Bell Peppers,all about planting,growing,caring and storage

Peppers are a tender, warm-season crop. They resist most pests and offer something for everyone: spicy, sweet or hot, and a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. For this page, we will focus on sweet bell peppers.

Botanical name: Capsicum annuum

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Continue reading Bell Peppers,all about planting,growing,caring and storage

Broccoli Florets,all about planting,growing,caring and storage

Broccoli is a cool-season crop that, like spinach, can be grown in the spring or fall. In fact, you may be able to get a continual harvest throughout both seasons if you time planting correctly. A member of the cabbage family, broccoli is rich in vitamins.

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Sandy

Continue reading Broccoli Florets,all about planting,growing,caring and storage

A Nutritious Garden for the Prepared Family

Since I was small, I’ve been raised to be able to take care of myself in case Something Bad were to happen. I grew up foraging, sewing, shooting, and cleaning the deer my father brought home. On the east coast, where I was born and spent much of my childhood, there just don’t seem to be quite as many people preparing their kids with these kinds of skills. That’s one of the reasons my father decided to migrate out west, here to Idaho.

I was always a little bit of an outsider out east because no one else went mushroom hunting and shooting with their dads. So it was nice to come out here and realize that I wasn’t alone in my upbringing!

Continue reading A Nutritious Garden for the Prepared Family

PLASTICULTURE FOR COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES

Posted on January 7, 2014

TO BE MORE COMPETITIVE IN TODAY’S MARKETS, VEGETABLE GROW- T PRODUCE, SUPERIOR YIELDS, AND EARLY SPRING MARKETS. THE ERS ARE LOOKING FOR NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE HIGHER-QUALITY PLASTICULTURE SYSTEM-WHICH COMBINES RAISED BEDSPLASTIC MULCHDRIP IRRIGATION, AND FUMIGATION-HAS HELPED AN IN- CREASING NUMBER OF PRODUCERS REACH THESE GOALS. GROWERS USING THE PLASTICULTURE SYSTEM HAVE DOUBLED AND TRIPLED YIELDS AND HARVESTED THEIR CROPS TWO TO THREE WEEKS EARLIER THAN IS POSSIBLE WITH TRADITIONAL GROWING PRACTICES.

Throughout this booklet we will emphasize that plasticulture is a system that cannot function optimally without all of its components. The benefits of these components are described below.

Raised beds help provide more uniform soil moisture and warmer growing conditions in the spring.

Plastic mulch, which gained wide acceptance in the early 1980s, helps warm the soil and reduces water loss. The mulch also protects fruits and leaves from disease by preventing direct contact with the soil.Black plastic mulch even helps control weeds.

 Drip irrigation provides a uniform supply of water, which keeps the soil moist under the plastic. Soils in the Southeast, in particular, have limited water- holding capacity and do not re-wet easily once they have dried out. Drip irrigation helps eliminate this problem by frequently supplying small amounts of water to maintain a more constant moisture level.

Fumigation controls weeds, insects, and diseases. This control is an important element of plasticulture, because the high temperatures induced by plastic mulch stimulate pest activity. The success you can achieve with plasticulture depends on the specifics of your operation. This booklet provides information to help you decide if plasticulture is right for you, and if you decide it is, how to prepare your site and manage the system.

PLASTICULTURE’S ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Plasticulture is a management-intensive system that requires careful planning and close attention. Its benefits, however, can be many. Before you invest in  plasticulture, you should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of plasticulture versus traditional practices.

ADVANTAGES

EARLIER PRODUCTION. Probably the greatest benefit of growing crops on plastic is earlier production.
Plastic mulch raises the soil temperature, which helps plants grow more quickly and mature earlier. Spring vegetables grown on black plastic can be harvested 7 to 21 days earlier than they can be on nonplastic mulch. Harvesting one to two weeks earlier often significantly increases market advantage and the prices growers
receive.

REDUCED LEACHING OF FERTILIZER. Because many fertilizer nutrients are not held tightly in the soil, rainfall and excessive irrigation may leach them below the roots of plants grown on bare ground. Nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and some formulations of micronutrients are subject to leaching, especially in light, sandy soils. A plastic mulch covering the bed (or portion of it) prevents rainfall from percolating through the soil and moving nutrients beyond the reach of plant roots. Preventing leaching improves the efficiency of production by eliminating the need to make several trips through the field to resupply leached nutrients, thereby saving time, fuel, and fertilizer. In addition, it helps prevent reduced quality and lower yields resulting from

  1.  hidden hunger – early stages of nutrient deficiency that may harm plants even before they begin to show symptoms and
  2.  lag time – the time from when plants first show symptoms of a deficiency until nutrients are replenished in the plant tissues. Finally, minimizing the amount of leaching into the soil helps protect groundwater from fertilizer contamination.

FEWER WEEDS. Black plastic mulch prevents the growth of most weeds except nutsedge. Clear plastic, however, does not prevent weed growth because light can penetrate it. So if you are going to use clear plastic, you will also need to use a herbicide or soil fumigant. Herbicides also control weeds on bare ground between
the plastic-covered beds.

INCREASED PLANT GROWTH. Plants grow more with plastic mulch for two reasons. First, soil temperature at the 2-inch depth is increased by up to 10°F under black mulch and up to 15°F under clear mulch.
Second, during growth, plant roots take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide (COJ. Plant leaves require CO, which they get from the atmosphere. When plants are grown on plastic, the CO, released from roots accumulates under the plastic and eventually escapes through the holes in which the plants are growing. This
“chimney effect” increases the concentration of CO, to the leaves and enhances plant growth.

REDUCED EVAPORATION. Because growth rate on mulch may be twice that on unmulched soil, plants
may require more water even though evaporation is reduced. Mulching cannot substitute for a sound irrigation program. However, less water evaporates from soil under plastic mulch, and soil moisture is maintained more uniformly. Therefore, you actually need less water per unit of production.

IMPROVED QUALITY. Vegetables grown on plastic mulch are cleaner and less subject to rots because soil has not been splashed on the plants or fruit.

REDUCED SOIL COMPACTION. Soil under plastic mulch remains loose, friable, and well aerated. Roots have access to adequate oxygen, and microbial activity is enhanced.

BETTER SURFACE WATER DRAINAGE. Excess water runs off the plastic-covered rows and out of the field, reducing drowning and other stresses related to waterlogged soil.

CULTIVATION ELIMINATED. There is no need for cultivation, except in the area between the mulched strips. Weed growth in these areas can be controlled with a labeled herbicide.

BElTER FUMIGATION. Plastic mulches increase the effectiveness of soil fumigation by retaining fumigants in the soil and providing better pest control.

DISADVANTAGES

REMOVAL AND DISPOSAL. A major problem with the plasticulture system is having to remove mulch and drip tubing from the field after cropping. Conventional black plastic mulch does not break down and should not be disked into the soil. It can, however, be recycled. Clear plastic does eventually break down, but small pieces may remain in the field for several years. In addition, there are photodegradable and biodegradable mulches, which break apart into the soil and do not have to be removed.

GREATER INITIAL COSTS. Because plasticulture requires an investment in specialized equipment including bed press, mulch layer, and mulch transplanter (or plug-mix seeder) – initial production costs are significantly higher than for traditional practices. Yearly costs of plastic and drip tubing further increase production expenses. These costs, however, should be offset by increased returns from earlier harvests, better quality, and higher yields.

INCREASED MANAGEMENT. Plastic mulch and drip irrigation must be monitored daily to be successful.
Although plasticulture technology offers several important advantages over conventional production practices, it is not necessarily for everyone. Whether plasticulture is right for your operation depends on
several factors:

  1. are the vegetables you intend to grow suited to production on plastic,
  2.  will the vegetables be intensely managed,
  3. are sufficient financial resources available or obtainable,
  4. do you have a good market, or prospects for one, and
  5. have you established a successful track record growing vegetables on bare ground?

If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, then plasticulture might not be a good alternative for you now. However, if you answered “yes” to each of these questions, plasticulture may be profitable for you.

Vegetables You Can Grow in the Winter Edible Garden [Video]

Posted on December 16, 2013 by Garden Prepper December 16, 2013

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John from growingyourgreens.com takes you on a tour of his suburban front yard garden where he is growing many vegetables over the winter time. In this video, you will learn about some of the vegetables that can be grown in the winter time and lots of other info that might be new for many of you. After watching this video you will also learn about one of Johns new upcoming vegetables that is relatively unknown.

There are many vegetables you can grow during winter, here are the top 10 you can grow.

I think it is useless to say it, but if you chose to grow your vegetables in an aquaponic system you can grow all kinds of vegetables, herbs and have fresh fish all year round. This is a link to the most easy and reliable aquaponic systems step by step guide with photos and videos, that can be accomplish with less then $200.

Enjoy the video

Top 10 Vegetables to Grow Over Winter

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Garden Prepper November 25, 2013

Don’t let your vegetable plot stand empty and neglected over winter. There are plenty of winter vegetables to grow throughout the coldest months. Winter vegetable growing allows you to extend the season and many vegetables that can be grown in winter will produce earlier crops than spring plantings.

If you were really organised in late spring/ early summer then you will have already grown some winter vegetable plants such as Winter Cabbage, Kale and Brussels Sprouts. These will be well under way by autumn and you will already have started planting your winter vegetables outdoors.

But don’t worry if it slipped your mind – there are lots of tasty vegetables to grow in winter that can be still sown this autumn.

Vegetables to grow outdoors in winter

Most winter vegetable plants are fully hardy and will cope well with cold winter weather, but if hard frosts threaten then you can always throw some fleece across them to provide some extra protection.

Most can be planted or sown directly outdoors to ensure that your winter vegetable garden is fully stocked.

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 Onions and Shallots

Autumn planting onion sets are easy to grow and will virtually look after themselves over winter. Onions have a long growing season and won’t be ready for harvesting until next summer, so you will need to plan carefully as they will still be in the ground when you start planting other crops in spring. Onion ‘First Early’ is a popular and reliable variety or for a brightly coloured red onion try Onion ‘Electric’. In recent years Shallots have become more popular with the trendy gardener. Autumn planting ‘Echalote Grise’ is a particularly choice variety for its intense and concentrated flavour.

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 Garlic

Growing garlic couldn’t be easier and there are lots of varieties to choose from for autumn planting. Like onions, they have a long growing season and won’t be ready to harvest until next summer, but it is well worth the wait! ‘Wight Cristo’ is well suited to most culinary dishes, but if you enjoy the fuller flavour of baked garlic, then try the attractive variety ‘Chesnok Red’ for its delicious creamy texture. For true garlic fans (and customers with vampire problems) T&M offers a full collection that will provide you with bumper crops of garlic.

Spring Onions

Winter hardy varieties of Spring onion make a tasty accompaniment to winter salads. They are a fairly quick growing crop and early autumn sowings should be ready to harvest by early spring. Spring Onion ‘White Lisbon’ is a popular and reliable winter hardy variety.

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Perpetual Spinach

Perpetual spinach makes an excellent ‘cut and come again’ crop that will produce huge yields of tasty leaves. Early autumn sowings will keep you supplied with tender young leaves throughout winter and with regular harvesting it will continue to crop well into summer! Be sure to remove the flowers to prevent it running to seed.

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Broad Beans

Autumn sown broad beans can be harvested in spring up to a month earlier than spring sown plants. Broad Bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ is one of the best for autumn sowings, being particularly quick to establish. Once the plants are well grown you can even use the plant tips – they are delicious wilted with a little butter.

Peas

Enjoy an early crop of peas next spring. Autumn sowings of rounded varieties such as Pea ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ and Pea ‘Meteor’ are particularly hardy and will give you a head start next season. You will be the envy of the allotment when you start harvesting peas 3 or 4 weeks earlier than other growers!

Asparagus

If you have plenty of space then why not plant a permanent asparagus bed this autumn. Choose an autumn planting variety such asAsparagus ‘Pacific 2000’ or the colourful variety ‘Pacific Purple’. Although asparagus beds take several years to establish, each asparagus crown can produce up to 25 spears per year and will continue cropping for 25 years. You will need to be patient with this crop as it will be 2 years before you can harvest them properly – but the promise of tender, home grown asparagus spears is well worth the wait.

Vegetables to grow in the greenhouse in winter

Growing winter vegetables outdoors will make good use of your plot, but there are some crops that will need a little protection from the cold. These vegetables to grow over winter can be sown into cells and transplanted later into the soil borders of an unheated greenhouse, or grown under polytunnels, cloches and cold frames.

Winter Salads

Salads are not just for summer! Sow tasty ‘cut and come again’ mixes such as ‘Winter Blend’ under cover for harvesting throughout the winter months. Plant rows of Lambs Lettuce, Land Cress and Mustard alongside to add a spicy, peppery flavour to your winter salads. For tasty, crisp heads of Lettuce you can also try Lettuce ‘Winter Gem’.

Carrots

For an exceptionally early crop of carrots in spring try growing Adelaide. This fast-maturing variety can be sown as early as November in the greenhouse and as late as July outdoors.

Pak Choi

This dual purpose oriental vegetable can be harvested young throughout the winter as individual salad leaves, or let the heads mature and add the succulent stems to stir fries. Pak Choi is quick to mature and packed full of healthy vitamins A and C as well as Calcium, Iron and Folic Acid. Although it is often grown as a summer crop, Pak Choi can still be sown in late summer for transplanting under cover in autumn.

Like I always say…please share. Thanks

Carrots

Posted on October 5, 2013

Botanical name: Daucus carota

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Sandy

Soil pH: Neutral


Carrots are a popular root vegetable that are easy to grow in sandy soil. They are resistant to most pests and diseases, and are a good late season crop that can tolerate frost. Not all carrots are orange; varieties vary in color from purple to white.

Planting

  • Plan to plant seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date.
  • Make sure your soil is free of stones; carrots need deeply tilled soil that they can push through.
  • Have you ever seen a carrot that has grown “legs” or forked? Fresh manure, or even recently applied rotted manure, can cause carrots to fork and send out little side roots. Don’t use it before you plant your seeds.
  • Plant seeds 3-4 inches apart in rows. Rows should be at least a foot apart.

Care

  • Gently mulch to retain moisture, speed germination and block the sun from the roots.
  • Soil should be well drained and loose to prevent forking and stunting of the root growth.
  • Once plants are an inch tall, thin so they stand 3 inches apart. Snip them with scissors instead of pulling them out to prevent damage to the roots of remaining plants.
  • Water at least one inch per week.
  • Weed diligently.
  • Fertilize 5-6 weeks after sowing.
  • Carrots taste much better after a couple of frosts. Following the first hard frost in the fall, cover carrot rows with an 18-inch layer of shredded leaves to preserve them for harvesting later.

Pests

  • Wireworms
  • Flea Beetles
  • Aster Yellow Disease will cause shortened and discolored carrot tops and hairy roots. This disease is spread by pests as they feed from plant to plant. Keep weeds down and invest in a control plan for pests such as leafhoppers. This disease has the ability to overwinter.

Harvest/Storage

  • Carrots are mature at around 2 ½ months and ½ inch in diameter. You may harvest whenever desired maturity is reached.
  • You may leave mature carrots in the soil for storage if the ground will not freeze.
  • To store freshly harvested carrots, twist off the tops, scrub off the dirt under cold running water, let dry and seal in airtight plastic bags, and refrigerate. If you simply put fresh carrots in the refrigerator, they’ll go limp in a few hours.
  • Carrots can be stored in tubs of moist sand for winter use.

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘Bolero’: resists most leaf pests.
  • ‘Nantesa Superior’: sweet flavor, adapts to any soil.
  • ‘Thumberline’: round carrot, good for clumpy or clay soil.

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

Carrots are biennial plants. If you leave them in the ground, the tops will flower and produce seeds the second year.

thegardenprepper

Beets

Posted on October 2, 2013 by Garden Prepper October 2, 2013

Botanical name: Beta vulgaris

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil type: Sandy, Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral


Beets are a cool season vegetable crop. This root veggie grows quickly and has many different varieties which showcase deep red, yellow or white bulbs of different shapes. They can survive frost and almost freezing temperatures, which makes them a good choice for northern gardeners and an excellent long-season crop.

Planting

  • A soil pH above 5.5–6 is best, otherwise growth will be stunted. Beets are a good indicator of soil pH.
  • Till in aged manure before planting. Beets require especially good nutrition and a high phosphorus level to germinate. Go easy on nitrogen however, an excess will cause sprawling greens and tiny bulbs beneath the soil.
  • Wait until soil reaches 50 degrees before planting.
  • Plant seeds ½ inch deep and 1-2 inches apart.
  • Make sure soil remains moist for germination.
  • In zones with low moisture and rainfall, soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting.
  • Early crop can be planted in March/April, and late crop anytime from June to September. Successive plantings are also possible as long as the weather doesn’t exceed 75 degrees F. Space plantings about 20 days apart.
  • Winter crops are a definite possibility in Zone 9 and above.

Care

  • Thinning is necessary, as you may get more than one seedling out of each seed. Thin when they read about 2 inches high by pinching them off. Pulling them out of the ground may disturb the close surrounding roots of nearby seedlings.
  • Established plants should be thinned to 3–4 inches between plants.
  • Mulch and water well. Beets need to maintain plenty of moisture.
  • Any necessary cultivation should be gentle, beets have shallow roots that are easily disturbed.

Pests

  • Flea Beetles
  • Leaf Hoppers
  • Mexican Bean Beetles

Harvest/Storage

  • Days to maturity tend to be between 50 and 70 for most varieties, although they can be harvested at any time you see fit. If you like larger bulbs, wait longer, but understand they will be tougher and woody.
  • Don’t let greens grow above 6 inches before harvesting.
  • Don’t forget about the tops! Beet greens have a delicious and distinctive flavor, and hold more nutrition than the roots.
  • Fresh beets can be stored in the refrigerator for 5–7 days. Clipping the tops off beets will keep them fresher for longer. Leave about one inch of stem on each beet, and store the greens separately.
  • For root cellar type storage, make sure you brush off any soil clinging to these crops, then store them in a cool, dry place. An unheated closet might do, or put them in a cooler in your basement.
  • Beets can be frozen, canned and pickled.

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘Detriot Dark Red’ Sturdy, traditional red variety, round.
  • ‘Formanova’ Long, cylindrical beets that grow in the same fashion as carrots. Excellent for canning.

Recipes

  • Roasted Beets and Arugula
  • Grandmother Lida Quinn’s Pickled Beets
  • Beets and Beet Greens in Cream

Wit & Wisdom

Use beets or cranberries to make your own pink Easter egg dye..

Posted on October 1, 2013

Posted on October 1, 2013

Horticulture is a relaxing and fun hobby for many people around the world, but doing it organically is even more rewarding. If you lack experience as a gardener, it is perfectly natural to be somewhat intimidated by the thought of all that work. How can the beginning organic gardener get a handle on how to start out? All you have to do is read the following suggestions.

Digging in hard clay soil is made even more difficult because it sticks to the shovel. Coat the shovel with floor or car wax, and buff it with a clean rag to make the job a lot easier. The wax will enable the clay soil to simply slide off the shovel, and will also prevent the shovel from rusting.TIP! Digging in hard clay soil is made even more difficult because it sticks to the shovel. To make digging clay soil easier, try applying a light coating of wax, either car wax or floor wax, and then buff off and commence digging.

If you notice powdery mildew on your plants, do not buy an expensive chemical. Combine a bit of liquid soap and some baking soda with water. Use a spray bottle to apply to your plants weekly until the issue clears up. Baking soda will not damage your plants and treats the mildew gently but efficiently.

Climbing plants and vines are great for covering fences and wall structures. Plants that climb are extraordinarily versatile, and can help hide an unsightly wall or fence, usually within one season. They may grow up through some existing shrubs and trees, and can even be worked to grow around an arbor. Some require ties attaching them to supports, but others will attach themselves to any surface nearby. Climbing roses, honeysuckle, wisteria, clematis, and jasmine are some great plants to try out.TIP! A great gardening tip to use is to always select types of plants that are more likely to produce a high yield. It is quite common to find that hybrids, which are often able to resist disease and withstand cold climates, produce yields much larger than their conventional counterparts.

When winter arrives, you can save some plants by placing them in your home. This is especially useful if you have a particular plant that you love or was expensive. Always be careful when digging around the roots, and put the plant in a suitable pot.

Stink bugs can damage your garden, especially if you garden in the fall. They thrive on fruits, citrus, peppers and various beans. Proper measures should be taken in order to ensure minimal damage to your crops.TIP! Start your plants in containers, and then transplant the seedlings into the garden later on. This raises the chances of the plants growing until adulthood.

Before you start planting your garden, plan it out. It will be a while before things start to sprout and visually remind you of what was planted where, so a written record can be helpful. It can also keep you from planting any of your garden favorites too close to each other.

Take extra care of any fragile shrubs that are known to drop their leaves in the autumn. Shrubs in pots especially need special care in the colder weather. Connect the tops, and then place a sheet over the top of the wigwam. This method works better than covering your bushes in plastic, allowing air to circulate and preventing rotting.TIP! Beginning your garden with healthy soil is your first defense against pests! If you create healthy plants, they are going to be stronger and therefore, less likely to succumb to diseases and insects. For the most vigorous and healthy plants, start with high-quality soil, and stay away from chemicals.

Try and maintain daily aerated and dried plants. Moisture on the surfaces of your plants is an invitation to pests and illness. Fungi is the most common parasite for plants. You can control fungi with the application of fungicide sprays. However, the area should be treated before you see the onset of any problems.

A green garden needs to begin with seeds, not plants. When planting a garden, the best way is to initially start with seeds. It’s better for your garden, in particular, because transplants have high failure rates; whereas, sprouting a seed and growing a plant in the same conditions is better. Additionally, it’s better for the environment, because the plastic pots used by most greenhouses are generally not recycled and are cluttering landfills.TIP! Plant annuals and biennials to make your flower beds brighter. By utilizing quick-growing biennials and annuals, not only will you be brightening up your flower bed, you can also alter its look each season and each year.

Choose a plant to use for a focal point. Your focal point will be the main center of attention for anyone who sees your garden. The focal point should be a plant totally different from the others around it.

You should now realize how much fun and how enjoyable gardening can be. Cultivating your green thumb is a relaxing, engaging hobby that the whole family can enjoy. Use these tips to get your organic garden up and running in no time.TIP! While caring for your garden in the fall, you will want to keep a lookout for stinkbugs. These bugs like to eat beans, peppers, tomatoes, and many kinds of fruits.http://www.allselfsustained.com

Beans

Posted on September 30, 2013

Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Pole and bush beans (more commonly called green beans) are a tender vegetable and a great addition to any garden, great eaten fresh off the plant or incorporated into a recipe. Bush beans require less maintenance, so they are easier to grow.There are different tips of beans:

Adzuki Beans
Blackeye Beans
Black Turtle Beans
Garbanzo Beans
Great Northern
Kidney Beans
Lentils
Lima Beans
Mung Beans
Pink Beans
Pinto Beans
Small Red Beans
Soy Beans

Read more about all types of beans in our article

Planting

  • Pole beans will grow in a climbing vine and require a trellis or staking. Bush beans will spread up to 2 feet but do not require support.
  • Do not start seeds indoors; they may not survive transplanting.
  • Seeds can be sown outdoors anytime after last spring frost, minimum soil temp is 48 degrees F.  Plant 1 inch deep, a little deeper for sandier soils. Cover soil to warm if necessary.
  • Bush beans: Plant 2 inches apart.
  • Pole beans: Set up trellises, or “cattle panels,” and plant 3 inches apart.
  • If you like pole beans, an easy support for them is a “cattle panel”—a portable section of wire fence—16 feet long and 5 feet tall. The beans will climb with ease, and you won’t have to get into contorted positions to pick them.
  • For a harvest that lasts all summer, sow beans every 2 weeks. If you’re going to be away, skip a planting. Beans do not wait for anyone.
  • Rotate crops each year.

Care

  • Mulch soil to retain moisture; make sure that it is well-drained.
  • Water regularly, from start of pod to set. Water on sunny days so foliage will not remain soaked.
  • Beans require normal soil fertility. Only fertilize where levels are low. Begin after heavy bloom and set of pods.
  • Use a light hand when applying high-nitrogen fertilizer, or you will get lush plants and few beans.
  • Weed diligently and use shallow cultivation to prevent disturbing the root systems.

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Mexican Bean Beetles
  • Japanese Beetles
  • White Mold
  • Mosaic Viruses
  • Bean blossoms will drop from the plant if the weather is too hot and too much nitrogen in the soil will prevent pods from setting.

Harvest/Storage

  • Beans are picked at an immature stage, when the seeds inside have not yet fully developed.
  • Look for firm, sizable pods and snap or cut off the plant. Do not tear the plant.
  • Store beans in a moisture-proof, airtight container in the refrigerator. Beans will toughen over time even when stored properly.
  • Beans can be kept fresh for about 4 days, or blanched and frozen immediately after harvesting.
  • Beans can also be canned or pickled.
  • See more tips about beans storage

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘Bush Blue Lake’ (bush): Keeps flavor well after harvest.
  • ‘Bountiful’ (bush): Early producer.
  • ‘Fortex’ (pole): French variety, large beans.
  • ‘Kentucky Wonder’ (pole): Will produce a bountiful harvest.

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

Beans are commonly used in everyday expressions to indicate something of little value. Consequently, someone who isn’t worth a hill of beans is seen as being worth very little, although one could argue that today a hill of beans costs a pretty penny.

By The Shelter