How To Grow Bush Beans – And Get A Healthy Helping Of Protein From Your Garden

While I’ve been busy writing articles about planting flowers and some underrated plants, I seem to have neglected the basics. I haven’t written a single article on here about planting beans! Well, today I’ll be looking to fix that mistake!

There’s a ton of different dishes you can make with some beans, and they go well with almost everything! They should be an essential part of every diet, and there’s a good reason all the frontiersmen used to eat them.

So let’s take a look at how to grow some delicious bush beans in your garden!

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How To Grow Bush Beans – And Get A Healthy Helping Of Protein From Your Garden

What You Need To Know About Bush Beans

Bush Beans

Bush beans, along with pole beans, are the two most common types of beans around. Most people know they exist and have eaten them at least a few times, but only a few have some more in-depth knowledge about them. Let’s see what you should know about them!

  • They’re a cultivated species
  • Unlike most beans, they don’t require a support pole
  • All the bean pods mature at the same time
  • The soil ph range should be between 6.0 and 6.5
  • The ground must drain well and be fertile
  • They can be broken down into three types – snap, green and dry beans
  • More than half their weight when cooked is protein
  • The more you eat them, the less flatulence you get from them

So, as you can see, the famous musical fruit (which is not a fruit at all) is everything it’s cracked up to be and more. It’s one of the most popular vegetables for a good reason.

Preparing The Soil

Prepare soil

Beans are a tough plant that will grow almost anywhere and yield a decent crop. However, for the optimal results, you have to make sure the soil is just right, or you’ll get fewer beans than you’re hoping for.

To start with, you should pick a suitable location for planting your beans. The most important thing to keep in mind is the sun coverage – don’t plant them in the shade. You can protect them from overexposure to sunlight, but you can’t make more sunlight if they lack it. 

The next important thing is to pick a patch of soil that drains well or using some compost and sand if you can’t find a good patch. Spreading an inch of both should be more than enough. Bean diseases thrive well in wet soil, so this is a necessary precaution.

The acidity of the soil should ideally be around 6.0 pH to 6.5 pH, though beans can handle any sort of acidity. To check the acidity, use pH test kit – they’re cheap and easy to use, as you can see here

To prepare a good patch of soil, you need to use a till or spade on it to a depth of six inches at the least, though seven or eight is preferable. Make sure there are no clumps of earth in the soil or remaining weed roots. The soil should be deep and loose so that beans can absorb a lot of food and water and stretch quickly.

To make sure you’re free of weeds, you should till the soil once per day for three to four days before planting. Till the soil a final time directly before planting the beans.

Planting Your Bush Beans

Growing

Unlike a lot of other common plants, beans simply hate being transplanted, so the best thing to do is to plant them directly instead of planting them indoors beforehand. They often die due to transplant shock otherwise.

The best time of year for planting them comes in April or May when the temperature is at least above 60 degrees F and preferably around 70 to 80 degrees F. If you need to plant them earlier than that, make sure you warm the soil with a plastic cover beforehand.

For the best germination, you should soak the bean seeds in water for 30 minutes before planting them. If you want to make sure your beans will do well, you can also use an inoculant on them, though it’s not necessary.

Bush beans don’t need a lot of space to grow so you can plant them closer together than most other vegetables. Planting them close together has an additional benefit – the leaves will create shade and deprive potential weeds of sunlight. Plant them in blocks of 2 feet by 2 feet with seeds being 2 to 3 inches apart and 1 inch deep. You can also plant them in rows that are 18 to 20 inches apart.

Once you have planted them, cover them with soil and possibly a bit of mulch and wait for them to grow.

How To Care For Bush Beans

Caring

Bush beans are plants that don’t require a lot of maintenance if you simply want them to grow – they can grow almost anywhere and tolerate bad conditions. If you want optimal yield, you need to make sure to follow a few guidelines.

A regular supply of water is necessary - make sure you water the beans regularly, so they get around 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Overwatering will result in them rotting or bean diseases taking hold.

Beans are sensitive to heat and if the temperature goes above 90 degrees F, consider shielding them from heat to stop them from drying out.

Don’t use nitrogen fertilizer on them since it might cause delayed maturity. Kelp-based fertilizer works the best for bush beans.

Once the pods mature, make sure you pick them regularly, so the bens keep producing new pods. Otherwise, they will stop flowering, and your yield will be less than it can be.

As for diseases and pests, you should watch out for, the most common ones are spider mites, which can be removed with water while watering and aphids, which can be dealt with in the same manner.

Bean blight might also be a problem if the leaves get too wet and remain that way for most of the day. To avoid it, you should water the beans early in the morning and space out the plants if needed. You should weed regularly as well.

Bean mosaic virus is also a common disease that can be dealt with only by removing the infected plants. Using bush bean strains that are resistant to it, like Provider, Lancer, Golden Butterwax or Tendercrop is also recommended.

Conclusion

So, that’s about it! As you can see, planting and caring for bush beans is not that difficult. If you just follow these basic instructions, you’ll soon have a ton of delicious beans on your hands! If you have any questions you might want to ask or just want to say something and offer advice to others, sound off in the comment section below.

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