Plant bean seed once the soil has warmed significantly in the spring or the seed may rot in the damp soil before it has the opportunity to germinate.
Pole beans I plant about 3 inches apart. I do not thin them after they’ve germinated. Bush beans I will plant 3 inches apart and thin them to 6 inches apart. That being said, sometimes the rabbits thin them out for me in which case I don’t bother too much with the exact distance.
To harvest drying beans, wait until the pod has dried on the vine. In the case of very wet weather, I harvest all dry or almost dry pods so they don’t mold on the vine. I keep doing so until the frost takes them out. Right before the first expected fall frost, I will harvest any pods with fully developed beans, shell and freeze any beans that are not dry.
To store your dried beans, leave them in a bowl to fully dry out. I leave them for about a month. Every once in a while I will run my hands through it to mix them up. Once fully dry, I store them in paper bags. Then use then as you would any other dried bean. Alternatively you can pressure can them so they are ready for eating!
I love planting drying beans. Here’s an blog posting on why.