Dry Beans East of the Cascades - Phaseolus spp. (field bean, kidney, lima, navy, and pinto)

Don Morishita
Revised: 
March 2017

Dry beans are sensitive to weed competition. Weed growth reduces bean yields by competing for light, moisture, and nutrients. High weed populations also are likely to cause a buildup of disease and/or insect problems that may affect bean growth, development, and marketability. Weeds also increase harvest losses, reduce bean quality, and make seed cleaning more difficult and expensive.

Good seedbed preparation is essential to give dry beans a head start on weeds at planting time. Cultivating emerging weed seedlings between bean rows usually controls weeds adequately without using herbicides. However, weeds usually are not adequately controlled in the bean row; herbicides and tillage are usually necessary. Dry edible beans may be cultivated several times during the growing season to control weeds and maintain irrigation furrows. However, cultivation should be shallow to avoid damaging the bean’s shallow root system. Do not cultivate or harrow when bean foliage is wet because bacterial leaf diseases may be spread.