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Reigning in bush-beans

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Reigning in bush-beans

Post  Sunsanvil on 9/2/2014, 9:55 am

We've grown bush-beans for three seasons now, always with what I think are great yields.  We plant 9 to a square per SFG which works fine for the beans... but they sprawl out such that my wife thinks they are crowding out slower adjacent squares (carrots, cucumber on the vine, etc).  She's declared that next year bush beans are getting a 4x4 for them and nothing else! Smile.

Anyone else run into this?  I was wondering if something like Tomato Cages would help keep the bushes "together".

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  greatgranny on 9/2/2014, 11:04 am

@Sunsanvil wrote:We've grown bush-beans for three seasons now, always with what I think are great yields.  We plant 9 to a square per SFG which works fine for the beans... but they sprawl out such that my wife thinks they are crowding out slower adjacent squares (carrots, cucumber on the vine, etc).  She's declared that next year bush beans are getting a 4x4 for them and nothing else! Smile.

Anyone else run into this?  I was wondering if something like Tomato Cages would help keep the bushes "together".
I think that your wife might be right.  I don't grow them anymore but yes, they do tend to take over. 

This year I am growing lima beans instead.  They are even worse.  So, next year...?

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/2/2014, 11:48 am

I agree!  My bush beans have crowded/shaded out nearby squares, including the cukes. Next year, I may try a half-box of beans, with lettuce or spinach in the other half.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2014, 2:11 pm

Same problem here with Dragon Tongues.  The taller they get, the more they fall over.  I wish they were better behaved like okra, growing straight up.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  yolos on 9/2/2014, 2:16 pm

I have to put my Dragon Tongue beans on a short trellis.  My other bush beans I surround them with decorative fencing about 2 feet tall and put them on the outer edges of the beds.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2014, 2:38 pm

@yolos wrote:I have to put my Dragon Tongue beans on a short trellis. 
 Do they start twining around the strings?  Can you post a photo of your set up? I would love to contain them a little better. Thanks

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/2/2014, 5:40 pm

That happens to me too. My beans follow the sun, so one side of their planting area can start to look more and more clear as they get taller and the other side gets overgrown with plants reaching all the way over from the other side. Even the ones that stay erect for a long time tend to give way once they get beans on them.

Same thing happens with my tomatoes and peas and cucumbers and squash. They all take off racing toward the sun. Rebels, they, the whole lot of them. "LOL, humans! I do what I want."

This happens both in areas where they get full sun all day and where they get more sun during the afternoon than in the morning, pulling them very strongly west. But it happens in all three places I garden, regardless of conditions.

If your beans are like mine, they'll keep going toward the sun until they reach their natural length. They're just as happy growing horizontally as upright, so putting a fence in their way doesn't mean they'll climb up it much. They may just climb through it. They're gonna go where they wanna go.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2014, 9:17 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:They may just climb through it.  They're gonna go where they wanna go.
 Beans and cats Very Happy

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  yolos on 9/3/2014, 7:12 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@yolos wrote:I have to put my Dragon Tongue beans on a short trellis. 
 Do they start twining around the strings?  Can you post a photo of your set up?  I would love to contain them a little better.  Thanks

I have two methods depending upon the height of the bush beans.  The following picture is last years artichoke bed but it shows the fencing I use.  I will put one line of fences on both sides of the square and this keeps the beans within their square (almost if they are not too tall or too intensively planted).

I also use a trellis made out of 1/2 inch pvc stuck into 1" pvc supports.  The 1 inch supports can be strapped onto the sides of the bed or if you want them moveable, just pound the 1 inch supports into the ground where ever you want to put a trellis.  This trellis has a horizontal pvc cross piece on the top and one about 1-1/2 feet from the bottom.  I use the small black fencing to get the plants heading upwards, and then train them on single strands of twine.  Yes, the Dragon Tongue beans will really not climb the twine, you kind of have to take the growing tip and start winding it around the twine.  In the following picture, there are actually two trellises.  One on the right which is waiting for my sweet shell peas and the one on the left holding my pink eye purple hull peas.  These really need to be pulled out but there is a praying mantis that has been on that trellis all summer and I hate to take his home down.  If you make the pvc trellis too tall, it will flop around and then you would need to put some kind of support (see wooden piece on the left of the photo connecting the top of the trellis to the front of the bed just pushed into the soil at the front).

Last year I used wooden trellis built just like the pvc trellis but the legs were pounded into the ground.  One trellis for my dragon tongue beans, one in the middle for the pink eye purple hull peas, and one on the right trellis is some kind of pole bean.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/3/2014, 8:50 pm

I like that second picuture, yolos. Very creative. Plus it looks easy to move if you need to.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  sanderson on 9/3/2014, 9:07 pm

Yolos, thank you for posting the photos. I must do something with the DTs.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/3/2014, 10:31 pm

@sanderson wrote:Yolos, thank you for posting the photos. I must do something with the DTs.

Delirium tremens?

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  sanderson on 9/3/2014, 11:05 pm

Very Happy

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  manda99 on 9/4/2014, 1:49 pm

I switched to pole beans this year because I'd finally had enough of dealing with bush beans... but I used to plant them in 4 squares together and then put a stake in each of the four corners of the 4 x 4 square and string twine in two rows to sort of create a little fence to keep them within their own area.

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Re: Reigning in bush-beans

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/4/2014, 5:29 pm

Great idea!

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