Exposure: Full sun
Varies widely with variety. Bush beans generally get about 2' tall and 1' wide. Pole beans can grow upwards or across a trellis for a good 10'.
Days to Harvest:
Bush Beans - 50 to 55 days. Pole Beans - 50 to 60 days.
Green beans are several inches long and either round or flattened in shape. Most varieties are green, but you’ll also find purple, red, yellow and streaked varieties. Green beans are eaten while still immature. They are picked young and tender, before the seeds inside have fully developed. Most popular varieties have been bred to have stringless pods, but many gardeners prefer the flavor of the old-fashioned ‘string’ types.
Harvesting beans is an ongoing process. You can start to harvest anytime, but gardeners usually wait until the beans begin to firm up and can be snapped. They are generally about as think as a pencil then. Don’t wait too long, because beans can become overgrown and tough almost overnight. Harvest by gently pulling each bean from the vine or by snapping off the vine end, if you are going to be using the beans right away.
Pests and Problems:
Mexican bean beetles will east flowers, beans and especially leaves. Hand pick or use Rotenone or pyrethrum to control.
Slugs will eat any part that comes near the ground.
Japanese beetles and aphids may also attack.
Fungal diseases, like Alternaria or Angular leaf spot can be a problem in damp conditions. Other diseases, like Anthracnose, bacterial blight and mosaic virus are less common, but can occur.
‘Kentucky Wonder’ It’s an old, string pole variety that still tastes great.
‘Bountiful’ An early producing, stringless heirloom bush bean.
‘Golden Wax Bean’ Easy producing, soft textured yellow, bush bean.
‘Royal Burgundy’ Purple pods that turn green when cooked. Early producing bush bean. Not popular with the bean beetle.
‘Lazy Wife’ A German heirloom pole bean. Got its name because it doesn’t require stringing.
‘Triomphe de Farcy’ A readily available French haricot vert heirloom bush bean.
‘Romano’ Classic broad, Italian style green bean with meaty flavor. Bush or pole.
Beans are generally direct seeded in the garden. The most important point about growing green beans is not to plant them too early. They will rot in cool, damp soil. To get an earlier start, you can put down black plastic, to warm the soil.
Bush beans begin producing before pole beans and often come in all at once. Staggered planting, every 2 weeks, will keep your bush beans going longer. Pole beans need time to grow their vines, before they start setting beans. The pole bean crop will continue to produce for a month or two.
Beans like a moderately rich soil with a slightly acidic pH of about 6.0 to 6.2. They prefer a loose, moist soil. Plant after all danger of frost is past.
Plant bush beans in either rows or blocks, with 4-6 inches between each seed. Plant the seeds 1-2 inches deep and be sure to water the soil immediately and regularly, until it sprouts.
Pole beans will need some type of support to grow on. Be sure the trellis, teepee, fence or whatever is in place before you seed. Plant seeds at a rate of about 6-8 seeds per teepee or every 6 inches apart.
Maintenance: Pole beans may need some initial help in climbing.
Keep the bean plants well watered. Mulch helps keep their shallow roots moist.
Long producing pole beans will benefit from a feeding or a side dressing of compost or manure about half way through their growing season
Helpful guides to growing your own food.
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