Pole Beans And Bush Beans – Easy To Grow – Taste Great

Beans are easy to grow. Beans fix atmospheric nitrogen, enriching the soil, and beans, especially dry beans, are nutritious, high in vegetable protein, fiber, iron and essential minerals.

In general terms there are three types of beans.
* Bush types that require little or no vine support.
* Pole types that require poles or trellis supporting the vines. Some varieties can easily grow vines ten feet in length. Strong vine support is required.
* Runner beans produce long vines, up to ten feet, a trellis may be beneficial.

Extend your bean harvest by successive planting:
* Green bush beans varieties every 10 to 14 days until the middle of July.
* Runner beans produce long vines, up to ten feet, a trellis may be beneficial.
* Plant pole beans, lima beans, shell beans and field (dry) beans. Plant only once, since they require a full season to mature.
* Keep your green beans harvested. This will encourage them to bloom and produce more beans.
String less eatable pod types can be harvested at any size. Young tender green beans go well in salads.
Hint: Blanch green beans for 3-5 minutes in boiling water. Cool in ice water. Cut/snap into bite size pieces before adding them to your salad.

Beans grow best in slightly acidic to neutral soil, pH between 6 and 7. Clay or silt loams are better suited to bean production than sandy soils.
Incorporate well rotted manure or compost at planting time to increase soil organic matter.

Beans require full sun for good growth and large crops. Although they will
grow in a wide variety of soils, a sandy loam is best. Beans, especially limas, germinate slowly and grow poorly in cool, wet soil.
* Plant beans when your soil temperature is between 60F and 85F. Optimum temperature is 80F.

Plant bush beans 1 to 1/2 inches deep and space 2 inches apart in rows spaced 18 to 24 inches apart.
Plant lima beans 1 inch deep and space seed 4 to 6 inches apart.
Plant pole and Runner beans 1 inch deep and space seed 4 inches apart. Space slender poles 12 inches apart or set up a sturdy trellis system with post spaced 10 feet apart.

Beans need 1 inch or more of water weekly. Once blooms set, keep soil slightly damp. Do not over water beans don’t like setting in wet soil.

Dry beans (shell, field, and soybeans) should dry on the vine as long as possible (until the first heavy frost, if necessary) before threshing
and storage.
Pulling the plants and leaving them in the sun, laid out on a barn floor, or hung in small bunches from a rafter for 2 to 3 days will hasten drying. A thoroughly mature bean is hard.
Give one the “bite test” before putting dry beans into storage. A roperly-dried bean is nearly impossible to dent.

Store well dried (and insect free) beans in a can or jar with a tight cover to keep out insects and rodents. Store them in a cool, dry, dark storage area.

Hint: Food safety
Home canned beans are one of the most common sources of botulism poisoning. (Properly prepared pickled beans, because they contain so much acid from vinegar, do not cause this poisoning.)
If you wish to put up jars of beans, you must follow canning instructions exactly, including the use of a pressure canner to process the jars. If you do not have a pressure canner, plan to freeze your bean crop.

Caution: Of all common beans, only kidney beans are considered toxic when raw.
Both red kidney beans and white kidney beans (sometimes called “cannellini”) contain toxins that are denatured during cooking. It’s unlikely that anyone would actually try to eat a truly raw dried bean, but some people try sprouting their seeds, while others may be impatient with a pot of chili that’s taking a long time to cook.
Kidney beans are not suitable for sprouting, and they must be cooked thoroughly.

Bean Types

Scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) produce long vines, up to ten feet, and require a trellis. Their abundant red, pink, or bicolor blooms are attractive to hummingbirds, and this plant is often used as an ornamental. Pods have a rich, delicious flavor, and should be picked when fairly short, between four and six inches, used as snap beans. Once the pods become too tough for snap bean use, the immature seed can be shelled out, or allowed to mature and dry. Dried runner bean seed can be cooked like dried common bean seed.

Soybeans or Vegetable soybeans” or “edamame” are varieties selected for use as fresh shelled beans. Culture is similar to that of common bean culture. Plants are tall, up to three feet, but sturdy and upright, requiring no support. Inoculation with Rhizobium may improve plant performance and yield.
Soybean pods should be picked when plump seeds have caused them to bulge, but while still green. The hairy pods are not eaten, but typically the beans are cooked in boiling water while still in the pod, then shelled out after cooking.
Do not eat raw soybeans.

Lima beans are an old fashioned garden treat, shelled out or allowed to mature and dry. Limas require warm soils, warm weather, and a somewhat longer growing season than common beans.
Choose either pole or bush plant habits and grow limas just as you would common beans.
While the ideal soil for common beans is a well drained clay loam, lima bean plants perform best in a coarse textured, sandier soil. Harvest for fresh shell beans when the seed color has changed from green to cream or white, and the pods are starting to bulge in the shape of the seed.
Dried limas, allow the pods to dry completely on the vine then thresh as you would common beans.

Yard long beans are also known as “asparagus beans,” and are popular in Asian dishes. This species requires vary warm weather to produce pods, and the pods can suffer chilling injury from temperatures in the forties. The very long vine of this plant sometimes more than ten feet may require support.
Some varieties produce pods up to 18 inches, others more than two feet. Watch the developing pods, which may appear puffy or inflated while elongating. They will appear tight or constricted when they are over mature, so pick when they are long, tender, and slightly puffy looking, before seeds expand.

Blackeye peas and cowpeas are the same species as yard long beans, and have similar requirements for warm soils and warm air temperatures. These varieties are mostly grown for the mature dried seed, and usually are bush types, rather than tall vines. A short season variety to try is ‘California Blackeye 46.’

Fava beans unlike other beans, require conditions similar to those needed to grow peas. Cool temperatures with highs only into the low eighties.
Grow Fava beans as you would peas, planting early in the spring. The sturdy, erect plants do not need support. The pods will first be held upright, then begin to droop as the seed matures. Picked green, as the seed starts to bulge a bit in the pod, favas should be shelled from the pod, then the whitish outer coating of the seed removed either before or after cooking. Fully mature favas are also used as dry beans.

Caution: Some people are sensitive to raw favas and can become quite ill if they eat them. Although the sensitivity to the raw seed is most common among people of Mediterranean ancestry, it’s impossible to predict who will be affected. Favas should always be well cooked before consumption.

Hyancinth bean with its beautiful purple flowers, is most commonly grown as an ornamental vine. The green pods can be eaten, as they are in India. Harvest as for snap beans, when the pods are juicy and tender. Caution Always cook Hyancinth beans since the seed can contain toxins that are deactivated in cooking.

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3 responses to “Pole Beans And Bush Beans – Easy To Grow – Taste Great

  1. had no idea that any bean was toxic … lesson learned today thanks


  2. I like growing beans next to the fence around my garden. They grow up through the stucco wire I use as a fence and improve the look of the whole thing. Tons of beans! Easy to grow!

    Liked by 1 person

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