Growing Tips: Beans, Green Bush

Quick reference:.

Plant seed 1/4 inch deep spaced 2 inches apart. Germination: 7 to 14 days. Plant in double rows 6 inches apart with the plants spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. Plant height: 15 to 17 inches. Shallow planting provides warmer soil for faster germination but soil MUST be kept moist at all times until seedlings emerge.

When and where to plant:

Bush beans mature earlier than pole beans. Beans must be planted in full sun and require warm soil. In Alaska beans must be grown with a soil-warming technique to help assure that the beans will mature in all areas of the state except in some warm interior locations. Soil-warming techniques like raised beds or mounding with a plastic row covering should be used to raise the soil temperature. For a head start, plant seed one week before the danger of frost is past and cover the mound with clear plastic to help warm the soil. When using the “Mound” technique to warm the soil, till the soil then form a mound 8 to 10 inches high by 16 to 20 inches wide on the top. Apply plant food. Before planting seed, soak in warm water for 24 hours immediately before planting, NO LONGER. Plant seed in two parallel rows 8 inches apart on top of the mound. Plant the seed shallow to take advantage of the sun's warmth. Bury the edges of the plastic on all 4 sides at the base of the mound. Keep the soil continually moist until seedlings emerge. Cut "X" slits in the plastic over the seedlings as soon as they break the soil surface, they are sensitive to sun and will sunburn when left under the plastic. Bean seedlings are sensitive to frost. Water the rows through the slits in the plastic. Weeds will grow under the plastic but will not impair bean production and it is best if the plastic is left covering the row all season as it will continue to accelerate growth by warming the soil under it. The newer IRT plastic will control weeds but in trials does not appear to warm the soil as well as clear plastic

Care:

Apply a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks through the plastic row cover.

Harvest:

Pick as soon as the beans reach 5 to 6 inches long and before small seeds begin to form for highest quality. Picking promotes the growth of the small beans remaining.