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First timer...first year Bean question

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First timer...first year Bean question

Post  VintageHippie on 2/20/2012, 9:07 pm

This is my very first year with SFG. Hubby and I are newbies....and we have a master gardener coach that is helping us (thankfully).

However, I have a green bean question: In our area, many gardeners are having trouble with green beans--little flavor, poor color, etc. It's been going on for about five years now. I have four varieties that have been suggested to me (we're ONLY doing heirlooms, AND pole beans BTW). How much yield do you get from a single square of green beans with SFG approx. in an average year?

Since we're REALLY new at this, we've got a 5 year longitudinal plan for development, and this bean thing is really hard to figure. I don't want so much that I can't eat them all, but I'd really like to try all four varieties to see which ones I want to continue with for the next four years of development.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: First timer...first year Bean question

Post  littlejo on 2/20/2012, 11:25 pm

If all four varieties are pole beans, I'd only plant 1 or 2 squares. 8 seeds per square, 4 of each variety. ther you can try them and see how you like them. Pole beans put on a grunch of beans. I don't have any idea 'how many'

Bush beans usually put on all at once, but I only had about 10 plants and had to put some in the freezer, with only 2 people eating them.

Did they find out what was causing the green bean problem?

My suggestion is to be sure to get your seed from a reputable company, preferred either herloom or organic. Don't buy from the same folks that the other gardeners did. May be a genetic thing (GMO) or may be a disease in your area.

By the way WELCOME!!!Very Happy
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Beans...

Post  VintageHippie on 2/21/2012, 10:48 am

Thanks for the advice. I have been talking with our local extension agent, the local master gardener and my individual coach, and no one seems to know why our beans are so....um...odd. They had been blaming it on the rain till last year when we had a normal amount of rain vs sun, but they still were awful. Nearly all gardeners in my area use the traditional half runners and of course, everyone locally except a small handful of us use commercial GMO seeds. That's one of numerous reasons I will only use heirlooms. My beans will also be a local "experiment" for us all as the varieties I am choosing are not normally grown locally but are fine for my zone. We hope that they will be more "flavorful" and "normal."
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Re: First timer...first year Bean question

Post  jpatti on 2/21/2012, 11:19 am

I do Kentucky Blue and a romano type each year. I usually plant around 3-4 squares of each.

Hard to say how much I get. There's a point where I'm only getting a few handfuls and am greedy to keep the plants well-picked. Then they take off and there's the point where there's gobs and I have to start freezing (I don't like either canned or dried green beans).
Then there is the point (I'm ashamed) where I'm sick of beans and quit picking and let them dry in the pods and quit producing. Wink

My Bountiful Garden catalog says to expect 30-100 lbs of green beans per 100 square foot planted at 6 inches - this assumes using biointensive planting, which isn't quite the same as SFG, but is about planting closely in very fertile soil, so is similar WRT to yields. So I'd assume 3-10 lbs per square IF you keep them picked. If you stop, the plant decides it's done and after the seed pods dry, you can harvest dry beans if you want.
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thanks, jpatti

Post  VintageHippie on 2/21/2012, 11:41 am

One of the varieties that is doing "ok" here is KY Blue. It's not as good as it was, but it's still better than the others. Actually, your description helps a lot. Pounds/numbers of beans doesn't help me as much as saying a "mess" or a "potful" or whatever to me. Very Happy I think that if I use the recommendations here I should be able to get enough of each type to see what tastes good, which ones are less trouble, and which ones can be seed saved easiest from the recommendations here. I am used to bush beans with very long rows of them and I didn't want that large of a yield when I'm experimenting.

As of now, I'm planning Climbing French, Ideal Market, Mayflower (a heritage variety), and Cherokee Trail of Tears (also a heritage variety). I hope that the Mayflower and Cherokee grow well since they're a heritage variety and I'd love to help continue the species. French and Market are traditional beans as far as looks/yield, so I figured I'd do two traditionals that are NOT being grown here and two heritage varieties.

Anyone grown these? Liked them? Hated them?
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Re: First timer...first year Bean question

Post  walshevak on 2/21/2012, 1:22 pm

We are doin Asian long beans again this year. Last year we could get a meal at least once a week from 4 squares planted 3 vines each. ( My son didn't belive me on spacing.) A single bean is half a serving for the little one.

Kay

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Re: First timer...first year Bean question

Post  Chopper on 2/21/2012, 4:07 pm

@VintageHippie wrote:This is my very first year with SFG. Hubby and I are newbies....and we have a master gardener coach that is helping us (thankfully).

Just make sure your master gardener coach understands SFG or at least does not lead you astray on the basics.

It is interesting about the flavor of the beans. If you have had a variety of sun to rain and temp experiences and it still is the same then maybe the soil? If this is your first year using MM it will be interesting to see. Just seems odd.

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Re: First timer...first year Bean question

Post  snibb on 2/21/2012, 5:16 pm

"Just make sure your master gardener coach understands SFG or at least does not lead you astray on the basics."

So true....and hilarious
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Re: First timer...first year Bean question

Post  Mikesgardn on 2/21/2012, 7:32 pm

For bush beans, I average about 1 pound of green beans per square (Derby,Bush Blue Lake). I plant 9 seeds per square.
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