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Yard Long Beans - some questions

Posted by dancinglemons 7+ (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 11, 08 at 1:54

Hello,

I have decided to grow the long beans this year. Are there any tips I should be aware of? I have read the instructions in the seed catalog and basically they say to support on trellis and not to start in cold soil. I will be starting in Jiffy-7 indoors so no worrys about cold soil. Any and all info is welcome. Thanks!

DL


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

You are in Zone 7, which generally has long seasons... so unless you are in one of the cool Maritime climates (such as the Pacific Northwest), you should be able to direct-seed yardlongs once the soil has warmed. Night temps should be in the 50's-60's. Since yardlongs require heat, they would be poorly adapted to areas with cool ocean breezes.

If you are in a moderately cool climate, or still wish to start them indoors (I pretty much have to in Wisconsin), be aware that they need direct sunlight. Under artificial lights, or partial shade, they will very quickly become leggy, fall over, and die. I germinate mine indoors, but place them outside as soon as the sprouts emerge. Transplant them as soon as possible after the first leaves open... 7-10 days or so after planting.

For planning purposes, if given adequate heat (soil temp about 80 degrees F.), the seed can germinate in as little as 3 days - so watch them closely if indoors! You don't need to start them too early.

Yardlongs respond to nitrogen inoculant better than any legume that I have grown, so I highly recommend it for them. Sprinkle it around the seed if planted directly, or mix it with the starter mix for transplants. The inoculant for "cowpeas" (or Southern peas), mung, and adzuki, is the proper one. Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply sells it. It is not necessary, however... especially if you are gardening in the South.

The vines seem to prefer to climb natural materials, or rusted steel (such as concrete remesh), and shun plastic or galvanized fencing. They might need some training at first, especially the red or purple-podded varieties.

Yardlongs are highly attractive to several insects (wasps, ants, ladybugs) which feed on nectar pads located on the stem below the blossoms. Once blooming begins, they will keep adult ladybugs in the garden - which helps control the aphid population. And while I also have wasps in large numbers on my vines, the nectar seems to pacify them, and I have never been stung. The ants, however, will defend the plants aggressively.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

zeedman,

Thanks again!! Now for the questions. Do the wasps go back to their hive in the evening or do they stay on the bean vine?? You say you have never been stung - what do you do when you want to pick the beans and wasp are present on the vines?? Do the ants bother anything or are they just "there" ? I have a severe ant problem which I had almost cleared up last season. They were invading my kitchen so I had to poison them. I have never seen an agressive ant - what do they do?? Sorry for so many questions but growing long beans is totally new for me. Thanks a gazillion!!

DL


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

DL, the wasps returned to their nests each evening, and did not nest in the garden. I just move slowly when walking between the trellises, and watch for the wasps as I pick. They will nearly always be on the stem above the bean, not on the bean itself. As I said, the substance produced by the plant seems to intoxicate them, they are much more docile than they would be in other settings. I think that they would only sting if you accidentally grabbed one.

The upside of the wasps is, I have very few caterpillars or spiders in the garden.

The ants also love the substance on the pads, but will defend the plants as soon as you touch them. I am used to harvesting beans by hand, snapping off the stem - but if I do that with yardlongs, ants (which are clustered on the stem) will immediately crawl on my hands & arms. Black ants are just an annoyance, but carpenter ants will bite. So to harvest, you can either "thump" the stem to dislodge the ants before picking, or cut the stem with a scissors.

When I had carpenter ants, they were destructive... so I used ant baits (under water-proof covers) to destroy their nest.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

I grow mine on trellises, increases yield, less garden space.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

DL, you may sow the seeds in the garden from last week of May thru end of June.As zeedman has mentioned seeds germinate in few days.Raising seedlings indoor also works fine.
Wasps have not visited my garden so far.I do see ants moving around flowers.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

chaman,

Thanks for info -- always good to hear from another Zone 7 gardener. A bean tower will be built for these beans. It will be interesting to see them grow and also to see if ants & wasps are a problem here.

DL


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

Hi folks,

Well the Yard Longs are in. I planted 4 different types in one EarthBox. No bean tower yet (yeah, I'm crazy). They have sprouted and have first set of leaves. I soaked the seeds for 24 hours before planting. If I have success I will come back and post pictures.

Thanks one and all for help and info........

DL


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

  • Posted by grandad 9a Louisiana/Sunt28 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 1, 08 at 17:08

Mine are looking pretty good..

Asparagus/Yardlong Beans


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

  • Posted by aulani 6 E. Kansas (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 12, 08 at 9:23

Very nice, granddad. Looks like a good yield there. I'll bet you're picking at least once a day. I planted red noodle, and only now is it beginning to produce. Mine are on a tower made of concrete reinforcing wire. I'm wondering if I shouldn't use a straight trellis like yours instead? Yours looks like it's seven or eight feet tall.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

  • Posted by grandad 9a Louisiana/Sunt28 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 16, 08 at 14:02

Thanks Aulani, my trellis is also mostly concrete wire. I used a 12 foot long section supported by heavy duty metal sign or fence posts, the kind with the flat piece of metal that is burried below ground. This made the initial trellis 5 feet tall. However, last year the 5 foot tall trellis was a bit too short. So this year I attached another piece of 3 foot wide wire to the top of the concrete remesh. I used a 1 foot overlap and braced the upper wire every 4 feet to the lower wire wooden stakes. The upper wire was light duty and had 2 X 4 inch openings. So the total trellis height came to 7 feet. This seemed to work perfectly so it's my plan for next year. The 7 foot tall trellis is about the max for me to be able to harvest beans without using a ladder.

And yes you are correct, picking AT LEAST once a day...In vact, these beans grow so fast that I normally need to pick twice a day to get optimal zize.

Some of the older plants are now dying off so I am re-seeding at the base of the trellis to be able to hopefully get in a fall crop.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

  • Posted by aulani 6 E. Kansas (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 24, 08 at 18:06

Hey Grandad,
Thanks for the information on your trellis. That was 8 days ago when I was on this thread and my red noodle long beans are really producing now. And yes, I too have to pick twice a day. That red is easy to see too. As I said, I have a circular trellis of concrete wire, and I see beans both inside and outside the circle. Fun to pick.

That's a good idea to get started on a fall crop by reseeding the base now. I think I'll try that too. I'm very fond of these beans.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

THEY ARE HERE!!!!!!! My first 2 yard long beans!!

Thanks to all who responded to my query - I think I have the YLB growing down to a science. My trellis is too short at only 4.5 feet but I will just have to live with this for now. Next year I will have DH put in a 6 foot trellis.

Cheers,
DL


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

Last year I canned a few and they were mushy. I think it was because they are small around. Now I blanch for 2-3 minutes, cool real fast, drip for a few minutes, put on cookie sheet and freeze for about 2 hours. I then bag them. This way you can take out ever how many you want to cook.


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

@dancinglemons

Are you the same person from the EB forums?

If you are this is Miss August. =)


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RE: Yard Long Beans - some questions

Hi verdure (Miss August),

Yes I am the same 'lemon' :-))

DL


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