Saturday, February 11, 2012

Growing bush beans

I love the taste of bush beans. I use to can 100 quarts of these every year. Now I just don't have the time. So I grow enough to eat. They are easy to grow. Prepare the soil as in the previous post on this blog. I have used innoculant on my beans and then other years I haven't. I really didn't see a huge difference so I've continued with just adding lots of manure to my soil and they are fine. Beans are very susceptible to cold, so plant your seeds just before the last frost and the ground is nice and warm. If you seed them too early, the plants will only freeze or not come up at all, so don't waste your seed. Beans like well drained soil and they need to be watered regularly, so picking a spot where the soil doesn't drain is not a good place for them. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Beans don't mind being sown closely together, I grow them in rows and seed the seed an inch to and inch and a half apart. Always pick a different place in the garden every year to sow your beans, you'll avoid most of the disease problems in this manner, crop rotation is a good idea for most garden crops. Beans are low maintenance once they start to grow and your biggest job is to pick and eat them! Pick them every couple of days to encourage more flowering. If the pods are left too long and they get too fat with seed, the plant will stop flowering. In my garden, since we live in a very rural area, we are susceptible to a little black bug that we call a canola bug. It's not a very technical term, I know, but this is a new pest that moves into the garden later in the season and just eats my produce, especially the flowers. Canola and mustard crops started being grown in our area about fifteen years ago and this little black bug came along for the ride. Out of all the garden bugs, this one is the worst one. Diatamaceous earth seems to work the best on them. You'll need to keep the weeds pulled, mulching is OK for beans, they seem to like it. If you want continuous beans throughout your growing season, start a new row of beans every couple of weeks. I'm not a big fan of yellow beans because I find their taste bland, but my husband loves them so I always grow a few plants for him. For the longest time I grew different varieties of the green beans...that was until I discovered the purple beans. Their taste is far superior and they turn green when cooked. The purple beans do not bear as much as the green beans and way less than the yellow beans. I still grow all three, but mostly the purple beans.

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