Complete newbie, only want to plant green beans in North Alabama.

lmhall2000February 23, 2011

I'm finally at a point in my life (all kids are over age 10!!) where I can find time to go back to basics. My grandparents always had a big garden in Spruce Pine, AL (about the same zone as me...clay soil)..she had the BEST canned green beans ever! She's 87 now and can't remember names...she said I liked the half runner beans as a kid and to just find a bean that is as long as your finger and slender..that doesn't give me a lot to go on!

I have a large tractor tire that is a raised bed (always used for tulips/gladiolas in the I want to put the beans in neighbor has all the garden implements and if I can manage, he would till up a garden for me next year. We have 8 acres and just bought 2 from him that he had a garden on for 35 years (1 acre garden)..I had planned to use it for a horse dressage arena..but after 30 years, that soil may be just what I need..if I can cordon it off from my horses I might reuse part of that acre for a small 20x40 garden next year.

Do I just go to my local feed/seed and pick out a bean? For a 6 foot tractor tire.. (5 foot radius inside) how many beans should I plant? create a tepee with bamboo/string to help them climb? I'm just clueless.

I think I'll go out with a shovel to last year's garden soil my neighbor had and just add about 2 inches of that soil to my tire soil..should I dig out my tulips and glads?

So confused..but willing to make this step..we homeschool and it's time to teach the kids about eating food we grow!



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If you are going to teach the kids about eating what you grow, you need a lot more than a tractor tire for a garden.

Half-runner beans are still available. See the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: SMAC

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Concur. All local feed and seeds will have half runners in this area. A tractor tire is not going to give you many beans. Under those conditions a tepee with pole beans will give you the best yield. Those should also be available at your local feed and seed.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:58PM
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You might use the tags,tractor tire, home schooling, grandmother, alzheimer, borrowing from neighbor and oh yes, raising beans at or contact your county farm agent or local 4H club.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 4:22PM
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Thanks!! I have a bit more information..and a bit more garden! :) I am seriously considering just cutting out a 20x40 plot and considering planting bell peppers, squash, cucumbers and friend showed me how to make a really cool trellis out of pvc pipe and a special netting I can buy from square foot gardening..

My Dad is almost certain they were Kentucky Wonder, so I got Kentucky Wonder (brown)..and I found some families in my grandmother's town (pop. 250) that have heirloom beans that are purple green beans..purple on the vine but then they turn green when you cook them? They have said that is what they've grown for over 50 years...wondering if those might be my bean..

Thanks! Off tomorrow to put a bunch of horse manure in my 20x40!!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:17PM
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My only comment is to the type of seeds. I think heirlooms are the only way to go. Many natural and organic proponents say that heirlooms are more nutritious and tasty. I can certainly say that they are very robust. But one of the best things is that you can save seeds from year to year. So even if they are a little pricey in the beginning, potentially you will never have to buy seed again. That is not necessarily true with genetically modified or hybrid seeds.
My favorite place to buy them is: ( but they have such a high volume of orders that they are not taking new ones right now.
There are tons of other sites but some of my other favorites are: (, (, (, (, and (
The sites give you all kinds of information about the taste, yield, hardiness, and history for all seeds.
I can spend hours just reading and dreaming!
Jamie in Tennessee

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 4:32PM
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