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Duh_Vinci
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Garden Beans question...

Since I've cut back on the amount of tomato varieties, I now have more space to plant other veggies...

Beans - never grown them for some reason. From what I read on the packages, I should start them after last frost date. My question is - do I bother starting them in-doors now (3 weeks from the last frost date), or just wait and plant them into the ground directly?

Does the "soil inoculation" really helps (since they've never been grown in my garden)?

I did get some pole beans (KY Blue as well as some bush beans, KY Blue Lake, Royal Burgundy and Mellow Yellow). Is there particular soil Ph requirements and feeding regiments?

How long to the seeds usually keep? I have few older packets (2-3 years old that I've never used, do I even bother with those?

Thanks you for any advise!!!

Regards,
D

Timlin
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Yes to planting after it's warmed up and no more frost is expected. Yes you can start them a couple weeks early but I never do except for the pole beans. Our season is a little short for the pole beans so I often start them early (be careful not to disturb the roots when you transplant).

I don't use inoculant so I can't comment. I don't fertilize the soil I put beans into they grow like a house afire and my soil is a little acidic here.

Do a test, (damp paper towel and old seeds) to see how quickly they germinate but I'm guessing they are just fine and I'd sure use them.

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Duh_Vinci
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Thank you very much for your comments and feedback, appreciated!

Just loaded paper towels with those older seeds (packed for 2010), will see... I just love colors, and in that mix are Yellow KY Wonder Wax pole, Asparagus Yard Long, Purple Pod and Blue Lake. I guess I will see if the seeds are still good...

Thank you for the innoculation tip, I did purchase a little bag, just by remembering reading somewhere that it helps the vigor and production (if never been grown in that spot).

And I think I'm going directly into the soil, my growing season is plenty long for 60-70 days (reading the labels).

Now the "loaded" question, how much is enough? We have family of 4, and I have a long raised bed (3x20) that I can dedicate entirely to these beans - middle for the bush types, say 12' section, and then each 4' end for the pole beans to climb up the trellis...?

Regards,
D

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applestar
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I think they repond faster if you soak the beans in lukewarm water for a couple of hrs first, DV.

I always grow Jade bush beans and Purple Podded pole beans now. I like being able to save their seeds. Also definitely Scarlet runner beans.

This year, I'm also trying Dragon's Tongue bush beans, Rattle Snake pole beans, and Good Mother Stallard pole beans.

I'm tending towards beans that can be harvested as green snap beans, green shell beans, as well as dry beans with good flavor. But I'm still trying out different kinds.

Also growing the Pinkeye Purple Hull southern peas that have been highly. recommended here as well as Zipper Cream.

For yellow, I have Marvel of Venice pole (flat pod type) and Yellow Pencil Pod bush. Let me know if you find a favorite.

I love the Jade bush, Purple Podded, and yellow colored beans combination since even though the purple turns green, it's dark olive green and the color combination is fabulous. I do want to find a round purple pod type to complete the variety in shape since my Purple Podded pole beans are flat pod type.

I saw another bean variety I wanted to try -- I *think* it was Matador -- in Vt. Bean Co. catalog but didn't get it this year. Honestly I grow way too many/much beans every year since I'm somewhat allergic to them and can't eat too much and my kids only eat a limited amount -- one will always say yes to the runner beans in green snap stage though she's picky and says they aren't as good if harvested too young. DH says "I don't eat beans" (but I sneak them in omelets, soups, and fried rice :wink:). I think my cats appreciate them the most since I give the frozen beans as treats. :lol:

I think logically, using the inoculant this time around is the right answer. You *may* already have the bacteria in the soil from the manure and compost you've trucked in though.

gumbo2176
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I've grown Yard Longs for several seasons now and they are my favorite variety. I've grown the purple hull and green hull types and they are both very prolific. The vines grow much faster than any bean I've ever grown. Last year I planted 1/2 my long trellis with Rattlesnake Beans and 1/2 with Yard Longs. Before the Rattlesnake beans were halfway up the trellis, the Yard Longs had reached the top and were making flowers to set fruit.

The purple variety of Yard Longs I grew last year didn't change color when cooked like some purple beans will, but actually got a good bit darker to almost black. My wife found that a little odd to eat at first but grew to like them based on flavor and texture.

gumbo2176
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Applestar, I grew Rattlesnake Pole Beans last year and they are a good producer with nice size pods and I liked them. However, the wife and daughter didn't care for the texture of the pod. The pods are fairly flat and wide with an exterior feel similar to a Kiwi as they are a bit fuzzy to the touch. Not as much as a soybean pod, but fuzzy enough that they found them not to their liking.

Just a bit of a heads up in case you didn't know that about the variety. I liked them just fine.

orgoveg
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I think your choices of bean varieties are very good. The Blue Lakes are especially tasty and they produce for a long time as long as they get enough water.

I definitely recommend direct-sowing as they will grow quickly. The inoculant depends on your soil and if money isn't an issue, it can't hurt to use it the first season to get the rhizobia bacteria established. I'll be finding out if it actually helps for the first time this season.

The bush beans will fall over when the tops get heavy. Strong wind or heavy rain will do it. I like to put two stakes at each end of the rows. I run string from stake-to-stake along each side of the row to hold the plants up. Then, I run a few strings from string-to string to prevent them from falling over that direction. Personally, I think the bush beans grow faster, bigger, and taste better than the pole varieties.

Applestar - I think you're going to like the dragon tongues for snap and shell purposes. Very tasty, very big, and exotic to look at (for guests). My kids (who are extremely picky eaters) love them. I've never had enough of them for a sizeable meal of dry beans, but I have sampled them that way. Pretty good, but nothing to write home about. It's not fair to compare to great northern, butter, or pinto beans :) Those are just God's gift of dry beans to us.

Timlin
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It depends on how much your family likes beans. We eat the snap peas like candy so we plant for that to happen, some folks can their beans, some freeze them so it also depends on what you plan to do with them.

Timlin
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https://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/vegetable/guide.html

Thought I'd postagain and see if I just goofed or if I'm not supposed to post urls. :) These might help you decide how much to plant.

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applestar
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So how much do YOU plant timlin? Is it sufficient for the season's eating or do you also freeze them, pickle them, or pressure can them?

I haven't answered because I plant in so many different varieties in different places by small amounts that I measure basically by "handfuls" and available gaps/spaces as well as "oh I could squeeze this in here...." that I really have NO IDEA. :lol:

But I end up with lots of 1qt freezer bagsful that generally last through the winter until next summer's first harvest is ready.

Orgoveg and gumbo -- thanks for the variety notes on Dragon tongue and Rattlesnake :D
Last edited by applestar on Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Duh_Vinci
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WOW, excellent advices, as usual, one can always count on experience and willingness to help on this forum!!! Much appreciated!

I all of your varieties I have copied to my list for 2012, since this is my first time growing this crop, will give a try to what I have, but again, there is always 2012 :wink:

Thank you very much Tim for the links, most certainly helps!

How tall should the trellis be? I understand there are different varieties of pole beans, some may grow taller than others, but in general? Is 8' trellis enough?

Regards,
D

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Duh_Vinci
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applestar wrote:...But I end up with lots of 1qt freezer bagsful that generally last through the winter until next summer's first harvest is ready.
...
Apple, that is based on how many plants? I like them fine, and can definitely grow for 2 times per weak meals, but definitely don't want to over do it either...

If I'm looking at the chart Tim posted correctly, 15-16 plants can produce up to 120lbs???

Regards,
D

RickRS
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Duh_Vinci wrote:[quote="applestarIf I'm looking at the chart Tim posted correctly, 15-16 plants can produce up to 120lbs???
No, that was 100 feet of row could produce 120 lbs of beans. But is that really going to happen?

I use the Florida guide, and it suggest planting bush beans 2-3 inches apart in rows of 18-30 inches apart. That's 4-6 plants per foot or 400 to 600 plants in a 100 foot row. It's suggested that will yield 45 lbs for 100 feet of row. Florida's pole bean yield per 100 feet of row is 85 lbs, but you near a much greater space between the rows, so bush can yield a good bit of the same as poles for the same space.

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021

Maybe the Arizona guideline of 15-16 plants for "fresh" is a minimum just to get enough for a dinner?
Last edited by RickRS on Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jal_ut
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Bean seeds will likely still germinate for 5 years before they lose too much viability.

Two rows 20 feet long will give you lots of beans.

I would not make a trellis taller than you can reach comfortably to pick the beans.

I have never used inoculant. If you have some use it. Can't hurt.

Jade Bush Bean is a definite winner in my book. Yes, I save seed from Jade too. Toward the end of season, just let some mature and dry up, then shell them.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Duh_Vinci
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Thank you Rick, that certainly makes more sense in terms of production per foot/plant!

Jal - thank you very much! Looks like a full 20' row is now dedicated to the beans! End caps - I've setup a trellis, used 8' cattle panels, that should provide plenty of climbing room, and the middle section will be for the bush beans.

Orgoveg - thank you for the tip on the string/stake, easy to setup, and sounds like a good aid!

Thank you all very much!

Regards,
D

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Gary350
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I have been planting beans for 40 years. I use inoculation it gives the beans the ability to use nitrogen that is in the air, free and natural fertilizer. I keep my inoculation in a kitchen pepper shaker. Put some water in an empty windex bottle and spray the beans a couple minutes before you plant them, just enough water to make the inoculation stick to the beans. Sprinkle a little bit of inoculation on the beans and stir well, a micro size amount goes a long way, it doesn't take much.

Beans are coated with a pink color fungside coating do not soak beans in water before planting you don't want to wash off the pink coating. The pink stuff keeps the beans from rotting before they germinate.

I grew up on a farm. Farmers always said not to plant until the soil has warmed up to 65 degrees F. If the soil is too cold the beans will not germinate your crop will be very spotty.

Bush beans produce a larger harvest than pole beans. Down side to bush beans it is hard on the back for an old fossil like me to pick the beans. Down side to pole beans is getting poles, keeping poles, setting up poles, taking down poles at the end of the season and cleaning poles before putting them up again.

I like snap beans with NO RUNNERS and excellent FLAVOR that is why I have been planting BLUE LAKE BUSH BEANS FOR 25 years. I plant 3 rows of beans and I can harvest 3 crops from it. The first harvest about first week of July is 70% of the total summer harvest. The second harvest is about 20% and the last harvest is about 10%. I pull the beans up after the first harvest and plant something different in its place. I don't get many new beans in 100 deg weather July and August.

I plant my seeds 3" apart in 25 ft long rows. 3 rows of beans 3 ft apart gives us a lot of beans to eat all summer plus I CAN about 75 pints of beans in mason jars too.

My grand parents use to plant bush beans but when they got old like me they started planting pole beans so they didn't have to bend over to pick beans. I use a chair to pick beans it is easier on my back.

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jal_ut
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I have a long raised bed (3x20) that I can dedicate entirely to these beans
If you are dedicating the whole bed to beans, I would plant two rows in that 3 foot wide bed. You can put the seeds about 3 inches apart in the rows.

Have fun!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Duh_Vinci
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Thank you for the info Gary, appreciate it very much! And thank you for the suggestions! Speaking of Blue Lake, my brother actually dropped off a little brown bag, looks like from the local nursery - Blue Lake 1/4 lbs!

Next weekend, will work in some well composed manure, and will plant the seeds in the first part of may... Should be well warm by then!

Jal, makes sense, exactly what I'm going to do, I have the room, mind as well use it.

And speaking of those older seeds, packed for 2010, just looked inside the paper towel - Asparagus Bean sprouted, and KY Wonder did too... I'm sure that others will follow.

Am I going to have beans coming out my ears by the end of the season?

Regards,
D

orgoveg
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Gary350 wrote: The pink stuff keeps the beans from rotting before they germinate.
I didn't know that. It might explain some of the troubles I've had in the past with seeds that I saved myself.

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