Natural Gardening Ways For Growing Beans – A favorite vegetable in Europe especially France where some varieties are specially grown for shelling and drying as haricots, most beans however are grown for their pods which are cooked and eaten whole. They are best picked and eaten when young. French beans also freeze well. There are three types of French beans, pencil-podded, usually flat-podded and wax-pods.
Most beans form bushy plants and these are the ones most suitable for growing in containers. Earth up the stems and water freely when the plants are in flower for best results. The black, yellow and purple varieties now available add interest to a patio garden.
Try this fast and simple gardening ways for growing beans in vast quantity – without erecting a clumsy conventional bean trellis out of canes. You can grow climbing legumes in a very small root space so why not exploit that?
You merely need an ultra-intensive trellis. First, erect a frame out of plastic pipe. It is often available in 10 ft strips, which is ideal. Take three uprights to prevent sagging at the midpoint and sink some 18in below ground, and cross them at the top.
Along the top rail, tie degradable cord every few inches. So at season’s end, the entire trellis can be cut down for the compost pile. Tie another cord at soil level, from one upright to the next. Then tie the hanging strings to it.
Another idea, common in European allotments is to set another crosspiece along the bottom – and double-loop the cord around it. And criss-cross the strings up and down the trellis. That’s easier than tying each cord off.
You then sow three rows of climbing peas or beans along the bottom strut. One seed goes on either side of every vertical string, 3in from the cord. Then sow another seed right below the bottom cord, centered between each vertical string.
Add more seeds to the front and back of the vertical pipes. Then you plant those seeds just two inches apart. That’s right, just two inches.
You’ll wind up with 30 foot of row equivalent in only ten feet of growing area. As the beans flourish, you’ll soon have a massive wall of nutritious legumes.
Growing beans intensively in a cool climate
It’s easy to do this in,say, the southern US where the light is strong and the summer days are extensive, sunny and warm. In fact, in tropical zones, climbing beans can be successfully planted a mere one inch from each other. So long as they get enough sun on their leaves, and ample food and water, beans will do well even if packed together neck to neck.
But if you live in more temperate climes, sow your plants a prudent distance of three inches apart and line the rows from North to South so they have the maximum sunlight.
Amazingly, a trellis with three rows of beans very close together does well even in a temperate climate if it’s very well watered. So thickly do the plants grow, annual weeds are almost entirely suppressed.
Indeed, you don’t need to weed between the walls, except in the early days, because they act as a mulch for each other. Weeds don’t harm a well-started legume.
To have your plants suppress weeds is one of the best natural gardening ideas! It’s a key tenet of bio-intensive gardening. But if you’re growing some rare variety be sure to build your trellises themselves at least three foot apart. And dedicate each trellis to a single variety.
It’s enough distance so that your climbing beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), the ‘common’ bean, will not readily cross-pollinate. So the seed from each rare heirloom bean variety stays pure.
Don’t sow more than one variety of runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) in your plot, however, if you need to save the seed and maintain the purity of the strain. Or if your neighbor is raising a separate strain. Runner beans need to be isolated by at least a mile.
Sow late spring to midsummer. The seeds will not germinate until the soil temperature reaches 12°C (53°F).
Planting depth: 4-5 cm (1½-2 in).
Planting distance: Sow two seeds every 9 cm (3½ in). Remove one if both germinate and remove every other plant when the plants are established.
Site: Sunny, preferably sheltered from strong winds.
Harvest: Late summer, early fall. Time between sowing and picking approximately 8—12 weeks.
Uses: Excellent summer vegetable.