Just wondering how (seeds or starts) when (am I late or early?) and what kind of green beans you are planting in pdx?
This post was edited by changingitup on Mon, May 26, 14 at 16:48
Bean seeds are easy. Up in several days.
Kentucky Wonder green beans are fabulous and very easy to grow from seed. I've tried staggering the planting times to have a continuous crop but it doesn't seem to make a difference in Seattle--they all ripen within two weeks of each other in August. Then it's "All You Can Eat Green Bean Night" for days. Yummy.
You're not too late for 2013. In fact, I've learned that they may not come up at all when you plant earliest recommended for this zone.
Remember to leave a few on the vine for next year's seed. Bring them in once the pods have dried out and store over the winter.
P.S. Scarlet Runner Beans produce lovely bright red blossom and are edible pod and all. I recommend picking them before they reach full size, however; I find the pods a little tough if allowed to grow any larger than the mature KY Wonder.
You are right on time for seed, this year. Beans are very fussy when transplanting starts.
We are planting baby lima and jumbo flat bean seeds here.
Great thanks. Very happy it is the right time. I just put my toms, peppers, eggplant starts in and planted cucumbers but was at a loss for what to do for beans. Thought I was too late. Today I picked up Kentucky wonder as well as a blue lake bush and built a little garden area with a string trellis, similar to my pea trellis, should that be strong enough for beans? I'd love to do the scarlet and Lima but I didn't see any organic packets at Freddie's so may stop at portland nursery or shortys tomorrow. Which brings up an organic question but I'll bring it to that forum ;)
Do you soak your beans before planting ?
When you stagger plant, do you do it in a new garden bed or do you put the seeds in between the existing? Every 2 week bean night sounds delicious!
At the end of the season you just leave some pods on the plant until it dries out and then harvest for next year? When you pick them you just open, take the seed, then bag and wait? Am I missing anything? Is there anything else, like peas that you do this with?
You might want to reinforce your trellis supports. The weight of the laden bean vines has been enough to pull my bamboo teepees completely over in years past. Being done with propping up the teepees with the patio furniture, I decided to treat myself to a sturdy wood obelisk last year and set the legs at least a foot in the ground.
You can stagger plant between the existing plants so long as you keep to the recommended spacing, and there's a vertical for the vines to climb. I've never pre-soaked my beans, but doubt it would hurt. You could always try both ways to see if it accelerates germination or not.
You are right on the money about seed harvesting, and can do peas the same way. No hurry about shelling the beans either. As long as they're dry, you can store them in the pods in plastic bags until you need to extract them for planting. And they'll germinate a few years later if you don't get them in the ground the next.
As for other plants, I'm trying harvested tomato seeds again this year. They didn't do well last year in optimum indoor start conditions. But direct sowing and ignoring the remainder has produced a hopeful crop of sassy seedlings. Too soon to tell if they'll make mature, productive plants, but that's where the fun is.
If your pea-style trellis top cross-member is fairly stiff and the strings are somewhat taut and climbable, you should be OK.
If the whole structure wobbles, the beans could pull it down.
The bush beans are ( of course ) not typically trellised.
How tall is your trellis for the pole-type bean?
I grew Rattlesnake beans (pole) last year (we use them as snap beans) and I was really happy with them. They stay tender even when they've gotten bigger than I would normally let my beans get (ideally). This is only my 2nd year gardening in the PNW, but I'm hoping for good results again this year.
I soak peas, but IIRC, when I tried soaking beans, they felt like if I wasn't super careful with them when I planted them, they'd split right in half. I tried it just one season, several years ago.
I used my fence as a back support so about 6' tall. I tied knots in some old clothes line, stretched it horizontally then used electrical clamps to secure it to the wood. I suppose I could add more electrical clamps if it sags or wrap it over a fence board if need be. I ran twine vertically by wrapping it around, not tying each piece, would tying be better because there would be less chance of it getting heavy and sliding? Maybe I could use an electrical clamp on each vertical string at the top. What I was originally going to do was put screws across the top cross 2x4 and just tie the vert string to each screw but that shortens the whole thing by a foot. I am more than happy to go back to the drawing board to make it less problematic in the long run, well, mostly just the trellis ;) The bed is as it is for now.
I am hoping to put the pole beans in back and the bush in front. The new bed is 22" x100"
I remember hearing that tomato seeds had to be soaked or something similar if you were going to save them. Have you heard that? I actually started this one year and ended the season with a mess and didn't pursue it. I figured I was just starting this garden so I had enough to figure out but if it's that easy maybe I am ready!
Thanks greenbean, I'll look for rattlesnakes while I am out today, as well.
This post was edited by changingitup on Wed, May 28, 14 at 15:15
Your setup will work but you will end up with well over 1/2 of the total bean growth and the bulk of the actual beans growing in a horizontal tangle near the fence top. Not a problem, but you really have to hunt the beans down in such a tangle.
Growing more than one pole bean plant per linear foot of row in that spot may be too dense and reduce the overall yield.
Is there any soil in that mix (?), it looks to be mostly coarse compost.
Yes. The bottom is white lightening soil mix that I had left over from dean innovations and the top is a bag from Home Depot which was labelled soil but is very mulchy. Oh, good catch on the string, won't be too hard to restring that now before growth. I did my peas that way too, wonder if that's why it's kind of a tangled (beautiful) mess at the moment. Can you tell me what you are seeing that would make 12" spacing better? I am hoping for good production. The seed pack said 4" and that's what I put in, of course I can thin but just out of curiosity, with 12" spacing do you usually plant a couple close together every 12"? Also, do you know if bean roots are deep or fairly shallow?
>I remember hearing that tomato seeds had to be soaked or something similar if you were going to save them. Have you heard that?
You ferment the pulp and seeds in plastic cups or bowls, actually. Sunset Magazine describes the step-by-step method here:
I did this with an Aunt Ruby's German Green tomato in 2012 (see current thread on this forum) and am currently nurturing seedlings. Spotted secondary leaves on a couple of them just a moment ago, so there's hope!
Finding the best tomato ever in a rare variety calls for some extra work. experimentation and patience, hope they take off! My simpler experiment is planting the beans I soaked as well as some dry. I am amused at how excited I am to see the outcome. This is a side of gardening I haven't played with yet. Just more to love about it!
I recommended 12" spacing for your setup because of the height restriction of the trellis system. Denser growth will cause a super tangled wad and could cause some beans not to form and promote leaf disease. 4" seeding is fine, just select the strongest growers. Beans tend to twine around their own vines and ignore the trellis (except for the first leader vines). Some manual assistance is required to keep them evenly spaced while climbing. The beans will branch. If all 4"-spaced seeds are successful, you could end up with over 100 climbing stems!
Bean roots are not deep, their depth will depend on the depth of loose soil and watering.
Mature bean leaves on growing vines will naturally wilt on hot days and recover in the evening--no need to pour on extra water unless the leaf edges are getting brown.
That makes sense. I suppose this could apply to snap peas, too. I followed the same 4" spacing with the triangle twine trellis and they are very crowded and tangled. At least now I know in time to save the beans. Thanks.
Bush beans planted in raised beds in wide blocks at least 3' x 4' have done well for us. I pick seated in a garden scooter except must stand for the middle. If you have a 2' or 3' square still plant in wide rows like square cubes, not a linear row because they help support each other.
Bush are shorter season & produce for 2-3 weeks in my old shadier garden. In full sun might be a shorter harvest.
Beans will grow in any soil that is well drained & warm enough to germinate. Compost & fertilizer usually isn't necessary because they are nitrogen fixing plants.
Now is perfect bean planting time because the soil is moist & warm. Harvest in 60 days or so.
Peas can be quite dense and form a wall of green without making the harvest difficult. Pole beans just have a lot more mass and can easily outgrow a small trellis.
How tall and wide do bean bushes get? I just found and planted baby Lima bean bushes and the packet says to thin to every 6" which seems very close for a bush but says nothing on how big they will get. Is that the spacing you use? I did plant a row but may have space to fit in a couple more for width but I don't know if that will be enough to hold them up, if not do you stake them? Next year I will plan for a square chunk for bush beans.
I am growing scarlet runners this year, up a 9 foot bamboo teepee. You will see me on a chair in September trying to get the beans lol, but I didn't want to reinvent the wheel since I already had to dig out a new spot for them as my old spot now houses chickens. I honestly just like the look of pole beans and the kids like to sit inside it. I always do seeds and I just planted mine now. When I have planted earlier in the month they often got eaten by slugs or hardly grew.
I just bought a packet of bush beans and will be making room for some, mostly for freezing.
I would try to get your structure taller. Even some tall stakes behind there spaces every two feet to add another two feet could give you some room to make more supports later as needed. A lot of my gardening is rather improv, it's less pretty that way but works.
What a lovely hiding spot for the kids, equiped with their own snacks, love it! Someone down the street has a bicycle rim that they've put at the top of a pole and then added strings to the ground creating a tepee affect which looks like it'll be pretty cool hangout as soon as something grows on it. Do you have any idea how they might have secured the strings at the bottom? Are there some sort of stakes that go in the ground that are strong enough to hold the ties down?
As far as my set up, how about training the bean vine to go over and down the backside of the fence? It's on an alley so I have access. This way I could also avoid the tangle at the top and add another six feet to it's growing space. What do you use to reach 9 feet? I haven't seen many stakes that can be pushed in the soil and still have that much hieght while retaining strength but I can't help but think I'm missing something.
>Do you have any idea how they might have secured the strings at the bottom? Are there some sort of stakes that go in the ground that are strong enough to hold the ties down?
A hoop of some kind, staked to the ground would work. Leftover drip irrigation hose springs to mind. Just cut a couple of horizontal slices in the ends, join, and wrap joint with duct tape. Then thread your strings, stake the hoop to the ground, and tie your strings off. You might even want to weight the tube with some sand.
The top of a wire tomato cage might also do. Cut the vertical wires about 4" below the top hoop and voila, built in stakes. I'd tend to want it to be at least as wide as the bicycle rim, but can't think of any reason it needs to be other than aesthetic. The bean growth does tend to mass at the top so a widening cone shape might actually be an improvement over the usual narrowing one--better ventilation.
Bush beans at 6" spacing may be possible, we use about a foot, easier to forage around all sides of the mature plant.
Pole beans will not grow down anything. To train them down the back of the fence would take daily meticulous fussing. Once they run out of trellis height, they twine around each other and lay sideways from their own weight. So in that manner they are self-limiting.
Here's my 21x8-foot multi-purpose trellis (shortened last year from 10 feet)(2x2 cedar and 2x3" grid vinyl-coated fencing). It is attached to a fence, and is nearly 20 years old, has survived many years of tugging out various vines at season's end. There is access to the backside.
My 9 foot trellis is made from bamboo :) I was picking up brick from a free ad on craigslist, and the guy had huge bamboo in his backyard that were probably 20 feet high. He kindly cut me a few stalks and I trimmed them down. They are about an inch thick and very sturdy.
I love the system Larry. I want a smaller type of your system for peas!
I really think that three tall stakes and then twine across might work, but I like some of these other ideas.
Nice set up! Practical and good looking. Why did you shorten it? What else do you grow on it? Could you do cucumbers? And off subject, but how do you support your tomatoes?
It is actually cobbled together from various individual sections that trellised this and that over the years, the height was reduced to make the top even and to eliminate ladder climbs (requested by a certain other person)(even though the raised bed top-board is a sturdy surface for a ladder leaned against the trellis).
The trellis has supported morning glory, black-eyed susan, firecracker vine, cottontail melons, honeysuckle, cardinal climber, nasturium, scarlet runner beans, pole beans. Cucumbers would work.
I support tomatoes with 2x2" wood stakes and attached 1x2" wood, making a frame about 8x4 feet and waist high. Screwed together and used seasonally.
Susans and morning glory
Scarlett runner beans
Ironically I don't have a picture of pole beans, there is one pole bean leaf shown on the left of the cardinal climber!
Thank you for posting pictures! Part of the reason I put that little bed there was to bring some green to that side of the yard- too much rock, cement and wood there. I hadn't considered flowers but those are lovely so if beans don't work out I've got a back up plan.
At the moment I don't have the cedar available but I'm guessing the vinyl coated fencing isn't too expensive and if it lasts that long it could be rigged up as i gather the cedar. Actually, how about 12' fence boards ripped and then sandwiched? That could bring the cost of cedar down. Did you secure it between the two cedar boards with staples? Screw or bolt the boards together? Has the fence drooped much needing tightening and if so, how have you done that? If you get a chance could you post a picture of your tomato trellis?
My construction method is elaborate and requires the use of a table saw, I will describe some details, simpler assembly may be possible.
Each 2x2 is slotted 1/2" deep and the edge of the fencing is inserted and trapped with a roofing nail every 2 or 3 grids (wood must be pre-drilled for these nails). The junction of 2 panels is shown, they connect with deck screws. The frame must be cut to precisely fit the fence grid.
Connect to fence top rail via 45-degree 2x2 cedars. Bottom connection to raised bed is shown in a previous image above.
The assembly has not drooped, some bottom frame pieces were replaced last year, as they were rotting. You could accomplish the same thing using smaller sandwiched pieces. Perhaps the fencing could even be stapled to one side of the frame, but I don't think this would last long.
Tomato frame, 8x3 foot can hold 4 determinate or undeterminate plants.
Thanks Larry, I am going to build similar to yours next year as my system is definatly not going to be enough. Seeing other peoples ingenuity is super helpful in devising a plan. Also helpful is knowing the habits of the plant and since this is my first year growing beans i hadn't realized how similar to jack and the beanstalk they really are! As I was told and now observed, they will not grow down the fence, so today I added a vertical rope in the hopes that it'll continue along it. I could wait and see if they'll follow it but wanted to update on the lack of success I see happening with my trellis plan, mostly because of height as mentioned above, so thought I'd ask if anyone knows if they will grab and follow a rope as opposed to just reaching up? Before I build a web of strings... (The base is bush beans not tangled pole... yet)
Getting pole beans to go sideways requires manual wrapping every 2-3 days, otherwise they will go up, and once the weight brings them down to trellis or rope level, the odds of self re-attaching are low. They did occasionally self-wrap horizontally on my 2x2 cedar, a larger target than a rope.
This manual wrapping only takes a few minutes, be very careful with the vine tips.
Our beans hit the top of the 8' trellis a couple weeks ago.
How are your beans? Tasty, I'll bet!
All the beans are now pulled out; I think my wife totaled 12 pounds from one 4-foot cluster of bush beans and a few pole bean plants. These were flat or Italian-style beans.
The only complaint was finding all the beans; some became over-sized when overlooked from a previous picking.
We did have success in transplanting some starts given away during a July garden tour, and that person was planting them in individual pots in a greenhouse for best percentage of seed to mature plant.
I was just thinking of this thread today and chuckling at how much I want to ask about beans. I told myself to just be patient and see what comes but then I saw your posts and figured I'd ask anyways.
I thought I was going to pull my bush beans today, they've been cleared of beans for about a week now, but when I went to do it there were more flowers, will they still get another round of beans?
My bush beans did way better than my pole beans so far but I've just started harvesting the poles where as I've been harvesting the bush since early august. I am hoping they are just late starters and will continue for awhile or is it more likely that the poles are mostly all at once and pretty much done?
What about those missed larger beans? They seem pretty tough. Should I just cook them up, throw them or would pickling make them more edible?
Stellar year for tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplants and greens here :) Not so great for zuchinni, cukes, artichokes or my first year of onions :(
How's your season been?
With ideal weather, beans in bloom might become sizeable, you can always experiment. It's just that we had all the beans we wanted.
I would just cook the oversize beans longer, some form of bacon added would help. I don't care for pickled vegetables, except for some pickled cucumbers.