Growing green beans is rewarding. There is nothing so delicious as a pot of fresh picked green beans simmering on the stove. I love to pick and snap them. They taste great raw as well. We have grown many varieties over the years. They are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. The plants put out a lot of beans. We harvest new beans every other day, with plenty to cook and to blanch and freeze for later.
You will need to choose a few varieties to plant and follow the directions of the package. Green beans come in bush and pole varieties. We grow both. They take between 50 and 75 days to mature.
Start with a well-tilled garden that drains well and add compost for rich soil. Mix it in well. Wait until after the first frost and until the soil reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit or the beans will not grow. Grow the beans in shallow rows, about 12 inches apart. Plant a green bean seed every two to three inches, about 1/2 inch deep. Cover the seeds with soil and mulch and water well. You can thin seedlings to four to six inches apart as they begin to grow.
Growing green beans successfully means you will need to give them lots of water once the seedlings start to grow. Once green beans appear, wait until they are at least four inches long and then begin to harvest. Check everyday. Green beans like to hide under leaves so you will need to go over every plant thoroughly so you do not miss the tender beans. If you wait until the beans are over six inches long, they will be stringy and tough.
Some of our favorite varieties:
This page provides written and visual instructions on Growing Green Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). For our model, we will be using the Provider green bean.
The Provider Green Bean is one of our Growing Green Beans and is the most popular and dependable early bean. The provider has 5 to 5 1/2" long, medium green, fleshy, round pods. It is compatible to Blue Lake and Contender Bush Beans.
The compact plants yield well despite adverse weather. They adapt to diverse locations, soil, and climate conditions. They will grow in cool weather and are easy to grow. The seeds are purple and germinate well in cool soil. The Provider is an annual plant and is ready to harvest in 50 days.
It is organically grown, meaning its seeds have been harvested from plants grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, according to National Organic Program standards.
It is an easy to grow, cool weather plant and can handle a light frost. It has disease resistance to Bean Mosaic Viruses, Downy Mildew and Powdery Mildew.
Bean Mosaic Viruses turn the green leaves yellow. The plant will be stunted as the vegetation deteriorates and disappears. This disease is spread by aphids.
Downy Mildew infection begins as yellow spots on the leaf surface of growing green beans. Then the internal parts of these spots become brown with yellow margins. Infected, young shoots, fruits, and seeds have white coating of fungal spores.
The best prevention for these diseases is to use varieties that resistant to these diseases. Work with plants when they are dry to help the prevention and spread of the diseases. Infected plants should be pulled up and destroyed. Do not use them as green manure.
Fungicides can help with some of these diseases. You can learn more about these by going to Organic Fungicides.
The Provider likes a well-drained soil with a pH above 6.0. After the chance of frost has passed sow seeds about 2 inches apart and 1 inch deep in rows 20-36 inches apart apart.
Optimum soil temperature for Seed Germination is 70-90 degrees for most bean seeds but the provider can germinate in soil as low as 60 degrees.
In the event of a late cold front or if you want to get an early start you can try using Row Covers.
Inoculants can increase yields by adding nodules that absorb nitrogen.
For a continuous supply make successive sowings every 2-3 weeks through mid-summer.
I have not had many problems with insects. I think it is because I have a lot of wasps around my home.
But I do like to use Safer Soap on a regular basis to help control the ones they miss. Safer is completely safe for bees, animals and humans. It is an Organic Insecticide.
I have not had too many problems with diseases but I do spray my plants with Activonate on a regular basis to help keep diseases from starting.
I have just recently learned that Bat Guano is a good organic fertilizer with the highest percentage of nitrogen for any organic fertilizer. But they also claim it is good for disease prevention as well.
When growing green beans keep the soil moist. A good rule of thumb is to put a finger in the dirt and if the dirt is dry up to the first knuckle, then it needs about an inch of water.
Beans will do really good in temps of 70 to about 90 degrees. Once the temps get above this, they will still produce and grow, but they will be stringy and taste awful.
Bush beans produce all the beans they are going to over a two week period. It will stop producing. Pull up the spent plants and use them as green manure if they are disease free.
Spent plants can be put on the compost pile, tilled under or spread them on your lawn and run over them with a mulching lawnmower. That is if they are disease free.
If they have a fungus, put them in a trash bag and throw them away.
There is a multitude of things you can do with them.
Growing Green Beans is my favorite right after tomatoes. Beans are easy to grow and when grown at home, I can pick them when they are at a young tender age.
The secret to growing green beans is to pick just as the seed starts to form. Left unpicked, the seeds will mature and they will not be worth eating. Or you can let them dry, shell and store them to cook later.
Once they flower, and if all conditions are met, the bean will be ready to harvest in less than five days. I once planted one row, fifty feet long and picked it every other day. This gave me enough to can about six quarts. When are growing green beans ready pick?
Generally the green beans are ready to pick in about 50-60 days. Pick them when they are about as thick as a pencil, smaller if you want a better, tender taste. Length is determined by the type you plant, but usually they will be at least four to six inches long.
Below are pictures of our Provider Green Bean Plants.
The first picture is of the Provider Plants.
The second picture is of some small green beans.
The third is one of some beans we harvested and ate.
More Pages On Green Beans
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