Beans (Kentucky Wonder, Pinto, Christmas Lima)

Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Planting

  • Pole beans will grow in a climbing vine and require a trellis or staking. Bush beans will spread up to 2 feet but do not require support.
  • Do not start seeds indoors; they may not survive transplanting.
  • Seeds can be sown outdoors anytime after last spring frost, minimum soil temp is 48 degrees F.  Plant 1 inch deep, a little deeper for sandier soils. Cover soil to warm if necessary.
  • Bush beans: Plant 2 inches apart.
  • Pole beans: Set up trellises, or "cattle panels," and plant 3 inches apart.
  • If you like pole beans, an easy support for them is a "cattle panel"—a portable section of wire fence—16 feet long and 5 feet tall. The beans will climb with ease, and you won't have to get into contorted positions to pick them.
  • For a harvest that lasts all summer, sow beans every 2 weeks. If you’re going to be away, skip a planting. Beans do not wait for anyone.
  • Rotate crops each year.

Care

  • Mulch soil to retain moisture; make sure that it is well-drained.
  • Water regularly, from start of pod to set. Water on sunny days so foliage will not remain soaked.
  • Beans require normal soil fertility. Only fertilize where levels are low. Begin after heavy bloom and set of pods.
  • Use a light hand when applying high-nitrogen fertilizer, or you will get lush plants and few beans.
  • Weed diligently and use shallow cultivation to prevent disturbing the root systems.

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Mexican Bean Beetles
  • Japanese Beetles
  • White Mold
  • Mosaic Viruses
  • Bean blossoms will drop from the plant if the weather is too hot and too much nitrogen in the soil will prevent pods from setting.

Harvest/Storage

  • Beans are picked at an immature stage, when the seeds inside have not yet fully developed.
  • Look for firm, sizable pods and snap or cut off the plant. Do not tear the plant.
  • Store beans in a moisture-proof, airtight container in the refrigerator. Beans will toughen over time even when stored properly.
  • Beans can be kept fresh for about 4 days, or blanched and frozen immediately after harvesting.
  • Beans can also be canned or pickled.

Source: http://www.almanac.com/plant/beans