Beans

Green Beans
Beans are a great addition to the garden, as they are easy to grow, and they come in many different varieties. They come in all colors from pale yellow, light green, dark green, purple, red, white, and mixes. Most home gardeners grow green beans or wax (yellow) beans but many grow some of the other types such as Roma, Lima beans, shell beans, and of course soybeans. They have two main types of growth, bush and pole.
Planting Beans
Beans prefer full sun, but can be grow in partial shade. They can be grown in most types of soil, but a loose well drained soil with lots of organic matter is best. Most beans do not respond well to cold soil, so you should wait until the soil has warmed up above 55° F  before planting. Although there are some English varieties, and broad beans or favas that do well in cooler soils. When you plant your beans it’s a good idea to use an inoculate. This helps the beans fix nitrogen and fertilize themselves.  Bush beans and pole beans are planted a little differently.
Planting Bush Beans

Bush beans are usually grown in hills or in rows. If planted in hills  the hills should be three to five feet apart with four to seven seeds in each hill. If planted in rows they should be planted about two inches apart in the rows, and the rows should be of approximately three feet apart. They can also be planted in wide rows. In a wide row they should be planted in a trench about five inches wide and two inches deep, spaced about two inches apart in the trench. They should be planted approximately two inches deep in warm soil, and a little shallower in cooler soil.

 

Planting Pole Beans

Pole beans should be planted on a trellis or fence as they don’t produce well growing on the ground. A simple trellis can be made by placing a six foot pole in the ground and running strings from a stake three feet from the pole to the top of the pole. The strings should be about six inches apart from each other. The seeds should planted near the stakes. Plant four or five by each one and thin them to the three strongest plants. If they are planted on a fence they should be spaced about two or three inches apart from each other. They should be planted about two inches deep.

 

Dried Beans

Growing Beans

Once your beans start growing it’s a good idea to keep the weeds down, but be careful that you don’t cultivate too deep or you’ll damage the shallow roots. The other thing you need to be careful of when you’re beans are growing, is to not touch them when they are wet. Beans are very susceptible to diseases which are spread from plant to plant. This happens most often when the plants are wet, or damp from dew.

Harvesting Your Beans

Green bean should be harvested when they are still fairly small as that will ensure that they are tender. Many of the older types of beans have strings which must be removed before cooking, but the newer types are quite often stringless. Lima beans should be harvested when they achieved the size that you desire. Shell beans should be allowed to fully ripen on the vine and harvested before the pods open. They can then be shelled in place on a screen to dry.

After you taste your own home grown beans you’ll be growing them every year. I like to grow extra so that I can freeze them, and enjoy them in the winter.

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LOVE brings peace and happiness.

D.C.B.

 aka Farmer Dave

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