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Green Beans Growing Fast

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I planted a new crop of green pole beans back in March around the first day of spring. I planted seeds that I harvested from dried bean pods on the Italian beans growing in our garden last year. I also planted some blue lake pole bean seeds that I bought from a local store.

The seeds sprouted in about 2 weeks and have grown incredibly fast since then, especially in the past few weeks. They have already grown several inches up the support from where they were just a few days ago!

In the past few years since I started growing beans again, I have been growing each group of beans up a single pole. The problem with this technique is that when the beans get large and heavy they tend to slide down the pole. For years, my mom used chicken wire held up by 2 poles on each side to support her annual crop of pole beans. But when the beans get large and heavy by late July, the chicken wire support begins to sag down in the middle.

This year, I decided to use a different technique. I nailed two 6′ tall wooden posts to the edge of one of our raised beds. Then, I screwed small hooks into the posts near the tops of the posts. I then hung a wire frame on the hooks. The wire frame is made up of rigid metal wire that is about 2 mm thick. I think it’s the type of wire frame that’s used in supporting concrete.

The wire is flexible enough to bend, but only with sufficient force. I can bend it with my hands, but it probably won’t bend under the weight of the beans. It’s not flimsy like chicken wire, but it has wider openings between the wires.

I bought a 4′ x 8′ piece of this wire frame from a local hardware store for about $8. I mounted the bottom of the wire frame about 12 inches off the ground. Beans don’t usually need support until they are about a foot tall. So far, our new bean support system seems to be working well.

May 09 2009 | Beans | Comments Off on Green Beans Growing Fast

Italian Green Beans


My parents’ vegetable garden (shown above) is looking incredible right now.  The Italian green beans my mom planted in April have completely covered the wire fence that my dad put up for them to grow on.  The weight of the vines is so heavy that it’s causing the wire fence to sag in the middle.  

The vines are just starting to produce a profusion of green beans.  They are almost producing more beans than they can eat, even though they haven’t fertilized them.  Not only are they fun to harvest, but home-grown green beans are some of the best tasting green beans I have ever eaten.  

Green beans are the most tender and delicious if they are picked when the bean pods are small to medium sized.  If you pick green beans when the bean seeds inside are large, they are usually tough and less tasty.

My mom starting growing Italian beans several years ago.  Last year, she planted bean seeds in my yard.  She had gathered the seeds from dried out leftover beans that were still on the vines the previous fall.  Those seeds grew and produced an abundance of beans, which we used for great dinner side dishes for months.  I saved some of the dried up beans from those plants last fall and planted another generation of beans this spring.  They are now full of fruit (see below).  I probably won’t need to buy green bean seeds again, at least until I want to try a different variety.  

August 02 2008 | Beans | 2 Comments »

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