There is a type of bean native to every continent except Antarctica. They grow quickly, they are easy to store and they are a garden favorite around the world. Including beans in your vegetable garden is a great idea because they are one of the healthiest foods a person can consume.
Fact: Green beans are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins A, C and K.
Many gardeners prefer the rich flavor of pole beans and grow them every year, producing a high yield in a small area. Green and yellow varieties of pole beans are available, with green being the most popular. These beans can grow to be nine feet tall and require a trellis; this helps conserve space in smaller gardens. The time it takes pole beans to mature is longer than the bush varieties, but they produce more beans over a longer period of time and they are easier to harvest.
Some gardeners feel that bush beans are easier to grow because they do not require staking. They are also available in green and yellow varieties, but they are more tender, thinner and less starchy than pole beans. Bush beans are excellent in recipes whether they are fresh or frozen.
How to plant:
Plant your beans after all the dangers of frost have passed and daytime temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As with most vegetables, plant in a sunny spot that gets more than six hours of sun each day. Be sure to follow spacing instructions on plant tags to avoid crowding which can lead to disease and reduced yield.
Beans do not require much care, making them a perfect addition to any vegetable garden. All you need to do is keep the soil moist and remove weeds throughout the growing season, but be careful, beans have shallow root systems.
Pole beans will need to be staked, plant the beans at the base of each stake but install stakes before planting to save time. Most gardeners prefer to create a "teepee" using six or eight stakes (six to eight feet tall) by tying them together at the top.
Beans are susceptible to a variety of diseases, but the current hybrids are resistant to many of the common problems. However, there is a beetle, called the Mexican bean beetle, that can attack your plants. Keep an eye out these beetles; they look like giant ladybugs, and their eggs, which can be found under the plant's leaves.
The trick to a successful bean harvest is pick beans frequently. When your plants begin to produce be sure to harvest daily to encourage more production and to maintain the bean's tenderness and flavor.
- Burpee Home Gardens