DESCRIPTION 

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.

PLANT CARE

  • 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.

PESTS/DISEASES

  • Aphids
  • 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.

HEALTH 

  • 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.

WARNING

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