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Contender Bean Guide

Contender beans are hardy, high yielding heirloom green beans. These beans produce a large harvest and are commonly used for canning. Clean out your cupboards and make room for some cans of delicious beans!


Contender beans grow best in warmer weather between 75°F-95°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends direct seeding.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 4 weeks after last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 8-16 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 75°F-95°F; or

If Transplanting

Beans usually do not transplant well. However, if you do, start the bean seeds indoors 2 weeks after last frost date in biodegradable pods that will let the roots grow through; clingwrap the container to seal in the warmth. Germination is best and fastest between 80°F-85°F. It can be transplanted outside 6 weeks later.

Sow seeds 1 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart with rows spaced 24-36 inches apart. Germination will take 6-10 days. Thin seedlings to 6 inches apart when they start competing for space.


Contender beans like well-draining, light soil free of weeds. They also love full sun and warm weather. Water regularly to keep the soil lightly moist, not soggy. Check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it. Make sure to water at the base and not from above to prevent rot or disease.

Adding a layer of mulch helps in retaining moisture, regulating temperature, and preventing weed growth. If you weed by hand, make sure not to disturb the roots of the beans. Fertilizer is not required but if you do use one, 5-10-10 at half strength of the recommended amount is usually enough. Sow a few times a season, 3-4 weeks apart for a continuous harvest.


Contenders beans develop in 45 days. Pick the pods off before the seeds bulge and the pod snaps off easily. Pick every 2-3 days to prolong production. It can be eaten raw or cooked and has one of the highest yields of any bean variety.


Resistant to northern leaf blight, common bean mosaic. Aphids, mites, anthracnose – insecticidal soap, neem oil, organic pesticide, manual picking, keep free of weeds and debris, don’t handle the beans when they’re wet, rotate crop, avoid overwatering, don’t water from above the foliage

*Companion plant beans with strawberries, cucumbers, melons, beets, eggplants, peas, and celery. Avoid planting with garlic, fennel, and onions. *

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