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"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 (thank you, Sarah for bringing it to our attention).

Pole beans:

Bush beans:


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Visit the Vegtables Forum at 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.

Come join us at our Vegetables forum, Herbs forum and Growing Vegetables & Herbs blog.

You may also appreciate these books on growing vegetable gardens.