Bush beans are one of the most popular types of plants to grow at home due to the ease of doing sod, and how quickly you can start eating what it produces too. In this article we'll cover all aspects of growing it as well as it the benefits from consuming it, and more. We promise that reading this article will be worth your while!
What are Bush Beans?A lot of home gardeners are growing bush beans, also called green beans, in their gardens. These beans have a thread-like string that can be seen passing through its whole body so they sometimes call these beans “string beans”. However, this name may no longer be applicable nowadays since some types of bush beans do not have that fibrous string anymore. Bush beans are preferred by most home gardeners because they are quick and very easy to grow. Add to that, they are harvested while their seeds are still small unlike other types of garden plants. Also, they are able to yield two to three time more from the same site.
TypesThere are two ways to identify bush beans from each other. First is through their appearance and color. Bush beans can either be purple, green, or yellow, depending on their variety. Green bush beans include “Blue Lake” and “Tendercrop”. “Goldencrop Wax” and “Improved Golden Wax” are beans that fall under yellow pods. The tone and lineament are somewhat contrasting between green and wax beans. Lastly, if you would like to make grow of a purple pod variety, try "Royal Purple Burgundy." An interesting fact that you need to know is that purple pods turn green when they are cooked. We can further categorize bush beans into three types. The first one is snap beans, the type of bush beans where you usually eat the seeds. The second one if the green shelling beans where you ingest the beans while they are green in color. Lastly, dry beans are the type of beans where you’ll need to dry them first and the re-hydrate them before consuming.
Bush beans VS Pole BeansGenerally, plants are grouped under bush type or vine type. Bush type plants, as well as pole beans, are characterized according to their large amounts of protein, fiber, and starch. They both are considered to be depots of minerals such as potassium and iron. No matter where green beans are grown, they will always have an abundance of vitamin C and iron. If green beans are dried and properly cooked, these types of beans will also be able to provide starch, protein, and fiber. The main difference between bush and pole beans is their firmness and the way they are grown. Bush beans do not need any kind of reinforcement to stay upright. On the other hand, as the name might suggest, pole beans will require a pole or other forms of support in order to stay and grow upright. Their growth style also varies as the former tends to grow more compactly lower to the ground while the latter will climb like vines. In just a matter of a few weeks, bush beans can produce pods and are considered to be fully grown in about 2 months or so. When compared to bush beans, pole beans tend to require a much longer time to produce pods. However, these types of beans are able to continuously produce pods so long as the beans are carefully picked. Planting bush beans is the ideal type of beans for those people who wish to grow beans without too much work and hassle since bush beans require less mending and are much easier to grow. The main advantage of planting pole beans is that they produce more beans compared to the other type, and are more resistant to plant diseases. If your garden has limited space, then you might want to consider planting bush type instead of the vine type plants since bush beans take up less area as compared to the latter. It is important to take note that green beans are considered to be young or underdeveloped. That is why most people often soak the beans in water or cook them before eating. It is also important to remember that even though they are considered underdeveloped, there are no verified risks to eating them uncooked.
Health BenefitsOne can’t deny that green beans have a multitude of nutritional benefits due to its low-caloric content and fat value; not to mention that these beans also do not contain any cholesterol. These types of beans also have high fiber levels and are able to provide you with your day-to-day protein requirements. Of course, this doesn’t mean that bush beans lag behind when it comes to being a healthy food. Bush beans are rich sources of vitamins A, C and folic acid. Both bush and green beans can provide a good amount of calcium, iron, potassium, copper, as well as silicon. Due to its taste and the fact they can provide a number of health benefits to those who eat them, bush beans are often used in many cultural cuisines. Let us take a closer look at some of the different health benefits that one can get from them.
- Decrease Chances of Developing Heart Diseases
- Prevent Colon Cancer
- Eye Care
- Control Diabetes
- Boost Bone Health
- Pre-natal Care
Side effectsWhile it is true that bush beans are one of those foods with undoubtedly less risk factors, still there are certain things you need to be vigilant about.
How to Grow Bush BeansAs with all plants, one of the most important factors to consider when trying to grow them is soil condition, specifically the soil temperature. Soil temperatures that range from 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit are considered to be optimal for bush beans. Plant them about an inch deep and give them two inches of space between each other. Like all plants, beans also require water in order to grow but not that much, so you can water them when you see that the soil is starting to get dry. You’ll also need to look out for weeds since the beans aren’t planted too deeply. Furthermore, bean beetles are considered to be the one of the biggest problems with these types of plants. You can handpick them when you notice them.
Planting Bush BeansA well-drained and mineral rich soil is the best soil that’s suited for bush beans. Direct sunlight is also very important to consider when growing beans if you wish to have the best seeds. Check out our guide on making loam soil, which is what they prefer being planted in.
How to plant
- Consider inoculating the soil with the use of the bean inoculant before planting bush beans. These inoculants contain bacteria which helps the plants yield better produce. Although using inoculants are extremely helpful, they are not necessary to produce beans. They are only added so that you yield a larger crop.
- The second step in planting your bush bean is to plant the beans around an inch and a half deep in the soil. Each bean should also be around 2 to 3 inches apart to give them space to grow, as well as avoid them from competing for nutrients. Consider the total space that you have and need when you plan to plant multiple rows of bush beans. As mentioned, you’ll start seeing the results of your work within two weeks. There are some who suggest that you plant a new bush bean seed once in every two weeks to have a continuous harvest.
- Spread the seeds. Don’t go start planting seeds indoors. No type of bean will grow well if you transplant them.
- Avoid planting the beans in cold soil. Soil temperature that falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit will then produce poorly or show results much slower. Soil temperatures that fall within 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the best for bush beans. When in certain conditions, beans planted within the optimal temperature will start to germinate as early as one week.
Maintenance and care
- Bush beans cannot tolerate cold temperatures. It is important to avoid planting the seeds when there is still the risk of frost formation. Cold air is also harmful to plants, even if they are considered fully grown and will affect their production.
- Try to avoid the practice of soaking the beans to hasten their germination. You run the risk of damaging the beans when doing this.
- If you want to have a steady supply of beans, you can consider doing successive planting from the start of spring until the middle to late July.
- Moisture balance is essential for all beans. You may spray plants to avoid the buildup of smut, as well as keep the plant moisturized. However, too much spraying or watering would may invite a number of plant diseases. The practice of watering the plants early in the morning is also a good. This gives the foliage enough time to dry completely during the day time.
- Apply mulch to the soil after the second set of true leaves develop to somehow preserve moisture.
- It is not safe to use nitrogen fertilizers such as manure, so avoid adding this to your soil.
PestsPests that often plague bean bush plants include Mexican bean beetles, aphids, seedcorn maggots, and spider mites. These are only some of the many pests that could infest your garden and destroy your bush beans. The following are some points to remember to keep your garden pest free.
- Mexican bean beetles
- Seedcorn maggot
- Spider mites
HarvestPicking bush beans regularly is a good habit as this will help keep the plant producing. Bush beans are usually harvested while they are still premature, a period where the seeds inside the beans have not grown thus far. Ensure that you do not destroy the plant while collecting beans. Beans that are ready for harvesting should be firm and fairly large. One good indication that the beans are harvest-ready is that they should split easily when you try to break them. After harvesting the beans, make sure you store them in an airtight container inside the refrigerator. When stored properly, beans will often become tougher. Fresh beans can last for 4 days inside the refrigerator. You may opt to freeze them straight off after harvesting for future usage.
DiseasesThe number of ways to reduce the spread of diseases among your plants is almost as many as the number of diseases that can affect them. However, like the diseases that humans get, the diseases plants get will also have methods that’ll work or won’t work for them. Below are some of the many common diseases that can affect bush beans.
- White mold
- Bacterial blights
Control and preventionSince it’s quite hard to distinguish plants infected with bacterial blight, you must prevent it from infecting you plants in the first place. What you can do is to use fresh seeds from a reputable source. In this way, you can be certain that the seeds are uninfected. Saving your own seeds to replant in the future may not be a good idea because they can potentially carry harmful microorganisms with them. Rotating crops could also help you solve this problem. By doing this, your beans are never grown in the same location for 2 consecutive years. Also, see to it that your plants are dry when you work on them. When you notice early stages of bacterial blight, spray chemical bactericide that contains copper to your plants.
- Bean common mosaic virus (BV - 1 ) and New York strain (NY - 15)