Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit!
I am not going to finish that statement, but I do kind of think they are magical for other reasons. Beans are a great source of protein, are nutrient-dense, good for your health, contain antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, are high in fiber and so much more. So, they really should be part of every garden.
Beans come in so many varieties that you are sure to find several that you love:
The way beans grow!
Pole beans are tall and need support, which makes them perfect for growing beans vertically in small spaces.
Runner beans are similar to pole beans but prefer cool conditions.
Bush beans typically do not require support but require bending to harvest.
Once you decide on growth habit and variety, everything else is about the same with one exception…trellising. Pole and runner beans will need trellising of some kind and bush beans will not. You definitely want to put your trellising in when you plant your seeds. They will need that support right away and you don’t want to damage the roots of beans adding the trellis once they are up.
1. Direct Sow! Beans are usually a quick crop so they don’t need to be started early. As a matter of fact, they don’t really like to be transplanted. Direct sow the seeds in your garden after the chance of frost is gone.
I tend to succession plant my green beans all season long, especially bush varieties in order to keep having fresh beans from the garden all season long.
2. Full Sun! Beans don’t need as much sun as things like tomatoes and peppers, but they do really like the sun. Get them as much as possible in your garden.
3. Planting Day! Plant seeds in the ground about an inch (give or take), water them in and leave them alone! Beans are super easy plants to get started! You will want to keep them watered consistently.
4. I Have Plants! Once plants come up you may want to cover with some mulch. Keep watering regularly. If you are growing a pole/runner variety you may have to help them get started up the trellis. There is really little need to fertilize beans but if you want to do so, use a fertilizer higher in phosphorous and potassium and not so high in nitrogen. Beans are nitrogen fixers, meaning they pull nitrogen from the air and deposit it into your soil. There is no need for extra nitrogen!
5. Harvest Often! With all beans, the more you harvest, the more beans the plant will make. So, make sure you are getting those beans off as soon as they are ready. You will know when they are ready by the variety you chose!
General rules for harvesting beans:
- Snap beans: Before the individual seeds inside the pods bulge.
- Shelling beans: When the pods are thin and tough, but not dry.
- Dry beans: When the pods are dry and the beans inside rattle.
- Pick varieties and growth habits.
- Direct sow when frost is done for sure.
- Succession plant for beans all season long.
- Full Sun.
- Water consistently and often.
- Fertilizer with mostly phosphorous and potassium.
- Harvest often.