Looking for some low maintenance plants to grow in your garden? Growing beans is the best option. These plants are sturdy and can adapt well in the same area as other plants. This type of plant is most suitable when it comes to gardening with children. This is because during the harvest, finding these beans can be a great activity for them to participate in.
Beans are very versatile as they can be cooked in many different ways, serving up a variety of delicious dishes for you and your family. Not only that, but they are also very nutritious as well.
Have we convinced you yet? Here are a few tips on how to grow your own bean!
Types of Beans
Before you even begin the process of planting, you have to decide what type of beans you would like to have in your garden. Here are a few types of beans for you to choose from:
These beans are tall and require support when growing. As such, they are the best option when it comes to growing beans in a small area as they grow upwards. However, due to their flimsiness, more attention is needed to be given to these beans.
Similar to pole beans, runner beans grow upwards as well. The difference is that they require cooler conditions in order to grow well.
These beans do not need any support which means that less attention can be given to them. Also, they can be easily re-sowed again and again at any period of time.
The varieties of these beans go as follows: Condor, Zorro and Zenith.
- Condor – has a short vine and reaps a high yield. It is also disease resistant and suited for canning.
- Zorro – mature in mid-season and is also good for canning.
- Zenith – grows upwards and resists lodging. It takes a hundred days before maturation and its black color stays even after boiling and canning.
Otherwise known as butterbeans, these beans can be eaten fresh or dried.
- Christmas – is a type of lima bean that takes 84 days to mature. It is very flavorful and is able to grow in hot and humid environments.
- Fordhook – this kind of lima bean grows in a bush and is apt for middle and northern latitudes. It is able to adapt to heat and with little water. It has a nutty flavor.
This is not an exhaustive list, so do make sure to check out other varieties of beans that you can grow for yourself.
Onto the question of HOW to plant your beans:
Try not to plant your bean in one place then transfer it somewhere else. Plant it straight into the soil that you are going to collect the harvest from. With the eye of the bean facing downwards towards the soil, push it in two-inch deep. Remember to soak your bean overnight before you plant it.
Make sure that the soil temperature is above 60°F and is not too wet as it will cause the beans to start rotting. Wait up to ten days and you will be able to see little seedlings sprouting out of the soil.
Plant your beans in a sunny area that is exposed to at least six hours of sun a day.
Make sure that it is well-drained.
Using the Square Foot Gardening method, space the beans out with nine seeds per square foot. When it comes to the pole or runner beans, be sure to plant them at the bottom of a support structure and space it out accordingly.
As for row planting, place the beans four to six inches apart with twelve inches in between the different rows.
Support for Beans
This is important when it comes to growing pole beans. These beans require support so you should have some structure ready to help it grow upwards and not collapse. One suggestion would be to try and use some bamboo sticks. These do not cost much and can be easily found at many hardware shops.
How to look after the beans?
- Water the beans as much as possible. This is because the soil that it is in has to be kept moist. Focus more on the bottom of the plant when it comes to watering and give about half an inch of water every week.
- Your beans do not need fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen. Having too much of it might result in you having inedible beans. Therefore, find a suitable fertilizer and give it to your beans once a month.
- Remember to be very careful while you are weeding, do not break the roots.
- When it comes to pruning your plant, cut off the top of the pole beans only to make sure that they are controllable. This is unnecessary for bush beans.
- It is good to rotate your crops on a yearly basis. This is because the beans are able to fix the nitrogen level in the soil and the act of rotating helps to prevent diseases.
Problems you might face during the process
Usually growing beans is hassle-free. However, you might stumble upon a few issues:
- You might have beans with no pods in them. This is probably a result of having imbalanced nutrients in your soil. Do not overdo it as too much nitrogen can hinder the growth of pods.
- When the weather gets too hot, you will begin to notice that there is a drop in the number of blossomings. So if you are in an area that might be too hot, grow the beans in some shade.
- Sometimes the winds might be too strong and break the stems of your beans. Plant the bush beans in a space that is away from too much wind and ensure that your pole beans are well supported with sturdy structures that can withstand strong winds.
- It will be unfortunate to find that there are pests around your plant. This would result in there being holes in the leaves.
- If you realize that your seeds are not germinating, this could be the result of an old seed or friendly creatures such as birds and squirrels might have dropped by to snack on them. To prevent these creatures from devouring your beans, protect the beans with wire mesh.
- You might also encounter white mold growing on your plant due to the cool and humid environment. Immediately get rid of the affected plants to ensure that it does not continue to spread.
Tips on harvesting and storing beans
Please do not put too much muscle into it! Use a pair of scissors to gently cut off the beans. Eating the beans right away when they are fresh is the best. This is because it is the period where they taste the best. However, you can also freeze or pickle the beans in order to store them.
In the event that you wish to dry the beans, wait for the leaves to dry out first with its seeds bulging out. Once they are fully dried out, you can store them for up to a year.
As for threshing, crack the pods open and using your thumb, brush the beans out. For a larger harvest, place the pods into a brown paper bag and leave them for a few weeks. Remember to shake the bags every day. After which, place the beans on a tarp and cover it with another, using your feet, stomp on them to remove the beans from their husks.
We hope this information has helped you and we wish you the best of luck when it comes to growing your own beans!