How to plant beans


Planting beans. Adapted to a wide range of soil and climate conditions. For the small garden, snap beans and lima beans are far more popular because they provide far more edible matter than dry beans, such as navy and kidney beans. Snap beans flourish in any good garden soil, but excessive lime application is injurious. No fertilization is required beyond a general application of manure and fertilizer.

Snap beans are sensitive to the cold and must not be planted in the North until the ground is thoroughly warm, but may be followed up with subsequent plantings every two weeks until a few weeks before the first frost. They may be grown during much of the spring, fall, and winter in the South and Southwest, but are not suited to mid-summer. Beans may be grown throughout the winter in the Far South. Heavy-textured soils that bake may hinder the emergence of the plant through the surface; do not cover bean seeds to a greater depth than 1 inch in heavy soils and 1 1/2 inches in sandy soils.

On heavy soils a seed covering of sand, leaf mould, peat, or some other non-baking material is advisable. Keep the ground moist but not too wet for a few days after planting. Beans trained up on poles may be planted in hills of three or four plants; beans for trellis-climbing may be drilled in rows. Varieties of snap beans widely adapted to growth on poles are the Kentucky Wonder and the White Kentucky Wonder. Rust-resistant strains include Rust-Resistant Kentucky Wonder, U. S. No. 3, and Rust-Resistant. White Kentucky Wonder. Alabama No. 1, somewhat resistant to root knot, is adapted to the South. Tendergreen, Burpee Stringless Green Pod, Stringless Black Valentine, Bountiful, and Landreth Stringless Green Pod are popular green-podded dwarf or bush snap beans. Pioneer, a relatively new strain resistant to curly top, is recommended in the Mountain and West Coast states. U. S. No. 5 Refugee is a widely adaptable mosaic-resistant variety, which resists the heat of the South. Brittle Wax, Pencil Pod Black Wax, and Improved Golden Wax are common wax-podded varieties. Cooper Wax, Ashley Wax, and Florida Wax are new wax-podded strains for the South. Be sure to harvest before the pods grow tough or shrivelled.

Lima beans grow in almost any mellow, fertile, well-drained soil, but the plants cannot emerge through a hard crust and soil which is not subject to baking is desirable. When planting in heavy soils, use a non-baking cover, as prescribed for snap beans. Avoid excessive manuring or fertilizer with a high percentage of nitrogen content; fertilizer rich in phosphoric acid is advisable. Northern New England and the northern regions of the Canadian border states are not good lima-bean areas. Limas need a growing season of about 4 months, with relatively high temperatures. Small beans mature more rapidly than the larger seeded varieties.

In pole-climbing white limas, the small seeded Sieva, or Carolina, is highly dependable. King of the Garden is a high quality large-seeded variety popular in the North. Florida Butter is popular in the South. Henderson Bush is a dependable dwarf lima. Fordhook and Burpee are common large-seeded bush limas. Do not cover lima seeds too deeply—about 1 or 1 1/2 inches. Rows of pole snap beans should be spaced 3 feet apart, and the plants, in hills of about four plants, set 2 feet apart in each row. Rows of bush snap beans should be 28 inches apart, with the plants 3 inches apart in each row. Rows of pole lima beans should be 3 feet apart and the hills in each row 2 feet apart. Bush lima rows should be 28 inches apart, with each plant in the row given a 4-inch clearance.

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