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Green Beans – How to Grow Bean Plants in Your Garden




  • Green Bean Harvest  Overview:

    Often called green beans or string beans, the common garden bean can be both stringless and colors other than green. But it’s the green bean that everyone recognizes as one of the most frequently prepared vegetables. Hot, cold, even raw, string beans are versatile in the kitchen and very prolific growing plants in the garden. Green beans are also easy to grow, so read on for how to grow a bean plant in your vegetable garden.

    Description:

    Green bean plants are either pole varieties or bush. Most varieties are green, but you’ll also find purple, red, yellow and streaked varieties. Green beans are several inches long and either round or flattened in shape. 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.

    Latin Name:

    Phaseolus vulgaris

    Common Name: Green Bean, Snap Bean, String Bean

    Hardiness Zone:

    USDA Hardiness Zone: Annual

    Exposure:

    Full sun

    Size:

    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.

    Harvesting:

    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.

    Janoanese 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.

    Suggested Varieties:

    • ‘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 Housewife’ – German heirloom pole bean, so named 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.

    Growing Tips – How to Grow a Bean Plant:

    Pole vs. Bush Bean Plants: 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.

    Planing Bean Plants: Beans are generally direct seeded in the garden, although you can transplant small bean plants. 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.

    Soil for Bean Plants: 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.

    Staking Bean Plants: 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. You can coax the vines around your trellis, until they are able to twine themselves.

    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. Bush bean plants can be succession planted every 2 weeks.

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