10) Beans in Sjef’s garden

In this tip:

  • Z)# Growing beans at warm dry weather
  • A)# Plastic tunnel with green bean plants (for early harvest)
  • B)# Bean plants in May (mid spring)
  • C)# First beans harvested
  • D)# Course: placing stakes (to prevent blowing down)
  • E)# Stepladder
  • F)# Nitrogen fixing bacteria at bean plants
  • G)# Bean species used (Prelude, Westlandia and Miracle)

Z)# Growing beans at warm dry weather

Many gardeners sow bean seeds direct in the garden soil. When you sow in dry soil at warm, dry weather, you get only few plants;

  • In dry soil, few bean seeds germinate.
  • Moisten the soil before sowing. But then you have to keep the soil moist during the days after sowing;
    • When you add too much water, bean seeds will rot.
    • When you add too little water, soil dries out and germination stops.

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Better (in short);

Straw beans (low plants)

  • Germinate bean seeds on moist kitchen paper.
  • Replant the small bean plants in a shallow hole (pit) in the garden soil.
  • Put a thin layer of dry hay on the soil around the bean plants.
  • Spray water on the hay and on the plants. Water sinks into the soil towards the roots of the bean plants and the soil does not dry out so fast.

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Stake beans

  • Germinate bean seeds on moist kitchen paper.
  • Replant the small bean plants in a shallow hole around the stake, in a mixture of compost and garden earth.
  • Plant at least 10 bean plants around the stake.
  • Put a thin layer of dry hay on the soil around the bean plants.
  • Water the plants around the stake daily.

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More info below

Z1) Growing bush beans

  • Germinate bean seeds on moist kitchen paper (absorbing paper). See  tip 12   .
  • Every time put the biggest bean plants in the garden soil.

  • Dig a planting hole in the dry garden earth, depth 10 centimeters (4 inch), diameter 15 centimeters (6 inch).

  • Put (4) small bean plants in the planting hole in dry garden earth. Shove garden earth around and on top of the roots of the bean plant.
  • Is the hole too shallow after replanting, use a garden trowel to make a small dam around it.

  • Aater on the plants in the hole. Use a watering can with a fine shower head.
  • Let the water sink into the soil.

  • Put a layer of short leave dry hay around and between the plants in the hole.

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Remark: You can reverse watering and putting dry hay on.

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  • From now on, spray water on the hay and on the plants daily at warm dry weather. The soil remains moist and the bean plants grow well.

The same bean plants grown bigger, 4 days after planting.

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Z2) Growing stake beans

  • Germinate bean seeds on moist kitchen paper (absorbing paper). See  tip 12   .
  • Every time put the biggest bean plants in the garden soil.

Bonen D

Bonen E

  • Make a deep planting hole around each stake.
  • Fill the planting hole with compost (and manure), not completely full.
  • Mix compost (and manure) with garden earth in the planting hole.
  • Replant many little bean plants in the planting hole around the stake.
  • Put a layer of dry hay between the bean plants.
  • At warm, dry weather, water in the planting hole daily. Don’t let the soil around the roots of the bean plants dry out.

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In my garden;

  • Many bean plants grow along the stakes. You can get a big harvest, later.

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Remark (eating snails or slugs):

Snails and slugs can eat many small bean plants in the garden soil.

You better put the small bean plants in a tray filled with compost. Put the tray at a warm sunny place during the day and indoors at night.

After about 10 days, bean plants in the tray are so big. Put the plants in the garden soil around stakes.

The bean plants of the previous photo in the garden soil around stakes.

The same bean plants, some later. Plants grow well and there is little damage by snails or slugs.

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A)# Plastic tunnel with green bean plants

First sowing beans in the garden soil usually happens in spring near the date of the (expected) last night frost. When sowing much earlier, small bean plants can freeze and die.

You can replant small bean plants in the garden soil under a transparent foil tunnel much earlier. Then you can have the first bean harvest very early. Below a description.

  • Lay bush bean seeds in a tray on moist kitchen paper in early spring (see tip 12). Let the seeds germinate. Pick the small bean plants from the moist paper.
  • Weekly sow new bean seeds on moist kitchen paper.

  • Each time put 4 little bean plants in a flower pot filled with compost.
  • Put the flower pots in a tray (or laundry basket).
  • Put them outside during sunny warm weather, indoors during nights and cold days.
  • Let the bean plants grow bigger.
  • Put the tray with pots outdoors in the sun during the day and indoors during the night or cold (freezing) weather. Do this until 1 month before the date of the (expected) last night frost (In The Netherlands about half of April).
  • Build a foil tunnel in the early spring (see tip 11) (In The Netherlands about early April).
  • Take the bean plants with root ball out of the pots and replant the groups of 4 plants in the garden soil under the foil tunnel.
  • Replant in rows, distance between the groups of 4 plants in the row is 30 centimeters (1 yard). Distance between rows is 30 30 centimeters (1 yard).

Bonen G

  • Close the foil tunnel.
  • At warm weather, put the tunnel (half) open.
  • The tunnel is closed at night and at cold weather.

Bonen K

  • Early spring; 3 rows of bigger grown bush bean plants under a tunnel greenhouse.
  • This tunnel is full.
  • Keep the next small bush bean plants “at home” in flower pots until after the date of the (expected) last night frost. From then on, replant the groups of 4 bush bean plants in the soil in the open air.

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B)# Bean plants in May (mid spring)

Photos of bush bean plants in my garden, under a tunnel or in the open air.

Four (4) rows of bush bean plants. The biggest plants (3 rows) were under a foil tunnel. The (smaller) plants in the 4th row have been planted after the date of the (expected) last night frost (In The Netherlands, May 15).

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C)# First beans harvested

Each year I try to harvest the first beans half June (end of spring). The plants have been under the foil tunnel. Below some photos.

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D)# Course: placing stakes

You can put stakes in the garden soil forming 2 rows next to each other. That is a standard method.

Or build separate teepees of 4 stakes each. See chapter D2).

You can use  stakes of bamboo, 270 centimeters (9 feet) long. Fastened together using broad tie- wraps.

Use a broom-stick with a sharp point to make holes in the garden soil. An elastic band indicates the depth. Or put a clamp (or a big clothes peg) on.

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D1) Two rows of stakes next to each other

  • Tighten a string (with knots or small wires each 50 centimeters (1 ft 8 inch) over the garden soil.
  • Use the broom-stick to make a shallow hole in the soil at each knot.
  • Repeat these steps about 70 centimeters (2 ft 4 inch) further.
  • You end up with 2 rows of shallow holes in the soil.

  •  Use the broom stick and a wooden hammer to deepen the shallow holes in the soil.
  • (Or hold a wooden board on top of the broom stick and hit with an iron hammer).
  • Make these holes a little slanting as needed for the bean stakes.

  • Put the stakes in the holes. Each time 2 stakes are slanting in the soil  ( /\ ).
  • The 4 outer stakes (2 left end, 2 right end) are “slanting sloping”.  They are fixed to the next 2 stakes of a row later
  • From aside, stakes are placed in the soil like this:   /| | | | | |\

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The next photos show how the tops of 4 mini stakes are “very close”. You can put a tie- wrap around them.

staakjes1

  • Four (4) stakes in the soil, 2 pairs of 2 stakes;
    • 1 pair (left) is aluminium and black,
    • 1 pair (right) is bare wood and green.
  • Each pair “crosses identical”;
    • The “front” stake is at the right side of the “rear” stake.

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  • Push the 2 left side stakes on top to the right stakes;
    • At the top the end of the aluminium stake gets between the bare wood and the green stake.
  • In this way, the top ends of the 4 stakes are “very close together”
  • Now you can put a strip around the 4 stakes.

  • And a horizontal stake fits on top.

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And now at the real stakes, the outer stakes;

  • Make 2 pairs out of 4 stakes.
  • Mind that each pair “crosses identically”.
  • Join the pairs of stakes as described at the mini stakes.
  • Put a tie wrap on. Keep the tie wrap a little loose so you can move the stakes when needed.
  • Repeat these steps at the 4 stakes at the other end.

staken3a

  • Lay a horizontal stake on the outermost 4 connected stakes, see photo above, left.
  • Lay the horizontal stake towards right, on top between many other crossing stakes.
  • Use a tie wrap to fix this horizontal stake at right to 2 vertical stakes (photo above red/white triangle). Keep this tie wrap a little loose so you can still move the stakes when needed.

  • Use a long tie wrap (or 2 wraps in series) to fasten the horizontal lath to the outermost 4 connected stakes, see photo above, left.
  • Use tie wraps to fasten the horizontal lath to all intermediate couples of vertical stakes.

  • Use a bamboo stick to extend the horizontal stake when it’s too short. Fix that stick too using tie wraps.

  • Side photo of a row of stakes;
    • Push each stake down to have it well in the hole in the soil.
    • Push the construction “straight”. Each pair of stakes is like this:  /\ .  From aside the stakes are like this:      /| | | | | |\   . The horizontal stake above is level.
  • Pull all tie wraps “taut”.

The construction is upright and level.

  • Use a planting stick (see tip 2) to tamp the soil around the stakes. The stakes are tight in the soil and will not come out at stormy wind.
  • Later on, before planting the bean plants, loose the soil around the stakes again using a fork or a garden trowel.
  • This construction is strong due to the 2 slanting stakes at each end of the row and the use of tie wraps.

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Remark:

Better: Put only 2 rows of stakes /\ shaped against each other in your garden. The sun can shine on all your plants.

Worse: When you put 4 rows of stakes /\ /\ shaped, the plants at the inner side get less sunshine resulting in less flowers and less harvest. And much harder to pick the beans there.

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D2) Placing stakes in separate teepees

You can put 4 stakes in the soil and connect the tops. In this way you build 1 or more separate bean teepees. This works very well, because;

  • Between the teepees  /\    /\    /\  there is much open space. Plants behind the teepees get enough sunlight and will grow well.
  • It is very easy to divide your garden soil. You don’t have to worry about rows of stakes. You just build each teepee whenever and wherever you want.
  • You can spread your bean harvest; put a new bean teepee in your garden every … weeks and put bean plants at the stakes.

You can make a teepee using 4, 5 or 6 stakes. That works well too. Put bean seeds or bean plants around each stake.

Seven (7) or more stakes in a teepee is not useful; near the top, many stems, leaves and bean pods get stuck or damaged.

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E)# Stepladder

Stepladder used when picking stake beans. There are 2 laths under the legs of the stepladder against going down in the garden soil. See tip 2, nr 30.

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F)# Nitrogen fixing bacteria

stikstofbolletjes

On the roots of bean plants (and other legumes) there are bacteria that convert nitrogen into nitrogen containing fertilizer. You see tiny balls on the roots on the photo above.  By cutting the stems, the fertilizer stays in the earth.

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G)# Bean species in my garden (Prelude, Westlandia and Miracle)

In my garden I grow these varieties of beans.

G1) Prelude dwarf green beans:

  • Species for early sowing. High yield. Germinate Prelude seeds on moist kitchen paper from early April (early spring) until early July (early summer) . Put the earliest small bean plants under a foil tunnel.

  • When sowing Prelude too late, you can get plants with brown spotted leaves and black spots on the beans.

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G2) Westlandia stake green beans:

  • Sow every 2 weeks from May to mid August (mid spring to mid summer). The bean plants withstand the cold weather of September (early autumn).

  • Beans are long, slender and light green. There are bunches with big and small beans and flowers. Careful pick the beans to prevent breaking of brunches.  Leaves break off easily too.

Last beans, sown in August (mid summer), harvested late September (early autumn).

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G3) Miracle Chinese dwarf green beans:

  • For late sowing and harvest. Sow from early July until end of August (mid to late summer).

  • You can put small bean plants in the garden soil at the spot where onions have grown.
  • Pick the beans early. Don’t let them grow too big and too thick.

nieuwe boog 70

  • Put a tunnel greenhouse “high” over the last planted bean plants.
  • (the bean plants on this photo have suffered from cold weather already)

Bonen M

 

  • The last Miracle bush beans, harvested October (early fall).

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G4) Paloma bush beans:

This variety can withstand cold weather too. You can sow until in August (late summer) and harvest in October (early-mid autumn). The beans are thin and look like Miracle beans.

paloma 1

paloma 2

At the harvested Paloma beans, a few beans have threads, about 1 at 30 beans.

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