How to grow green beans
Green Beans are the second most commonly grown vegetables after tomatoes. They are very easy to grow. There are many varieties to choose from. You can grow pole beans or bush beans. Pole usually take longer to grow and you'll need a trellis for them to climb. Check your seed packet for sowing and harvesting times.
You can grow also grow them in containers.
Green Beans are very prolific and you can continue to harvest them throughout the season. Just make sure you keep picking them in order for them to continue producing. You can also do succession plantings for a continuous harvest.
After all danger of frost is gone, plant seeds 1 1/2 inches deep 3-4 inches apart in 24" rows.
Green Beans are not cold tolerant and need warm soil of 65 degrees or better. They grow best in full sun with well watered soil.
There are several factors to consider when harvesting green beans. You'll get the best flavor and texture if you pick you beans at the right time.
You should usually try and harvest your beans when the plants are dry. Let the morning dew evaporate before harvesting.
The bean pods do not need to reach a certain length before harvesting them.
Some of the pods will be long and thin, others will be short and fat. The size variance will not affect the flavor of the green bean. The more important factor is texture.
The green bean pods should be firm, crisp, and show no visible bulges. A bulge will indicate that the green bean is over-ripe. It will still taste good but might have a limp texture. A perfectly ripe green bean will make a snapping noise when broken into pieces. This is why some folks call green beans "snap beans".
As the plants will continue to produce green beans over a long period of time, great care should be taken to not damage the plant when harvesting green beans. Use one hand to hold the stem and use your other hand to pick the bean. The blossom end of the stem will usually still be attached to the bean after you pick it. If you don't hold the stem, you risk breaking off other blossoms or branches or yanking the whole plant out of the ground by the roots. Take care of your green bean plants and they will take care of you.
After harvesting green beans, store them on the kitchen counter with the stems on. Once you remove the stems, keep them in the refrigerator.
The stems usually snap off easily.
If you want to wait more than a few days before eating your freshly picked beans, blanch them in boiling water for 3 minutes. Then plunge the beans into ice water for 3 minutes. This will help the beans retain their bright, green color. Place the cooled beans in an air tight bag and put them in the freezer. They will keep for up to 1 year.
When the season is over, pull up the plants and toss them in your compost bin.
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