With that said, I do plant a few beans in my garden most every spring. My preference is growing a small black-eyed pea patch. But many years I can start harvesting green beans about the time the soil has warmed up enough to plant black-eyed peas.
I pick my green beans while very small and tender. Using them mostly in salads both fresh and marinated in a mild 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water (about 2 to 6 hours) with a few pepper corns, a clove of garlic and a few onion slices.
Grin … there must be at least 50 bean family plants that have green pods. However most gardeners and seed sellers mostly restrict the term green bean to Pole beans, Bush beans, Wax beans, Snap beans and String beans.
Some Common named varieties are:
Bush Blue Lake (bush), Keeps flavor well after harvest
Bountiful (bush), A early producer
Fortex (pole), French variety, producing large beans
Kentucky Wonder (pole), A productive bean variety
You can find a huge number of bean varieties being sold by seed producers. But they all fall into being a Pole or a Bush bean.
Hint Pole beans yield two to three times more than bush beans from the same space, Pole beans are easy to harvest, and many gardeners believe they are better tasting. Both types have similar requirements, except pole beans need a 5 to 8 foot tall support.
Do not start seeds inside. Beans do not like to be transplanted. Best germination temperature is 70 to 80 degrees(F) Planting Note Germination is slow and poor when soil temperatures are below 60 degrees(F). If you must rush the season wait until soils have warmed to temperatures above 60 degrees(F)
Days to emergence is about 8 to 10 days. Germination may take two weeks or more if soil temperatures are below 60%(F).
Hint Bean Seed stores well and can be saved for about 5 years.
Before planting your pole beans, construct your trellis, teepee, or single-pole support to avoid injuring seedlings. Bamboo poles or saplings lashed together make easy, inexpensive pole bean (teepee) supports. Hint Supports are not needed for Bush beans.
Plant seed 1 inch deep (about 2 inches deep if soil is dry or very sandy). Plant pole beans four to six seeds at the base of each pole if using teepee type supports. Plant bush beans 3 inches apart in rows along the base of linear trellises. Do Not soaking beans to hasten germination may damage seeds. Do not start seed inside, plant directly in your garden soil.
Note I recommend a 3 inch seed spacing. Some growers recommend 8 to 10 inch spacing. It’s your choice.
Just my opinion I think planting 3 or more 8 or 10 foot rows produces more beans that 1 or 2 long rows.
Beans require even moisture of about 1 inch per week. Keep your soil slightly damp, buy not really wet. Regular watering especially when flowering and developing pods is very important. When you water, avoid wetting foliage, this will encourage plant disease. Water early in the day so foliage dries quickly. If possible, mulch after second set of true leaves develops to help retain soil moisture.
Do not use high nitrogen fertilizers. Use a good all purpose fertilizer. It is important that the first NPK number N=nitrogen be a small number and the second number P=phosphorus being a large number and a low third number K=potassium.
Note Pod set is often poor when temperatures exceed 90 F. Deformed pods may be the result of lack of moisture, poor soil fertility or insect damage during blooming.
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