I think I'm I screwed up in my garden planning.

thisisme(az9b)January 28, 2011

I have a family of five and I'm building a large (400sqft) raised bed garden. I see all these wonderful pictures with row after row of pole beans and bush beans posted by other members. I really thought I needed to plant a lot of beans to have enough for the whole year. Humidity is extremely low here during the growing season and everything will be watered with drip irrigation.

I was planning on planting 500+ bush beans and 200+ pole beans in my garden. However today I happened on a thread where someone was asking how many to plant for a family of four. People where saying 30-50 bush beans or 12-20 pole beans for a family of four.

At this point I'm planning on cutting back to 250 Bush beans and 40 Pole beans. Is this still to many for an average adult family of five?

How many bean plants do you plant for your family?

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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I don't count the plants, but I can tell you the size of the blocks I plant.

For 6 people, I find that two or three 3'x8' blocks of bush beans -- each a different variety -- planted at a 4-6" spacing will provide 1-2 meals per week for the 4-6 week harvest period with enough for raw snacking by the handful and, perhaps, a little left over at the height of harvest for freezing.

About 20 feet of State Half-Runners planted in a wide row on each side of a 2ft fence (5-6 total rows with beans spaced at 4 inches and rows at 6 inches), provided about two cooked meals per week and plenty of raw snacking with a bit left over to freeze again through its harvest period. I don't know how long that would have continued because it was cut short by frost.

I'm not too familiar with regular pole beans, but 10 feet of yardlong beans last year gave us a month of meals 1-2 times/week and 2 gallon freezer bags.

Yields will vary depending on variety and conditions and number of meals will vary based on how much you like beans and how many vanish after picking as raw snacks.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:28PM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

similarly, I can say that a 3 x 14 of bush beans at 4-6 inch spacing and a 10' row of pole beans produced enough that 2 people were overwhelmed for fresh eating, but wouldn't have been enough if we'd wanted to freeze for the entire year. We froze maybe 10 meals worth.

~emmers

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 7:33PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Thanks iam3killerbs and emmers_m. Sounds like my original planting plans will be about right. I will be going with 14' of Black Seed Yardlong's and 14' of Blackeyed Pole beans which will be picked in the snap bean stage and two 3'3"X 10' beads of bush beans planted 4-5" apart with rows planted 4-5" apart.

I think I will also plant a 5-10 of each variety in different locations for seed saving while I'm at it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:57PM
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