"Beans, like Peas, are a most rewarding crop to grow because they feed the garden as well as the gardener." (The New Victory Garden, by Bob Thompson, © 1987).
To feed your garden, work any remaining foliage and beans into the soil when the plants have finished producing for the year. Your soil will be enriched with nitrogen and organic matter.
To feed the gardener, grow both pole beans and bush beans, selecting some varieties to be eaten primarily as snap beans and others designed to grow for the beans inside the pods. Some varieties are eaten as both snap beans when young and shell beans later in the year.
Lima, butter, kidney, and older string beans with fully developed seeds inside the pods should NEVER be eaten raw. For more information, check out Wikipedia - List of Poisonous Plants. Another good reference website on poisonous plants is Serentaflowers.com/Poisonous-Flowers-and-Plants (thank you, Sarah for bringing it to our attention).
- Require vertical supports such as bamboo pole teepees and garden plant ladders.
- Can be very pretty in the garden especially those with colorful flowers such as 'Scarlet Runner' and 'Purple King'.
- Produce an extended harvest over 6 to 8 weeks.
- Take longer to mature --- typically 60 to 75 days.
- Require no supports.
- Are prolific producers over a short period of 1 to 3 weeks. Some gardeners like to plant successive crops of their favorites.
- Mature quickly in 50 to 60 days.
- Warm season crop, tender to light frosts and freezes.
- Direct-sow seed or start plants indoors for an earlier crop.
- Improve the soil.
- Plant seeds in spring when the soil temperature is at least 60 ° F.
- For the highest germination rate, inoculate seeds before planting with Rhizobium bacteria powder.
- Contrary to older sources, do not presoak seeds — it encourages damping-off seed rot.
- Seed planting depth: 1”.
- Seed spacing: 4 -12"; follow the seed packet information.
Planting and Tending
- Bush beans are planted close enough together that mulching usually isn't necessary. Mulch or plant lettuce between pole beans.
- Do not need fertilizing.
- Pole beans can be part of a Three Sisters planting.
- Interplant beans and potatoes to discourage destructive insects. Dig 12-inch deep trenches piling the excavated soil along one side of the trench. Plant the potatoes in the trench and cover with 6 inches of soil. When the potatoes have grown up through the covering soil, plant bush bean seeds next to the trench on the side without the piled soil. When the potatoes have grown an additional 4 inches, push the heaped loose soil into the trench and plant beans on that side as well.
- Likes to be near:
- Do not plant near:
Visit the Vegtables Forum at GreatLakesGardeners.com to get answers to your growing vegetables questions. To ask a new question, Register if you haven't already done so(it's free and helps protect the forum from spam), click on Start New Topic, enter your question and click on Post New Topic.
You may also appreciate these books on growing vegetable gardens.