Direct seed after risk of frost when soil warms to 18-24˚C. Sow 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart in rows 18 inches (bush beans) to 24 inches apart (shell beans). Reseed until mid-summer for a constant supply all season long. If using untreated seed, plant thicker and thin to desired density. Use inoculant at the time of planting to help boost soil fertility.*
Both bean types require a full sun location, soil pH of 6.5-7.5, and well-drained soil. Good air circulation around plants is essential, especially for late shelling or dry type beans, as they are very susceptible to fungal diseases which prevail later in the season. Beans are light feeders; compost or well-rotted manures worked into the soil at the time of planting is sufficient.
Snap & Fillet Beans: Use maturity days as an indicator. Harvest once the beans are smooth, firm and crisp. Keep plants constantly picked to ensure a fresh supply. Bean formation in the pod is a sure sign of over-maturity. Dry & Shell Beans: Harvest when the pods are completely dry and brittle. Cut or pull pods from plants and shell the beans. Store beans in an air tight container in a cool dry spot. For fresh eating of horticultural or shell beans, harvest when bean formation starts to take place within the pod.
Pests & Diseases:
Root maggots and cutworms can attack the seed and young seedlings. Foliar disease, both fungal and bacterial, can be slowed by allowing for good air circulation between plants and not over fertilizing. Copper sprays will work to some extent to prevent or prolong the onset of diseases.
Excellent companion for most vegetables except the onion family, basil, fennel, kohlrabi.
200 seeds/50g will sow a 10 foot row.
*Inoculant refers to a type of bacteria (Rhizobia bacteria) that grows on the roots of legumes (beans, peas, clover, alfalfa) to help produce nitrogen. Simply mix the inoculant in a bag with the seed until the seed is coated. Sow seeds and harvest an improved yield.