(Adapted from All About Growing Beans)
When to Plant
Bean seeds germinate best when soil temperatures range between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In spring, sow seeds in fertile, well-worked soil starting on or after your last frost date. When growing fast-maturing bush snap beans, make additional plantings at three-week intervals until midsummer.
How to Plant
Prepare the planting bed by using a garden fork to loosen the soil. Mix in a 1-inch layer of mature compost. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 2 to 4 inches apart. Thin bush beans to 4 inches apart; thin pole beans to 6 inches apart. Wide double rows (two parallel rows of beans planted 12 to 14 inches apart) are the most space-efficient way to grow beans.
Harvesting and Storing
Harvest green beans when they are young and tender, and use two hands when picking to keep from breaking the brittle plants. Most bush beans will produce a second or third flush of beans after the first one is picked. Harvest pole beans at least twice a week to keep the plants productive. The mature beans of all snap bean varieties usually make good soup beans.
Note: The seeds inside your Picnic Day packet are for planting, not eating. The beans you will harvest from them can be eaten.