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In this series I’m compiling the quick and dirty info on growing specific vegetables. Just the basics. No fluff, no frills. When you’re sitting down in the late Winter, surrounded by seed catalogs, and your garden plan in front of you, you want a quick reference. How far apart can you plant? What pH do they need? How much water? What vegetables can you plant next to others? Which should you avoid?
This quick and dirty 30 second guide to Beans should help you answer all those questions quickly, without having to sort through article after article. I’ve always wanted a quick cheat sheet like this, so hopefully you’ll find it useful too!
Beans are probably my second favorite crop on the homestead (after tomatoes, of course). The speed with which they grow is so satisfying. The ease with which they grow are great for going out of town, or, let’s be honest, forgetting them for awhile. I’ve gone on vacation for the hottest week of the year to come home to a very sad, wilted, near-death bean crop. A little bit of love (aka water) and they bounced back like it was cool. LOVE these things.
Their harvest time is also incredibly forgiving. There’s probably a full week in which they can be harvest with great results. And if a pod or two gets skipped over because they’re hiding behind some leaves, well now you’ve got dried beans! “I meant to do that…”
My step daughter, Kira, also loves going out with me to harvest them. It’s a natural, tasty scavenger hunt. She plucks them off the vine, plops them in the basket, and back at home, waits patiently while they steam. She was a little concerned the first time she opened a hairy pod and pulled out the long string holding it together, but the taste won her over. Kids that are eager to help with farm chores AND eating their greens? Win-win in my book.
Check out Seeds for Generations for Bean seeds.
Growing beans this year? Here’s what you need to know:
1 inch per week
Direct sow after last frost. Sow more every 2 weeks for a longer harvest.
Broccoli, Cabbage, Corn, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Squash
Avoid Planting With
Garlic, Onions, Peppers, Sunflowers
Low maintenance. Water and weed. Pole beans will need some sort of trellis. Field beans do not.
Mature 50-60 days. Harvest before beans are fully mature, or let dry on the vine to harvest and store dried beans.
Saving The Seeds
Allow bean pods to dry on the vine. Collect once pods and vine are dried. Separate beans from pods and store in a cool, dark place.