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Mid-May is time to sew or plant beans

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Green beans are an easy gardening plant to grow that requires very little maintenance. Usually gardeners do not encourage starting plants in containers because they may not survive transplanting but it can be done. Once seeds are sown in soil that is higher than 48 degrees you can cover the soil with plastic or straw to keep the seeds warmer.

After May 15 in Ohio is typically the time to start sewing seeds in your garden. This year the cooler weather has lingered past normal frost dates but starting seeds in the ground is fine as long as you cover the soil. Typically gardeners’ plant beans a half to 1 inch deep in soil directly into your garden plot.

Seed to soil sewing times:

Bush snap beans plant May 15 - August 1 matures in 50-60 days.
Green shell beans plant May 15 - July 1 matures in 60-100 days.
Dry shell beans plant May 15 - June 1 matures in 90-100 days.
Bush lima beans plant May 20 - June 10 matures in 65-100 days.
Pole snap beans plant May 15 - June 1 matures in 65-90 days.
Pole lima beans plant May 20 - August 1 in 70-100 days.

Beans can be planted 4-6 inches apart and 24 inches between rows, except for the pole beans which should be around 18 inches apart at planting time and 36 inches between rows. Pole beans will need a trellis or stake for the vines to climb while bush beans spread out wide and do not need support.

One easy support system for beans is a “cattle panel”, which is a portable section of wire fence that measures 16 feet long and 5 feet tall. The beans will easily climb the fence and you won’t have to bend in painful positions to harvest beans.

Sew beans every two weeks to keep beans going all summer long, however; if you are going on vacation or to the county fair, skip a planting because the beans will not wait for harvesting.

Rotate crops every year and do not plant tomatoes, onions, scallions or garlic around beans they hinder growth. Companion plants that get along well with green beans are corn, squash, and pumpkin and are what Native Americans used in their gardening called Three Sisters Gardening.

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