Sow seeds 2-5cm (1-2″) deep, 5-8cm (2-3″) apart, in rows 45-60cm (18-24″) apart. Thin to at least 15cm (6″) apart in each row. If the weather is too wet, beans can also be started in pots indoors and set out carefully a few weeks later. For a continuous harvest, plant at 3 week intervals.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.5.Well drained, warm soil in full sun is best. Raised beds help with both drainage and warmth. Use 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer for every 3m (10′) of row. Too much nitrogen fertilizer is often the cause of poor pod set and delayed maturity. If the plants flower but do not set pods, the cause may be zinc deficiency. Try spraying the plants with kelp-based fertilizer. Wet leaves on crowded plants are subject to diseases. Thin plants to increase air circulation and avoid touching the leaves while they are wet.
Pick beans regularly to keep the plant producing (if pods get fat with seed, the plant will stop flowering). The smaller the bean, the more tender they are.
Diseases & Pests
Aphids – A hard stream of water can be used to remove aphids from plants. Wash off with water early in the day. Check for natural enemies such as grey-brown or bloated, parasitized aphids and the presence of larvae of lady beetles and lacewings.
Spider mites (two-spotted) – Wash off with water early in the day. A hard stream of water can be used to remove mites.
Leafhoppers – Small, light green to grey insects that feed on the plant juices, causing stunted growth, and transferring viruses. No cultural control available.
Beans fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant with beets, Brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, and strawberries. Avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks, and onions.
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