Pole and bush beans (more commonly called green beans) are a tender vegetable and a great addition to any garden, great eaten fresh off the plant or incorporated into a recipe. Bush beans require less maintenance, so they are easier to grow.
HOW TO GROW
- Pole beans will grow in a climbing vine and require a trellis or staking. Bush beans will spread up to 2 feet but do not require support.
- Do not start seeds indoors; they may not survive transplanting.
- Seeds can be sown outdoors anytime after last spring frost, minimum soil temp is 48 degrees F. Plant 1 inch deep, a little deeper for sandier soils. Cover soil to warm if necessary.
- Bush beans: Plant 2 inches apart.
- Pole beans: Set up trellises, or “cattle panels,” and plant 3 inches apart.
- If you like pole beans, an easy support for them is a “cattle panel”—a portable section of wire fence—16 feet long and 5 feet tall. The beans will climb with ease, and you won’t have to get into contorted positions to pick them.
- For a harvest that lasts all summer, sow beans every 2 weeks. If you’re going to be away, skip a planting. Beans do not wait for anyone.
- Rotate crops each year.
- Mulch soil to retain moisture; make sure that it is well-drained.
- Water regularly, from start of pod to set. Water on sunny days so foliage will not remain soaked.
- Beans require normal soil fertility. Only fertilize where levels are low. Begin after heavy bloom and set of pods.
- Use a light hand when applying high-nitrogen fertilizer, or you will get lush plants and few beans.
- Weed diligently and use shallow cultivation to prevent disturbing the root systems.
- Mexican Bean Beetles
- Japanese Beetles
- White Mold
- Mosaic Viruses
- Bean blossoms will drop from the plant if the weather is too hot and too much nitrogen in the soil will prevent pods from setting.
- Green beans are a good source of carbohydrates, weighing in at around 10 grams in a cup of simply cooked beans.
- These carbs come in a healthy package that includes high percentages of your daily value of vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and manganese.
- These nutrients and the numerous others found in green beans offer cardiovascular protection, promote colon health, and have very strong anti-inflammatory effects.
Green beans are among a small number of foods containing oxalates, which may interfere with absorption of calcium, a concern to people with kidney or gallbladder problems or those needing to build their calcium stores