I’m in the process of planning the garden. Most of the varieties I grow are favorites that I grow every year. I thought I’d share them with you and tell you why. We’ll start this series off with bush beans.
I plan to can beans instead of freezing this year. Freezer space is limited. I don’t think canning is the best choice for nutrition because of the length of time canning at high heat requires but we do prefer the taste of home canned beans. We eat well enough that we can make this exception without damaging our overall nutritional needs. My goal is to can 100 pints this year. We really like beans!
How to Grow Bush Beans
- Warm crop. Soil temperature 60° minimum.
- Plant after last frost.
- Moderately fertile soil. Beans aren’t heavy feeders.
- Plant seeds 3″ to 4″ apart. You won’t get more beans by planting the seeds closer. Properly spaced plants produces more beans.
- Rows should be two feet apart. This promotes air flow that helps control mold and other diseases.
- Don’t touch the plants when they’re wet as it increases the chance of spreading disease.
- Pick often to keep production up. The first pick will be smaller than the second and third, and then it will decline. Production will decline sooner if the seeds start to mature.
Bush Bean Varieties
Beans are self pollinating. Did you know this? You can plant one seed and get beans. That would be a disappointingly small amount of beans but it works.
Provider is my favorite all-purpose bean. It’s an open-pollinated green bush bean that grows 5 to 5.5″ long. It will grow longer but I think it has the best taste and texture at this length. It needs only 50 days more or less to maturity. That time varies with weather and soil temp, of course. It cans and freezes well.
Gold Rush is my favorite yellow bean. It’s also known as a wax bean. 54 days to maturity, 5″ to 6″ straight beans, and very flavorful. I like to heat a cast iron pan with a little olive oil and sea salt, spread the beans out, and pop them in a 350° oven for five minutes. I do this with asparagus as well.
Royal Burgundy is my favorite purple bean. Picture a mix of fresh green, yellow and purple beans. Very pretty. It turns green during cooking. Dependable in a cool summer.