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How to Grow Beans

bean, beans, plan, plants, seeds, seed

Bush Bean, pole bean. Yellow bean, green bean. Asparagus bean, Fava bean, Lima bean, Navy bean. The list goes on and on and on. Wow, there's certainly a lot of beans to toot about. So, it shouldn't be surprising that most gardeners grow a  bean or two in their home garden...... Do you?

Beans are an easy crop to grow and harvest. It germinates readily, and grows quickly. Most varieties are prolific producers. The challenge for most home gardeners is to spread out the harvest so they are not all harvested at once. To that endeavor, we suggest you grow smaller rows and a couple varieties with varying days to maturity. Another neat way to spread out the crops, is to grow both bush beans and some pole beans of a certain variety. Pole beans mature later than their bushy cousins.   

Speaking of bush versus pole beans, they each have their advantages. A pole bean requires a trellis or fence. A bush bean produces beans earlier than a pole bean. Pole beans tend to be less susceptible to plant disease, and the beans stay clean, as they hang from the vine above the ground. Pole beans generally produce over a longer period of time, and are easier to pick. Many, however, say bush beans produce the tastiest and tenderest beans.

How to Grow Beans:

Bean plants prefers full sun and a rich garden soil. They like warm weather.

Plant outdoors after the last frost date for your area ,and after the soil begins to warm. Sow bean seeds 1/2" to 1' deep. Follow the spacing directions on the packet. They can vary significantly by type of bean. We also recommend succession planting of smaller rows to spread out the harvest.

Water regularly to maintain moist, not wet soil. If possible, avoid wetting leaves. This will help minimize plant diseases.

Fertilize regularly with a general purpose garden fertilizer. You can also side dress the rows with general purpose fertilizer at planting time.

Days to Maturity:  Ranges from 60 to 75 days depending on variety. If planted early, many areas can plant a fall crop.

Beans are not hardy. They are susceptible to cold and frost. Hold off planting until a few days before all danger of frost is past. In the fall, cover the crop on nights when the temperature is expected to go below 40 degrees.

Harvesting Beans:

Like other vegetables, pick when they are still tender. Beans get tough and stringy if allowed to grow too big. Pick beans frequently while beans are young and tender. Keeping the plants harvested, will also encourage the plant to produce more beans.

Beans can be eaten raw, or cooked. They can be canned or frozen.

Insects, Pests, and Disease:

Most varieties of beans are susceptible to a variety of insects, most notably beetles. Apply pesticides with caution. Follow directions on the pesticide label on minimum days to apply it prior to harvest.  

Rabbits eat the the tender new leaves. A rabbit fence is a necessity to keep them from ruining your crop.

Molds, bacterial, and wilt diseases are common. These problems are most frequent in wet weather, heat, and humidity. This is more of a problem with bush varieties. Keeping leaves and beans off the ground helps. Apply fungicides as directed on the label of the product.

More Information:

Bean Trivia - interesting bean facts and trivia

Eat Beans Day - beans get a special day of recognition

Garden Recipes - Find Bean recipes and garden recipes galore!

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