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Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

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Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  kgooding on 5/20/2012, 8:19 pm

Funny story, I planted a ton of bush beans, and they are looking awesome, except they are rather tall and after I watered them they are having some problems standing up! I checked the seed packet again and sure enough, they are supposed to be bush beans. I guess I was under the impression that I wouldn't have to do anything to help them stand up straight but has anyone else had this problem? What did you use to stake them? I have 4 1 ft squares currently, with 9 plants per square, and I just can't see staking 32 plants!

My second problem of the night is my potatoes. They are flopping over. I'm assuming part of the problem is that while they get drenched in sun until about 1 pm after that they are in the shade. Anyway, I do have a little fence attached around their 4x4 box (I basically planted a whole box as extra deep and with potatoes.) So I have them just kind of laying on the top edge of their fence for now. I'm wondering if maybe I should run some string across the top of the fence and put in a little more effort to keep them standing up?

Thanks in advance from a newbie!
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  camprn on 5/20/2012, 8:46 pm

With my bush beans I placed a stake at either end of the box/ row of 4 squares and then I ran twine around the whole lot, winding the twine on the stakes at either end. It mostly contained them. When I harvested the beans it was a matter of just shifting the plants to one side or the other to get the beans growing in the middle. Wink

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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  GWN on 5/20/2012, 9:10 pm

I have done something similar to camprn.
I marked out a square about 1 foot up, and ran string across, from the poles at the corners and then around the outside.
I think that the potatoes sound dry.
You sound like you are off to a GREAT start.
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  FamilyGardening on 5/20/2012, 9:22 pm

how long have the potatoes been in?....have you seen any flowers yet?

if its been about 90 days or close to it....then it sounds like they are dying off.....its what they do.......if it hasnt been that long then they sound dry.....

hugs

rose
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  littlejo on 5/20/2012, 9:29 pm

It's hard as a newbie to find out 'bush' does not mean bush but is just a short vine.

It sort of depends on how your squares are arranged. I had 4 squares in a row. I did not stake them. Start picking at 1 end, pick all the beans and lean over, then pick each plant and lean on the previous plant, continuing down the line. Next picking, start on the top end, each time changing ends.

I found bush beans to be very difficult to manage, I will plant pole beans if possible

My potatoes are top heavy too. I don't stake them, just shove out the way, or they can be supported so they can stay in the box. They will put on taters whether they are staked or not too.

Jo
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  gwennifer on 5/21/2012, 2:37 am

My potatoes are kinda floppy too. Well, just the Yukon Golds. (They aren't too old, and they aren't too dry). I say "kinda" cause I never can quite decide. I think I've mostly decided they just wilt a bit when it's too hot, but I'm not sure why when I check the soil and they seem to have plenty of water. *shrug* They're still growing like crazy. Don't they just get floppy because they are so vine-like?
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 5/21/2012, 7:23 am

One way to support the bush beans is to use a tomato cage

The plants that don't grow through the middle of the cage can still be supported by the cage with some twine.

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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/21/2012, 8:56 am

You must be doing something right, your garden sounds pretty.

My solution for bush beans: I buy sections of wire fence and sink them into the inner edges of the squares. My beans are planted on the outside squares of my boxes. The fence keeps the beans (or peas) from invading the space of vegetables growing in other squares.

I know I have pictures somewhere, I can find them if you ask but I just woke up and hope to not search.

The fence sections are made of wire that is about the same gage as old wire coat hangers. Usually they are about a foot tall (after they are sunk into the soil) and two feet long. They can be linked together to make a longer fence but I don't use mine that way. When I was still using wooden grids they would slip right over the grids and into the mix. They do a nice job, can be inexpensive and are easy to store.

You are on your own for potatoes, I always plant mine in their own area. Even determinate potatoes can get tall. My only solution is to "hill them up" with grass clippings or bedding straw. Look around the board. I have seen some clever ways of dealing with potatoes in your square.

Debs.....wishing you a grand harvest
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  kgooding on 5/23/2012, 8:25 pm

Well, the string and the bean sounded familiar and I guess I should have just opened my copy of the book, the solution was right there in the appendix! I just took each of the squares and tied a string around the plants and it appears to be working well! As for the potatoes, they were planted mid March, and I haven't seen any flowering yet. I don't think that they are dry, but it's possible that I'm maybe not watering deeply enough given that they are in a deeper box? Not really sure there, but I upped the water and they still are floppy. I did try digging around them a little bit to see if there were any potatoes of some sort growing, and there's nothing, the stalks go down really far but no potatoes, hopefully it's just too soon! Hey, at least I got peas my first season, I'm calling it a success!
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  landarch on 5/23/2012, 8:30 pm

I did bush beans last year and they stayed nice and compact...no vining or sprawling...they prodeuced well. This year I can already tell they are going to need some support.
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  cpl100 on 7/11/2012, 9:09 pm

@landarch wrote:I did bush beans last year and they stayed nice and compact...no vining or sprawling...they prodeuced well. This year I can already tell they are going to need some support.

Did you plant a different type or the same type? Would you mind sharing the name? Trying to determine what to expect with my Spacemaster and Bush Champion types. Thanks.
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  landarch on 7/11/2012, 10:25 pm

I think I did Contender last year...and this year I did Contender and Blue Lake. This year's plants are already twice as big as last year however I don't think I'll mess with supports. I think it may be best to keep bush beans on the edges where they can spill over the edge, not need support, and not crowd out other plants.

We have just been through triple digit temps for the last 10 days (108 high) and my beans are going downhill...some leaves are fried, other plants lost about 50% fullness, blossoms dropped, beans stopped forming, etc...even with regular watering. I'll probabaly get one more round of picking in before they shut down for the summer. Last year I had a good flush of fall beans without replanting so I'll probably try to keep them alive.
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  CindiLou on 7/11/2012, 11:40 pm

I planted Blue Bush. They are very floppy! First planting is almost done. I do succession in a dedicated bed. So I will replant in those squares for another round. I just blanch and put in the freezer till I have enough to can.
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Re: Support for bush beans? Potatoes?

Post  elliephant on 7/12/2012, 10:00 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:You must be doing something right, your garden sounds pretty.

My solution for bush beans: I buy sections of wire fence and sink them into the inner edges of the squares. My beans are planted on the outside squares of my boxes. The fence keeps the beans (or peas) from invading the space of vegetables growing in other squares.

I know I have pictures somewhere, I can find them if you ask but I just woke up and hope to not search.

The fence sections are made of wire that is about the same gage as old wire coat hangers. Usually they are about a foot tall (after they are sunk into the soil) and two feet long. They can be linked together to make a longer fence but I don't use mine that way. When I was still using wooden grids they would slip right over the grids and into the mix. They do a nice job, can be inexpensive and are easy to store.

You are on your own for potatoes, I always plant mine in their own area. Even determinate potatoes can get tall. My only solution is to "hill them up" with grass clippings or bedding straw. Look around the board. I have seen some clever ways of dealing with potatoes in your square.

Debs.....wishing you a grand harvest

I have these little baby fence sections, too. I got mine from the Target dollar spot this spring. Wish I'd gotten more of them. They really help in general to keep the garden off the grass.

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