Growing String Beans
Snap beans or string beans, more of a specialty vegetable rather than an every day vegetable, sit on the average American's dinner plate less often than their garden vegetable counterparts.
The top bar chart compares American per capita consumption of fresh, frozen and canned snap beans over a forty year period. The taller green lines indicate that most Americans consume canned snap bean by at least a two to one margin over their consumption of either fresh or frozen snap beans.
|More Garden Resources
Growing Salad Vegetables
Despite their niche appeal, string beans commonly make the top ten list of back yard garden vegetables.
The reason is simple. They are easy to grow and fun to eat.
Deciding to plant string beans in the garden starts with choosing from the two available types, the bush growers or the pole growers.
Bush beans generally grow in the one to two foot range. Pole beans grow, until they stop. Ten foot tall pole beans are not out of the question, but you need a ladder to harvest the ones at the top.
Both types of beans prefer full sun and well-drained, fertilized soil.
1c raw snap beans: 12.2 mg Vitamin C
Men 19+: 90 mg/day suggested
Women 19+: 75 mg/day suggested
Gardeners interested in outdoor seed germination typically plant pole bean seeds about one inch in the ground after the final frost of the year.
Plant a few seeds around a thin pole (readily available at local garden stores) or trellis etc. al, and once the vines begin to grow, they find the pole and begin growing up and around it. Helping the young vine find the pole is also a possibility.
The beans can be picked as they mature, usually after two months of growth and flowering. The vines will continue to produce beans until the first frost.
Bush beans also get planted one inch deep. Usually they can be spaced a few inches apart in rows that are space about a foot apart. If all the seeds germinate, creating space problems for some bushes, then a few bushes can be removed for better spacing.
In instances where garden space comes with a premium attached, bush beans easily grow in containers placed on the front porch.
Bush beans typically grow a bit faster than pole beans, less than two months, so new plants can be seeded throughout the summer.
Beans are harvested for the pods, rather than for the seeds. As long as the pods are fully formed, they are ready to pick.
Organic Tip: Snap beans need all three primary plant nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) in close to equal proportions throughout the growing season.
© 2007-2012 Patricia A. Michaels.