2022 Little Easy Bean Network - We Are Beans Without Borders

ducks4you

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,323
Reaction score
14,253
Points
417
Location
East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
@Triffid , I'm gonna jump in--I think your soil looks clayish and needs amending, but the real reason is the roots of that bean are dead. I tried (failed, mostly) transplanting sugar snap peas this season. The roots were very shallow and wherever I disturbed the roots, the plant died. They were planted on the very north edge of my large bed, which has had the least amendments.
You might try mixing in grass clippings. I heard from a Master Gardener that they break down quickly.
OR, try filling the hold for your beans with imported potting soil. That could be expensive, I understand!
You probably know, there are Many things to buy to make your garden work, readily available, largely inaffordable.
I like to use cheaper methods that do work.
I have been amending my big garden bed for years now with soiled horse stall bedding (from the barn) and it has gotten me very rich and dark soil, where it was mostly clay when I moved here 22 years ago.
If you can get leaves, and have a mower to mulch them, bag them and encorporate them into your bed this Fall, it is probably the Best way to improve your soil.
Read:
This is how we get soil on sidewalks that aren't cleaned off, the leaves that have fallen there are broken down into soil by worms and microbes.
 
Last edited:

Pulsegleaner

Garden Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,428
Reaction score
6,597
Points
306
Location
Lower Hudson Valley, New York
do you know Monty Python skits? "Every bean is sacred"... i don't sell them but i value them highly enough that it would be a lot more than $4/lb, especially when you operate at manual scales and thresh each pod by hand one at a time.
Funny, I use the exact same skit song to explain my view of seed saving (with "seed" replacing "bean".)
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,809
Reaction score
12,127
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Couple bean photos. Was feeling snap happy today with the sunshine after a few partly cloudy days. The once per week rains we've even getting have been making the pole beans really grow. Many now are breaking what looks like the 11 foot mark, though that's a guess since I can't exactly use a measuring tape.

Gill's Delicious Giant bean pod, it's a jumbo! I need to get a 12 inch ruler for photos.
20220802_160338.jpg



Armenian Black Giant, another big podded bean.
20220802_161248.jpg


Aww, they wanted to hold hands.
20220802_161535.jpg


Quedlinberger Speck...so excited!
20220802_161158.jpg



Just some random pole pods. You really can't tell from the photos but these are very tall. I cut my poles to about 10 feet.
20220802_155721.jpg

20220802_155358.jpg



20220802_160501.jpg


I like this picture because it captures how I feel in my little 'bean world'. My daughter & I walk the rows everyday. She loves the beans too.
20220802_160619.jpg



The state of the Ping Limas. ..is there hope!?
20220802_161420.jpg



Uh oh....... looks like trouble! 👇
20220802_160006.jpg
 

Blue-Jay

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
3,205
Reaction score
9,877
Points
333
Location
Woodstock, Illinois Zone 5
@heirloomgal,

I love the look of your birch poles. I hope you save them when the season is over instead of getting rid of them. Early in season when the pole beans are just beginning to climb the green leaves against the white birch looks so amazingly beautiful. Your photos are so nice and clear too. Ping Zebra is a very late lima. Last year when I grew Ping I presprouted the seed and had the seed in the ground by the 20th of May. This year I have the Ping related Andromeda growing and I didn't presprout the seed but planted on 28th of May. I think Andromeda might be about 2 weeks earlier than Ping Zebra. I hope they produce seed. They are still not blossoming. Andromeda grows on the south side of my house in a flower bed. It's the only lima around at my home property.
 

Triffid

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
132
Reaction score
608
Points
135
Location
Southern England 50.8°N
@Triffid , I'm gonna jump in--I think your soil looks clayish and needs amending, but the real reason is the roots of that bean are dead. I tried (failed, mostly) transplanting sugar snap peas this season. The roots were very shallow and wherever I disturbed the roots, the plant died. They were planted on the very north edge of my large bed, which has had the least amendments.
Thanks ducks! It's true the soil looks rather the worse for wear in that photo. 😱We haven't had rain for the whole growing season. I did incorporate some (never enough) compost and worm castings under the rows but the surface looks dire. The rest of the beans in there are healthy, so it would be odd if that one plant in the middle had died from dehydration, but it's not outside of the realms of possibility. Especially after the heatwave a couple of weeks ago.

In another bed, 'no-dig' and covered in compost, there is the same issue with a bean plant in the centre dying inexplicably - luxuriant growth from the beans around it. I've been so busy I haven't exhumed the roots yet, but given the stems a good tug and they didn't come out.

There is no shortage of worms on the plot. They seem to love that super dark green waste compost. When it rains in autumn the surface of the soil is nothing but black castings. Walk along the woodchip paths between the beds and you can hear a great squelch as they retreat from your footsteps. But they know what's good for them, and have hidden down in the depths of their tunnels this summer.
I agree wholeheartedly that adding organic matter is the way to go, and goodness does it make so much difference. Do you dig your horse muck in or use only as a surface dressing?
 

HmooseK

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
381
Reaction score
899
Points
187
Location
Texas
@heirloomgal @Bluejay77
I’m curious about your bean poles. How do you keep them upright? Are they buried in the ground or attached to a base plate. I always have to scramble around with string for my pole beans. Usually it’s something last minute when I can wait no longer for something for them to climb. Having a system in place would be so much easier!
 

Blue-Jay

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
3,205
Reaction score
9,877
Points
333
Location
Woodstock, Illinois Zone 5
@Bluejay77
I’m curious about your bean poles. How do you keep them upright? Are they buried in the ground or attached to a base plate. I always have to scramble around with string for my pole beans. Usually it’s something last minute when I can wait no longer for something for them to climb. Having a system in place would be so much easier!
My poles are made our of 8 foot long 1 x 2 inch pine furring strips. I cut a well tapered point on one end and then they are cut to 84 inches in length. I drive them into the soil with the flat side of the head of a carpenters hammer to a depth of 12 to 14 inches. That's how they stand up. Once in a while during a storm when one of the poles (usually older one's) go through a storm one will break at the soil line and I'll drive in another pole in the ground nearby and stand the broken pole back up and tie the two poles together. The poles that break that way is usually the last season of their service and a pole bean pole. I'll cut them for other purposes. 4 foot lengths for supporting hog panels to grow semi runners beans.
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,809
Reaction score
12,127
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
@heirloomgal,

I love the look of your birch poles. I hope you save them when the season is over instead of getting rid of them. Early in season when the pole beans are just beginning to climb the green leaves against the white birch looks so amazingly beautiful. Your photos are so nice and clear too. Ping Zebra is a very late lima. Last year when I grew Ping I presprouted the seed and had the seed in the ground by the 20th of May. This year I have the Ping related Andromeda growing and I didn't presprout the seed but planted on 28th of May. I think Andromeda might be about 2 weeks earlier than Ping Zebra. I hope they produce seed. They are still not blossoming. Andromeda grows on the south side of my house in a flower bed. It's the only lima around at my home property.
Some of the poles I had saved from last year, but I also collected more this year too. I'd much prefer to keep them year to year, but it's remarkable how dry they get by fall. Last year a few of the tree poles were too old even when I cut them down, and broke 3/4 of the way through the summer. I've learned if I want more than one year out of them, I need to cut down bigger ones. Hopefully, the new ones we cut this year will be big enough to last awhile.

One of the surprising benefits of using single poles (I'm so glad I used your method @bluejay! ) , as odd as this sounds, is crows and other birds are constantly landing on their tops and perching there, especially this year as I cut them very tall. Thus, they are regularly fertilizing the plants! Once the leaves cover the top they don't perch anymore, but I think the droppings are enriching their soil conditions until then. Sort of a surprise perk of the poles. Do you have birds landing on yours too?

I was sent a pretty speckled lima bean from a lady down south this winter, she named it 'Callisto'. I could be wrong on the details, but I thought she had said it was a cross found in Andromeda. Beige, and orangey colour.
 

Latest posts

Top