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Growing Beans

Botanical Name:
Phaseolus vulgaris (and other species)
There are two main types of beans, those with edible pods and those of which only the seeds are eaten. Snap beans (edible pods) are the most commonly grown, and come in both bush and pole varieties.
Planting Time:
plant beans about two weeks after the last predicted frost date when soil temperatures have reached about 60ºF. Seeds will rot in cold, wet soil. For fall harvest, sow beans from 7 to 12 weeks before frost arrival date.
full sun
average, well-drained soil with a neutral pH
Plan for 10 to 15 bush beans per person or three to five hills of pole beans per person. Space bush beans from 2 to 4 inches apart in rows spaced 18 to 36 inches apart. Plant pole beans 4 to 6 inches apart in rows that are spaced 3 to 4 feet apart. Plant both types of beans to a depth of 1 inch. Erect supports for pole beans in the form of trellises, fences, or tepees when planting or when the first two leaves appear on sprouts. Support should be 5 to 8 feet tall.
Keep soil moist, not soggy. Water is very important while pods are developing. Over watering will cause beans to drop their pods.
Beans should be thinned once new growth appears. Thin bush beans to 4 to 6 inches apart and pole beans to 6 to 9 inches apart or 3 to 4 per hill. Mulch seedlings with grass clippings when they reach a height of 3 to 5 inches.
Harvesting & Storage:
Harvest beans frequently to keep them producing. Hold pods by the stems or remove them using a pair of scissors to avoid pulling out the plants.
Diseases and Pests:
Look for cultivars resistant to anthracnose, bean mosaic, powdery mildew, rust, and other common diseases.
Tips to Success:
Make sure soil has warmed up to the proper temperature before planting. If necessary, cover the site with dark plastic as soon as the soil can be worked. Cover plants with row covers in the fall to extend the season. Beans (especially pole types) are easy to grow in containers.

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