Gardening in Ontario

Green Beans

Green beans are a popular, warm-season, home garden vegetable crop. They grow well in most Texas soils. Like most vegetables, green beans grow best in well drained soil and plenty of sunlight.

Soil Preparation

Work the soil 8 to 10 inches deep before planting. Rake it several times to break up large clods. Remove all weeds and trash. Work the garden soil only when it is dry enough not to stick to garden tools.

Fertilizing

Beans grow best when the garden soil is well fertilized. For an area that is 10 feet long and 10 feet wide, use 2 to 3 pounds of fertilizer such as 10-20-10. Spread the fertilizer evenly over the area. Then mix it in with the top 3 to 4 inches of soil.

Varieties

Snap Beans Pinto Beans Lima Beans
Topcrop
Tendercrop
Tendergreen
Greencrop
Kentucky Wonder
UI-114
Luna
Dwarf Horticultural
Jackson Wonder
Florida Butter
Henderson Bush

Planting

beans1Plant beans in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. For a good fall crop, plant them 10 to 12 weeks before the first expected frost. Use 1/4 to 1/2 pound of seed for each 100 feet of row of green beans. If possible, use fungicide-treated seed to protect the seedling from disease until it is up and growing. Do not eat treated seed.

For bush beans, plant the seed about 1 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart in the row. The rows should be 2 1/2 to 3 feet apart. After the beans are up, thin the plants to 3 to 4 inches apart (Figures 1 and 2).

For pole beans, plant the seed in rows 3 to 4 feet apart. Plant them in hills about 3 feet apart in the row. Place a 6- to 8-foot stake in the center of each hill. Plant three to four seeds around the stake, about 1 inch deep in the soil. As the bean vines mature, they will grow up the stake (Figure 3).

beans2

Try to plant when there is enough soil moisture to cause the seeds to germinate and emerge quickly.beans3

Watering

Water the pIants about once a week in dry weather. Do not let the soil get dry while the beans are blooming or the blooms will drop and yields will be decreased.

Care During the Season

The roots of beans are near the soil surface. When hoeing and pulling weeds, do not dig too deeply or the plant’s roots will be damaged. After the plants begin to flower and set beans, apply 1/2 Cup of fertilizer for every 10 feet of row. Scatter the fertilizer between the rows. This will help the plants produce more beans. Water the plants after fertilizing.

Insects

Name and Description Control
Aphid – 1/8 inch long; green, pink, red, brown; feeds on underside of leaf or on leaf petioles; sucks plant juice Check with your county extension agent
Spider mite – barely visible to naked eye; spider-like; feeds on underside of leaves; causes yellow spots on top of leaves; may form tiny webs Check with your county Extension agent

Diseases

Diseases may be a problem during cool, wet weather. If spots appear on leaves or bean pods, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Ask your county Extension agent what you should use to control diseases. Follow directions on the container.

Before using a pesticide, read the label. Always follow cautions, warnings and directions.

Harvesting

Green beans are ready to pick when they are about the size of a small pencil. Pull them carefully to avoid damaging the plant. Beans that are overmature will be tough and stringy.

If beans are picked when they are ready, the plants will continue producing for several weeks.

Serving

Fresh green beans add color and variety to meals. Green beans are a fair source of Vitamins A and C if cooked for a short time in a very small amount of boiling water. Cook them just until they are tender. Do not cook them too long or they will become mushy and lose their bright green color.

Storing

Store fresh beans in the crisper, in plastic bags or in other containers in the refrigerator. They usually can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.