Grow green beans at home! Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin B6, thiamin and vitamin C. These beans also contain significant amounts of beneficial minerals including: iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium which are known to strengthen body metabolism.
This delicious vegetable is naturally low in calories: 1 cup of fresh beans has only 31 calories! It is the second most popular vegetable in the country just behind the tomato. Green beans are a warm season plant. It should not be planted until soil/planting material is at 70 degrees F.
I find that green beans are one of the easiest crops to grow in containers. A little fertile soil, seed and regular watering will yield delicious beans in a relatively short period of time.
TYPES OF GREEN BEANS
There are two major types of beans that you should know about
These beans are vining plants that will spiral around vertical supports (i.e. Bean trellis, netting, bean poles or bean towers). The crop takes a longer time to produce (usually 6 to 8 weeks) and will typically grow over a long harvesting period.
Popular Pole varieties include:
Blue Lake, Kentucky Blue, Romano Italian Beans
These beans are a dream for container gardeners. They grow in compact 2 – 2 ½ foot plants that can be grown in planters, raised beds, growing bags or growing bins. Bush beans will produce for 3 to 4 weeks. This can provide you an opportunity to replant and get a second yield over the summer months. (Note: it is important to always rotate plants to avoid disease problems – replant in a space where you have grown a different plant type)
Popular Bush varieties include:
Bush Kentucky Wonder – Contender- Provider, Tendercrop and French Fillet
Both bean varieties grow best in full sun with nourished soil to ensure that the seeds are able to easily emerge. I typically use a mix of top soil, peat moss, garden lime and organic fertilizer. Be sure to wait until all danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed to 70 degrees. You will not get good yields if your soil temperature goes below 50 degrees. Plant bush beans 2 – 4 inches apart – when using small containers it is best not to overplant as it will reduce yields. Pole beans should be planted 4 – 6 inches apart I usually plant 2 – 3 seeds next to each bean pole.
Be sure to monitor the plant to ensure proper moisture. I usually provide the plants with a little over an inch of water each week. Adjustments can be made on very warm days. For best results, water early in the morning to allow plants to quickly dry and avoid disease infection.
Protect the plants from bean leaf beetles by hand picking the insects or use an organic insecticide (garden soap or concentrated pepper extract).