In-home kitchen garden popularity contests, green beans rank second only to tomatoes. Green beans are easy to grow, but gardeners do need to take measures to stop diseases from damaging or destroying their bean crops.
GREEN BEAN VARIETIES
Pole beans need support, but they’re easy to reap. Bush beans (aka string beans) are easier to grow because they don’t need support, but they’re harder to reap because you’ve got to look for the beans, which hide under the leaves. Many gardeners grow a number of both types.
Commonly grown bush bean varieties include Bush Kentucky wonder and Derby. Among the various sorts of pole beans, Blue Lake, Kentucky bluegrass, and Kentucky wonder are popular. Whether bush or pole, you’ll choose between classic round beans, flat Italian-style beans, and yellow (wax) beans.
As with all vegetable crops, home gardeners should ask their local cooperative extension to seek out out the sorts of green beans that grow best in their areas. you’ll find the extension office nearest you thru the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
GREEN BEAN PLANTING AND CARE
Green beans need warm soil to germinate. Unless it’s a usually warm spring there’s no sense in sowing until in any case danger of frost is passed because seeds won’t germinate (at best) or rot (at worst) if the soil is just too cold. Except in extremely popular climates, you’ll plant every fortnight through early August for an endless supply of beans.
Sow bush beans two-to-four inches apart in rows that are a minimum of eighteen inches apart. If you’re growing poles beans in rows sow then four-to-six inches apart in rows thirty inches apart. If you propose to use individual poles or teepees, sow three-to-five seeds in hills thirty inches apart.
GREEN BEAN DISEASES
Sadly, green beans are subject to several different diseases, including:
· Root rots create dry, dark, rotted areas on plant roots and lower stems, stunting or killing the plants. Rots also can hit seeds that are sown in soil that’s too wet or cold.
· Anthracnose produces black, oval, depressed sores on pods, stems, and therefore the first leaves that emerge from the seeds.
· Mosaic viruses end in stunted, curled, and mottled young leaves, sometimes amid yellowing. Affected pods are distorted with dark and lightweight green (and sometimes bronze) blotches.
· Bacterial blight produces dead spots and blotches, sometimes with a yellow halo (halo blight), on leaves. Water-soaked areas appear on pods when the air is extremely moist; the spots turn brown as they dry.
GREEN BEAN DISEASE PREVENTION
You can protect your beans with minimal, if any, use of toxic chemical pesticides by following certain disease prevention practices.
1. Choose varieties that are immune to the diseases that are common in your area. (Again, your cooperative extension can offer you that information.) Buy your bean seeds only from reputable seed companies because seeds are often infected with blights, anthracnose, or mosaic virus.
2. Have your soil tested and fertilize your beans consistent with the soil test recommendations. Plants that have the proper balance of nutrients are healthier and fewer susceptible to diseases. Low fertility causes weak plants. an excessive amount of nitrogen, whether from fertilizer or organic sources like manure, yields rapid new growth that’s vulnerable to disease problems.
3. Don’t plant beans (or close relatives like peas) within the same place within the garden year after year. A three-year rotation helps control certain plant pathogens.
4. One advantage of growing pole beans is that the leaves and fruit are off the bottom. Staking reduces the number of pathogens splashed on the leaves from the bottom.
5. Don’t plant beans near gladiolus because glads are vulnerable to a mosaic virus that aphids can transmit to your beans. In fact, you’ll help keep viruses far away from your beans by aggressively controlling aphids in your garden.
6. stand back from your bean plants when their leaves are wet. Bacterial diseases become sticky once they are wet, which suggests they will attach to your hands, clothes, and tools, and you’ll carry them from plant to plant.
7. Remove old plants from the garden right after you harvest the beans. Disease pathogens can grow amidst the stems and foliage and infect future plantings.
8. Inspect your bean plants a minimum of twice every week. If you catch diseases early you’ll be ready to prevent their spread by removing and destroying infected plants or plant parts.