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introduction on growing pole beans
Who doesn’t like the fresh, crisp taste of beans in the summer? Beans are quite easy to grow in most climates. Around here we start growing pole beans really early in the spring. Although it’s possible to grow bush beans or pole beans, it’s always good to have at least some pole beans in the garden as the yield is much higher than the yield of bush beans and it’s possible to harvest over a longer period of time.
What is a pole bean?
Pole beans are vines. They have a kind of tentacles to grow up a trellis, another plant or just a rope.
They can grow up to 15 feet and due to the fact that they grow up, they have fewer problems with diseases associated with water splashing and humidity.
Where can you grow pole beans?
Where to grow pole beans? As soon as the soil has an average temperature of about 16°C or 60°F you can sow the beans. Beans don’t really like transplanting so planting them in paper pots is a good alternative to planting them right outside on their final spot.
Being pole beans, the plants need a trellis or any kind of support to grow towards the sun. In our garden, we use simple ropes to let them climb up, but using creativity, it’s possible to find many ways to let the beans grow upwards. Even using another plant like corn or tomato vines that grow up a trellis, is a possibility to grow the pole beans.
Taking care of pole beans
Let’s start with the beans themselves. We have a quite specific and maybe intensive system to germinate the bean seeds but we do have a good outcome due to this system.
We first put the beans in lukewarm water for 6 hours to 12 hours (about room temperature or a little bit warmer) Then we put the seeds in wet tissue paper and keep the seeds at room temperature.
Once we see the little root emerge, we put the seed gently in some seedling soil at about an inch deep.
This way we have almost 100% certainty about the outcome of the seedlings.
The soil should be damp at all times as beans have the tendency to use a lot of roots in the top part of the soil. Not giving water on a regular basis can stress the plants and make them catch diseases early on. Of course, it’s not good to keep them in really wet soil either.
When the plant is young, it’s sometimes necessary to get the plant going upwards. Just try to get the tentacles to touch the support and they’ll start swirling around it in no time. After a couple of weeks, the plant will be able to find the support on its own and climb up without a problem.
Transplanting or planting pole beans
As mentioned above the seedlings don’t handle transplanting very well. Therefore, the use of paper pots is a good alternative to planting the seeds directly outside. While using paper pots, the roots aren’t disturbed as much as when the plants are pulled out of plastic pots. In our case, we don’t even tear the pots open, we just plant the whole thing in the soil and wait for nature to do the rest. Of course, it’s always possible to just put the seeds directly in their final spot.
Harvesting pole beans
Harvesting pole beans is a lot easier than harvesting bush beans because it’s not necessary to bend over when harvesting. It is, of course, possible that the plants grow so high, if they get the chance, that a ladder is needed to harvest the beans.
Diseases and pests
White mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum)
The stem gets covered with cotton like growth. The disease starts in the soil with visible mushroom-like bodies. From the soil, the spores of these “mushrooms” infect weakened plant parts and start developing on healthy plant tissue. Avoid this disease by keeping humidity low and the soil not too moist. Crop rotation does a tremendous job at keeping this disease away from the plants. Try to have a rotation of at least 4 years before replanting the same family of plants.
Bean rust (Uromyces appendiculatus)
The disease shows itself through small pale spots which will become yellow and have a small dark spot in the center. These spots will eventually enlarge and produce orange like rust spores to spread the disease. The disease is especially dangerous when there are several hours of dew and warm weather.
Due to this disease, there will be a great reduction in yield.
Once again, crop rotation is really necessary to avoid this disease as much as possible.
- Common blight is caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli
- halo blight is caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola
- brown spot is caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae.
Brown spot blight
So this is it for this article on growing pole beans. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.
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