Avoid These Garden Problems
You know I was never a fan of growing bush beans until I discovered how good they tasted in stir fries.
Since then, I’ve been a big fan and have eaten them regularly over the past few years. I just hate it when people overcook this vegetable (if it doesn’t still have a snap, it’s overcooked).
If you want some good beans, plan on sowing every two weeks until the end of June or middle of July in warmer areas. This should give you enough fresh beans to keep you harvesting and enjoying the plants until frost knocks them down.
The biggest problem with growing bush beans is that gardeners try to rush the season and plant them too early. The ground temperature should be in the mid-60’s F before you put a bean seed into the ground.
If you’re using untreated beans, this translates into the first week of June in a zone 4 garden. If you succumb and purchase fungicide treated beans, you can plant a week or two earlier. The warmer the soil – the better the germination rate.
Planting Bush Beans
Bush bean seeds should be planted so they are approximately 2 to 4 inches apart in the row and the rows should be 24 inches apart.
Do not plant them too deeply – no more than three quarters – to one inch deep. Deeper is simply burying, not sowing.
A single plant will give approximately a single meal for two people, so plan according to the number of people and the number of meals you want.
Again, compost tilled into the garden before planting will get the beans going as soon as they germinate.
Never plant a white seeded bean too early or it will tend to die off on you. You can cheat a little with darker seeds. Apparently the white seeds have a thinner seed coat and absorb water too fast so that the early seeds crack and die instead of growing.
Careful When Wet
When growing bush beans, as with most vegetable plants, do not work in the garden when the plants are wet. Bean rust, anthracnose and blight is easily spread by moisture on the plant and to nearby plants.
In seed catalogues, you’ll see several kinds of bush beans described below:
Shipping beans have extra fibre to stop the bean from cracking and breaking during shipping. Don’t grow these beans if you’re going to freeze them. This is the preferred bean of the big stores as they have a good cosmetic appeal.
Fresh Market Bush Beans
Fresh market bush beans are tender but they get lumpy quickly as the bean inside matures. They’re ugly and they contain a medium amount of fibre. But they taste good. Harvest regularly to avoid the lumpy look.
Processing and Gourmet Beans
These bush beans have the least amount of fibre and are extremely tender. These are the beans for freezing or canning. They are more influenced by bad or cold weather so never plant them early. They do get lumpy because there’s no fibre in them to hold them slim but even when lumpy, they taste very good.