Growing Green Beans

I have a confession to make .... this is the first year I've ever grown green beans.

I know, I know -- how can I call myself a gardener having never grown what is quite possibly the easiest vegetable to grow?

I'm not really sure how it happened. I had great intentions (and expectations!) the first few years I dabbled in gardening, but didn't have the know how, the experience, or even the time to really get serious about it. I grew the mandatory tomato and pepper plants (yawn), and tried to grow some other more "exotic" vegetables (you know, exotic like squash, melons, and beets! ha), but I didn't plan properly and most of my plants were overtaken by the over-zealous grass and weeds we have here in rural Virginia. By the time the weeds arrived, I hadn't even had a chance to plant beans ... I was concentrating on just trying to find my tomato plants in the jungle that my garden had become, let alone plant more things.

Really, looking back now, it's a wonder I ever tried to garden again after those first few failing years. But, with time and some experience, my garden did get a little better each year.

I have a ton of gardening books.

From heavily photo laden "coffee table" type books of inspiration to encyclopedia type "know-how" books - I have shelf after shelf full of gardening information and inspiration. I've spent hours upon hours pouring through them - trying to absorb the information on the pages. I easily understood the gardening ideas and concepts in those books: planting times, amending and testing the soil, the benefits of proper fertilizing, crop rotation, keeping track of the amount of rainfall and water, problems with bugs and other detrimental insects, and the importance of fencing and keeping pests out of the garden and more. But I hadn't the experience to implement those ideas and concepts to produce a successful garden.

Reading is not enough....

I remember the first year we planted potatoes. Everything was going along just fine and the plants were growing well. Then, one day I noticed a bug crawling around on one of the plants. I noted how beautiful I thought it's striped and colorful wings and body were, but didn't give it any more thought.... until about 2 weeks later when our potato plants were completely stripped of their leaves. I noticed grub like bugs all over the now decimated plants & immediately went to look up what it was. Of course, it was the Colorado Potato Beetle and that beautiful bug I had seen weeks earlier was an adult laying it's potato plant eating eggs all over our potatoes.

Lesson learned.

So, that brings me back to my green beans.

I planted about a 75 foot row of beans (including 2 kinds of green beans and some lima beans) early in the summer this year. Then, after the spring broccoli and cabbages were done, I planted another row and a half more of green beans. The first planting of green beans alone has yielded over 20 pounds of green beans so far and they are still going... I expect to get another 20 pounds from that row of beans. And the second planting of green beans should be ready to start harvesting in the next week or so.

I think I've planted too many green beans!

We already have green beans coming out of our ears and, due to my green bean growing inexperience, I don't see an end to that anytime soon. Maybe if we had a bunch of kids, we'd have just enough to get us through the winter. But, it's just me, my husband, and our dog (who turns up his little nose at green beans). I'm pretty sure we have more green beans than we need ... for a few years!

Another gardening lesson learned.

Sep 04 2013
Posted in: Vegetables

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Horticultural Zone: 7
September 4, 2013

But a good lesson, right? Better to have too much than too little!


September 4, 2013

Yes Tonya! Too much is definitely better than not enough!

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