Since the bean is a warm-season crop and can not safely be planted until after danger from killing frost has passed. The preparation of the soil for field beans should be deferred until the vegetation covering the area has made considerable growth. This so that it may be as thoroughly tilled during the operations of plowing, and prepping the soil for the seeds.
The short-season character of the bean crop enables the area to be occupied during the winter months by some cover crop, such as wheat or rye. If the same area is used year after year for the production of beans, the turning under of winter cover crops furnishes an essential means by which the store of organic matter in the soil can be maintained. Consideration of a significant moment in sections chiefly dependent upon commercial fertilizers as a source for available plant food.
After the land has attained proper dryness in the spring, it should be plowed from 6 to 8 inches in depth, and immediately compacted and harrowed, to prevent the loss of moisture. The surface of the seedbed should be made smooth and fine so that the drill or planter can be economically used upon it. If dry weather follows at this season of the year, a good practice is, immediately preceding the planting of the crop, to run a heavy land roller over the area, mainly if the planting is done with an ordinary grain drill.
If the planting is done with a planter similar to the ordinary corn planter and the land has been rolled previously, it is advisable to go over it with a spike-tooth plow or some other type of smoothing harrow after the crop has been planted, in order that the land may not possess a compacted condition from the substratum to the surface.