizer, it behaves like one in a unique way because of its mycorrhizae content.
As mentioned earlier, mycorrhizae are root-friendly fungi. Their spongy texture helps retain nutrients around their roots and keep in moisture. Therefore, it’s safe to use this root enhancer with another fertilizer on this list.
Alternatively, if your soil already has a decent amount of nutrients, and given that green beans produce nitrogen, you may find that this Xtreme product produces large, plentiful crop yields without additional fertilizer.
SUPERthrive Plant Vitamin Solution
- Non-toxic formula.
- Restores stressed beans.
- Excellent supplement for transplanting.
- Two-year shelf life.
- Dip your bean seeds in it before planting.
- Safe for pets and kids.
- Difficult to overtreat.
Yes, your green beans can take vitamins just like you do. SUPERthrive is an excellent fertilizer option if you plan to transplant your plants, as this is a stressful situation for them, and they require additional nutrients.
Furthermore, if you notice that your plants begin losing their healthy appearance, giving them a dose of SUPERthrive could restore them. SUPERthrive doesn’t look like your average fertilizer—it comes in a container that looks like an iodine jar.
To use it, pour ¼ teaspoon of the liquid for every gallon of water you use. Then, take your watering can or hose and spray the base of your plants. SUPERthrive is a gentle product, so you can use it on an as-needed weekly or monthly basis.
Jobe’s Organics Vegetable & Tomato Fertilizer Spikes
We’re rounding off this review with a unique way to fertilize your plants—using a spike that you stick into the soil. Although it’s a less conventional option, you can find several plant spikes on the market.
However, we love Jobe’s Organics because its natural formula gives your plants nutrients while resisting insects and diseases that could impact your yield. Furthermore, they guarantee that their low odor and slow-release formula will produce more vegetables.
Although these Jobe’s sticks are among the easiest fertilizer to give your plants, there’s a caveat. The sticks cover a limited area. Therefore, they come in a box of 50, and you’ll often need to insert more than one spike around the drip area of each green bean plant for them to work effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fertilizer truly necessary?
The roots of green beans contain nitrogen-fixing nodules. That means they self-emit nitrogen into the soil. So, although they require less fertilizer than most plants, there are several ingredients in fertilizers that benefit a green bean plant’s growth. Just make sure you aren’t using too much fertilizer. This can cause the leaves of your green bean plant to yellow, or die off as a result of fertilizer burns.
When is the best time to fertilize them?
Generally speaking, you should fertilize the soil before planting, and again when they are about to bloom. However, some fertilizers work differently, so be sure to follow the package’s instructions.
Why won’t my green beans bloom even though I fertilized them?
There are several reasons that your green beans might not grow or bloom despite applying fertilizer. Examples include:
- Too hot or cold of a climate.
- Applying too much fertilizer.
- Not enough access to sunlight.
How can I increase my yield?
To increase your yield, keep the soil mulched to retain moisture, weed frequently, and apply fertilizer approximately twice per season. If you overfertilize your beans, you could end up decreasing their yield.
Should I put epsom salt on my green beans?
People apply Epsom salt because the magnesium sulfate encourages their plants to bloom and draw out their color. However, green beans don’t require high amounts of magnesium levels. Therefore, while applying Epsom salt likely won’t hurt your beans, it probably won’t help them.
How many green beans can I expect from my fertilized plant?
Gardeners typically measure green beans in pounds, and the weight varies significantly. While fertilizing your beans in recommended quantities will help increase their yield, many other factors come into play, including rain, sun, and soil quality. If you have 100 feet of beans, you may receive a yield of anywhere from 30 to 75+ pounds of beans.
How will I know when my fertilized green beans are ready for harvesting?
It takes approximately 50 – 60 days for green beans to produce ready-to-eat pods. Wait to pick your beans until they’re 4 – 6 inches long with a semi-firm pod. If beans are protruding through the pod, you waited too late to pick them.
Whether you’re growing a single green bean plant in a container or have a garden full of them, the fertilizers here will help you increase your green bean yield.
The right green bean fertilizer depends on your local soil conditions, but our top pick is Dr. Earth Organic Vegetable fertilizer, because one application lasts for up to three months. Since green beans produce nitrogen, this slow-release method is ideal for preventing a nutrient overdose.
Green beans are often ready for picking in under two months, so time is of the essence. Get started today on fertilizing your plants so you can reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest!