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Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

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Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

Post  erin.isaachsen on 8/7/2012, 2:20 pm

I just started 3 4x4 square foot gardens at the end of June. I am having trouble with the green beans, the bush style. They are coming up and growing and now flowering with pale green leaves. The plants looks a bit spindly and weak. Some of the older leaves have brown spots and holes on them. I followed all the directions for preparing the mix of vermiculite, peat moss and compost. thinking Composts I used: horse manure, cow manure, mushroom, leaf, and then one that is a combo of cow, poultry manure and lobster and crab shells. This last one said it had some peat moss in it. The tomatoes and zucchini look to be doing pretty well as do the marigolds and the herbs. The corn and pumpkins leaves are not quite as green as I think they should be, also, but they look much better than the beans. Baby carrots are nice and green and growing slowly, at least the leaves are--don't know what's going on below the surface.

Any ideas? I bought a pH meter and it reads about 6.75. I read somewhere in my travels on the internet that beans like a pH of 6.5 or a little lower--I'm wondering if the beans cannot get any iron because the soil needs to be a little more acidic? Or maybe the composts I used were not very good and are not supplying something needed? I don't know; I just want to fix it. I'm so disappointed; I really love green beans and most of the time the beans at the grocery store are so woody and tough. I was looking forward to having tender young green beans, but at this point I don't think that's going to happen. No
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Re: Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

Post  camprn on 8/7/2012, 2:24 pm

My bush bean foliage is a bit lighter in color than a lot of the other plants in the garden, so what you are describing could be normal. Would you be able to post a photo of the issues?

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Pictures of my beans plus pumpkin and zucchini

Post  erin.isaachsen on 8/7/2012, 2:51 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. Here are some pictures:


Green beans with pale green leaves, bush variety. They just don't look very healthy... I just started getting flowers on my oldest bean planting. I guess we'll see if we get any green beans...


Individual green bean leaf.


Pumpkin leaves -- the older leaves are less green...


Individual older pumpkin leaf


Zucchini leaves -- are the white veins normal?

Thanks for any advice!
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Pictures of my beans plus pumpkin and zucchini

Post  erin.isaachsen on 8/7/2012, 3:00 pm

I had taken the pictures on Sunday. The beans actually look worse now than they were then, i.e., more pale.
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Re: Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

Post  camprn on 8/7/2012, 3:02 pm

That all looks good and normal, maybe a bit pale but healthy... If you have some homemade compost you could topdress the beds with it. Apply a layer about an inch deep to the entire surface of the bed and when you water this will release it's nutritional value into the soil underneath and feed the plants. Do not be surprised when the lower older leaves of the beans begin to turn yellow then wither, that is normal.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

Post  erin.isaachsen on 8/7/2012, 5:02 pm

Thanks for your advice. I do not have any homemade compost other than horse manure compost, but I'm sure you mean a compost that has lots of different ingredients. I can make a mixture of what I have left of the cow manure/horse manure/leaf/mushroom composts and top dress that. I really need to start a compost pile of household kitchen waste. I've been noticing how much I throw away that could go to good use...
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Re: Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

Post  camprn on 8/7/2012, 5:08 pm

erin.isaachsen wrote:Thanks for your advice. I do not have any homemade compost other than horse manure compost, but I'm sure you mean a compost that has lots of different ingredients. I can make a mixture of what I have left of the cow manure/horse manure/leaf/mushroom composts and top dress that. I really need to start a compost pile of household kitchen waste. I've been noticing how much I throw away that could go to good use...
If you have well rotted horse manure, that will do. May want to put on a thinner layer and see how that does first.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

Post  walshevak on 8/7/2012, 6:31 pm

Or make a compost tea out of some of that rotted horse manure and feed the plants that way. I like using compost tea until the plants perk up and then top dress for long term. My compost pile is not ready either so I bought additional composts and made a 5 blend which I stored in rubbermaid bins. Whenever I think some long growing plant needs a boost, I do the above. But don't overdo as you will get all plant and no beans.

Kay


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Re: Please help me help my green beans--pale green leaves...

Post  walshevak on 8/7/2012, 7:11 pm

Thought I'd include the cowpea experiment to show what good MM vs poor MM and poor topsoil will give you.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t12230-field-peas-and-mm

Note the extreme difference in color of the topsoil planter. That was a mix of bagged topsoil and black hen, vermiculite and peat. The MM lite used just black kow and black hen composts and it looks almost as good as the full MM pot. I've always maintained that those 2 composts were my workhorses. Wish I could report on pea production.

Kay

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