Beans have always brought up some special memories for me. After an afternoon spent scaling apple trees in her garden, I remember standing at the kitchen sink and helping my grandma crack beans. It’s a veggie I always keep in my kitchen garden because there’s something about that repetitive motion and hammering sounds that still comforts me in my own kitchen as an adult. summer.
Whatever your own food memories may be, I want to inspire you to plant them in your garden as well! They are easy to cultivate and vigorous growers, and you don’t even need a full-fledged farm (condo dwellers, pay attention). A dwarf bean is ready to reward you if you have a pot.
There are numerous bean types to investigate, and selecting one from the seed catalogue can be the most difficult part of growing them. So be ready to start daydreaming about hot green bean salads, creamy bean dips, homemade edamame snacks, and even gorgeous Greek gigantic beans that you can keep for stews in the fall.
Knowing which variety of bean is best for your growing conditions might be challenging due to the large number of available variations. Knowing the distinctions between green beans and bush beans, two fundamental bean families, is crucial. You can then investigate the tastes, textures, and colours that most interest you.
These climbing vine kinds can grow to a height of 10 to 15 feet, so they will require support as they develop. If you have the vertical room for it, they provide a longer harvest window, producing pods as they rise (about 6–8 weeks), making them an excellent bean to grow all summer long.
These kinds are much more compact (up to 2 feet), making them perfect for patio gardening and tiny places because they don’t require any support as they develop. They produce throughout a shorter window of 3–4 weeks and are ideal for raised beds and containers alike, therefore succession planting should be taken into account for longer harvest windows throughout the season.
Snap Beans, Shelled and Dried:
Beans that can be chewed are the most popular types, and they are consumed whole, soft, and young when the beans are still small. Edamame and fava beans, which have been shelled, are taken out of their pods and eaten raw or heated. Finally, dried beans are allowed to dry on the plant before harvest and, when properly stored, can have an extraordinary shelf life.
Green, Yellow and Purple Beans:
There are various colour categories that apply to these podded cultivars. In contrast to wax beans, which have a more waxy texture and occasionally contain yellow pods, green beans, the most widely produced bean, are “green” in texture rather than colour. Although purple beans are stunning when they are hanging on a vine, it should be noted that when cooked, their colour is lost.
The same basic requirements apply to all bean varieties, with the exception of spacing and trellis support: full sun, rich, warm, loamy soil, and good drainage. Since beans typically dislike transplantation, it is advised to sow them directly into the ground after the last frost. Although it’s not required, I prefer to soak my bean seeds overnight before planting to jump-start germination. Don’t worry if you buy a packet of bean seedlings on a whim from the nursery; just be careful not to disrupt the root balls when planting them.
Beans are excellent because they don’t require much else, including fertiliser, and are actually fantastic for the soil health of your garden. They enhance the soil by producing nodules in their roots and ammonia nitrogen, which is released into the soil and shared by adjacent plants. To revivify exhausted soils, many gardeners grow legumes as a rotational crop. My friends, plants are amazing, and the common bean is no exception!
If you are growing in a container, make sure the pot has sufficient drainage and is at least 12 inches deep. The best containers are unglazed jars and wine barrels because they let extra moisture drain and guard against overly soggy soil and root rot. You shouldn’t have any issues as long as you plant in full sun and follow your regular watering schedule. I also urge you to experiment with some polar bean kinds if you have the vertical room. I know some individuals who enjoy growing them as shade and privacy barriers for patios in the summer.
Having a trellis prepared on planting day is possibly the most crucial aspect of producing beans, especially for pole types. The necessity for early support is sometimes underappreciated; what appears to be a little seedling one day may turn into a floppy, troubled vine the next. Here are some DIY support project ideas for you to consider.
f you need to keep these trellises flat throughout the winter, collapsible trellises are a perfect solution. I like them because you can easily change the width of the frame to fit a variety of vegetables on the vine or to use them in different locations as necessary.
Pyramid trellises are suitable for compact places if you’re experimenting with trellising in containers. They work well in windy places because of its circular structure, which is more wind-resistant than other structures.
These can be more expensive but are a reasonably straightforward plug-and-play solution. They are essentially a tomato cage for beans. In addition to folding flat for storage, most do so. You can create your own version with string and wooden poles if you feel like doing some DIY.
The most basic and popular trellis because to its adaptability, it is made up of two posts put inside the confines of your growing area with twine or hog wire strung between them to provide as support.
The garden arch is your buddy if you’re seeking for a trellis that also serves as a decorative element. You may make these by buying a sheet of pig panelling from your neighbourhood saddle shop. Try growing a flowering vine or another climbing crop like squash on the opposite side for more aesthetic interest, or double your beans to receive two harvests.
Your plant’s worst opponent is probably going to be an insect, whether it’s the Mexican bean beetle, the Japanese beetle, or the bean leaf beetle. Catching them early and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water is the best solution for this issue. Until the issue is rectified, make sure to examine your plants every morning when the beetles are a little less active. A fantastic approach to stop early infestations from taking root is to cover young plants with garden fabric.
Alternaria leaf spot, white mould, bean rust, and mosaic virus are additional common afflictions that can be avoided by keeping the leaves dry and by training or pruning the vines so that there is the most airflow possible between the vines.
Why not try a few companion plants that will assist repel bugs, speaking of which? Fleas and bean beetles can be discouraged by planting catnip, marigolds, nasturtiums, or rosemary in your bean patch. The potato is another unique bean ally that deters Mexican bean beetles. The Colorado potato beetle is then repelled by the bean plants, which in turn defend the potato buds. A win-win situation!
For the best results, there are a number of ways to properly harvest your crop. Harvesting frequently to increase yield is essential to a bean bounty. Additionally, picking your pods in the afternoon rather than the damp, dew-covered mornings is advised because the dry leaves prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and diseases.
Wait for the snap bean seeds to break through the pod before picking them. Wait until the bean pods are firm but not dry before shelling them. The beans for your dry variety should vibrate inside the pod before being removed from the plant, to sum up.
When a bush variety stops producing, uproot the entire plant and compost it because their production window is much short. However, green beans will keep growing and producing up to the first frost, so up those trellises high and prepare your bean baskets!