Growing beans in the garden is simple.
They are prolific and easy to grow.
Beans are a great addition to any garden.
There are different types of beans:
- Bush beans grow lower to the ground and yield one larger crop all at once followed by a smaller harvest a few weeks later. Planting bush beans every two weeks will ensure a continuous supply. Try varieties like dragon tongue and gold rush which are not readily available in supermarkets.
- Pole beans are grown on a trellis, and one planting provides a steady yield all season long. Look for stringless varieties like Kentucky wonder and rattlesnake.
- Yardlong beans tolerate heat and humidity better than snap bean varieties. Try varieties such as asparagus bean, snake beans or Chinese long bean. These are very fun to grow, kids love seeing how long the beans get in the garden.
How to Plant Beans:
Bean seeds do best when sown directly into the soil. Plant seeds 1 inch deep, and space them 2 inches apart. Growing beans should sprout in 5 to 10 days. Like many other garden plants, beans need plenty of sun to grow properly. Keep soil moist and well-drained for happy beans.
Companion Plants for Beans:
Good companion plants for growing beans include carrots, cauliflower, marigolds, corn and celery. Beans planted near any member of the onion family will inhibit the growth of both.
Harvesting and Using Beans:
Harvest beans when they are small and tender. As beans mature they lose flavor and the pods begin to bulge with seeds. This signals to the plant to stop producing.
Most beans do not store well; once picked, use them as soon as possible. Rinse with water and store in the fridge if not using them right away. Beans are delicious raw (when picked young) or cooked. Beans are high in vitamins A, B and C, as well as calcium and iron.
Snap the stem ends of the green beans, or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife if you’d prefer.
Melt the bacon grease in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add the green beans and cook until the beans turn bright green, about a minute. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to low and cover the skillet with a lid, leaving the lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook until the liquid evaporates and the beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can start to caramelize.