A Guide to Growing Beans
Growing beans in your own garden is not only an economical way to get the beans you love, but it’s also a fun project to take on! You’ll find that even if you have virtually no gardening experience, you can probably manage to grow beans! All you need to know is which beans you want to plant, how to select the ideal location, how to plant them, and when to harvest the beans, all of which we are going to talk about in this article.
Varieties of Beans
There are plenty of different types of beans for you to choose from, and many of them grow well together! One of the most popular beans to be grown in the garden is the green bean, followed by peas, soybeans, lima beans, and black-eyed peas. Many types of beans are available in both pole and bush varieties. These are simply terms applied to certain growing styles. Pole bean plants grow tall and require support whereas bush beans stay close to the ground in a bush-like cluster.
Choosing the Location
Having a good location is one of the most important parts of growing beans. Luckily enough the guidelines for growing most beans are pretty similar. The locations should be very sunny, where the bean plants can get at least seven or eight hours of sun every day. The soil there should have good drainage, meaning that the water does not pool in the area, as this could cause the plant’s roots to rot. It is also a plus if the soil is a little on the crumbly side, as this allows the roots to stretch out without hindrance. For pole beans may have to add a trellis or pole to the area to support the plant as it grows and produces beans.
Planting the Beans
If you intend to grow bush beans, which are said to be the easiest type to grow, then you will need to create hills in the dirt. To do this, dig up the soil in rows about a foot and a half to two feet apart. Return the soil into the makeshift trench but don’t pack it down; instead, allow it to fall naturally into a hill. Plant each seed an inch into the soil and about three inches apart from each other. After the beans sprout into seedlings, you can pull up every other one so that each plant is about six inches apart.
If you are going to plant pole beans, then you can choose between planting them in hills or simply planting them directly into the ground. To plant them into the ground, dig a little hole about an inch deep, pop the seed inside, and cover it loosely with soil. You might want to go ahead and construct your support device so that it’s ready as soon as the plant starts growing. Make sure the device is at least six or seven feet tall and very sturdy. The spacing in between each seed should be about six inches apart whereas the rows should be three to four feet apart.
After the seeds have been planted, water the soil well but take care not to flood it. The beans should receive about an inch of water each week. If the weather is not providing that for you, then you may have to water the plants yourself until the rain takes over. If there is too much rain, you might want to construct a makeshift umbrella over the plants to prevent them from spoiling. It is also worth pointing out that you shouldn’t plant the seeds until the threat of frost has gone and the soil is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature.
Harvesting Your Beans
When the beans have become firm enough that they can snap, but are not tough, then they are ready to be harvested. Gently pull the beans from the plant as they are ripe. Green beans can become ripe anywhere between 50 to 60 days, whereas lima beans can take anywhere from 85 to 110 days. Just keep your eye on the beans and when they seem ripe, go ahead and pluck them!
Just follow these steps for growing beans and you will soon find yourself enjoying garden-fresh beans!