Seeds can be started indoors, or sowed directly. Set seeds 7-10cm (3-4″) apart and 3.5cm (1½”) deep at the base of a support. Plants will climb by twining around almost anything. Try rough poles, lumber, re-bar, or build a strong trellis 2-2.5m (6-8′) tall. Seeds will sprout in 8-16 days, depending on soil conditions.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.5. Well drained, warm soil in full sun is best. Use 1 cup of balanced organic fertilizer for every 3m (10′) of row. Too much nitrogen in fertilizer or manure is often the cause of poor pod set and delayed maturity. If beans flower but do not set pods, the cause can 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.
Because pole beans are always climbing, there are always beans at different stages of maturity. It is important to keep picking regularly so the plant does not fully mature seeds and stop producing new pods. If pods get fat with seed, the plant will stop flowering. The smaller the bean, the more tender they are.
In optimal conditions at least 75% of seeds should germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100′ row: 400 seeds.
Diseases & Pests
If beans flower but do not set pods, the cause can be a zinc deficiency. Try spraying the plants with Kelpman. Wet leaves on crowded plants are subject to diseases. Thin plants to increase air circulation and try not to touch the plants while they are wet.
Beans fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant with Brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, and strawberries. Avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks, and onions. Pole beans and beets stunt each other’s growth.
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