Whether you call them green beans, string beans or bush beans these popular veggies are delightful cooked and raw. Most people eat them cooked and are surprised to find them in my summer salads. I like their flavor in both salads and main dishes. Want to know how to grow great green beans? Here are five helpful hints.
1. Soak the seeds and keep them warm. Soaking green bean seeds overnight in warm water or placing them between two layers of warm wet towels will speed up the germination process. Remember to plant green beans in warm soil that is going to stay that way. Early planting doesn’t pay off with green beans, the way it does with peas.
2. Prevent mildew with proper spacing. Give green beans room to grow and breathe. They should be planted at least 2-3 feet apart and encouraged to climb by adding trellis. Crowding encourages fungal disease. Purchasing disease resistant varieties can also help. Giving string beans plenty of room to grow means a more bountiful harvest as well.
3. Green beans love organics. Keep them all natural. Fertilize your green beans with compost, compost tea and other natural fertilizers, such as fish emulsion or liquid seaweed. Chemical fertilizers are less effective nourishment for green beans. In fact, they may rebel and not grow for you at all if you rely on chemical fertilizer.
4. Water and handle green beans carefully. The leaves of green beans can be susceptible to molds and fungus. Water from the bottom so as not to wet the leaves. Take care not to make a lot of contact with the leaves while gardening. Disease is easily spread to other plants this way. Make sure bush beans are properly drained as well.
5. Encourage upward growth and pick often. To keep the likelihood of fungal growth down, train green beans to climb using trellis or other structures. This keeps them off wet ground. Pick green beans often to ensure a bumper crop. The more you pick, the more prolific they become.