Beans can be grown in most soils all across Canada. They tend to grow best in well-irrigated soil in a warmer climate. Take care to plant your seeds in warm, dry weather as the seeds will rot in cold, damp weather. Beans are subject to several diseases, but the most prevalent is Downy Mildew caused by cold summer fogs.
When to Plant
Start planting when the soil temperature has reached at least 24 C. Beware of any form of frost, as this will quickly kill your beans. You should expect to plant at least 10-20 plants per person to get through the winter. Some gardeners soak their seeds before planting, but research has indicated soaked seeds absorb water too quickly, causing the outer coat to spill out essential nutrients, encouraging seed rot. You can increase your yields by 50-100% by simply rolling your seeds in Rhizobium Bacteria Powder before planting.
How to Plant
Bush Beans: Germinates in approximately seven days. Seeds should be planted 2" apart in rows 1 1/2" deep in rows, about 18-24" apart. When thinning, aim for 6-8 plants per foot. Like most legumes, your beans should be planted at 2-week intervals since there is approximately a two-week harvesting period until eight weeks before the first killing frost. Doing this will assure a steady harvest all season and plenty of excesses to store for the winter. Your plants should be ready to harvest after approximately 50 days.
Wax/Lima Beans: Germinates in approximately ten days. Seeds should be planted 3-4" apart, 1" deep eye down, in rows about 18" apart. Two plantings a month should produce a prolonged harvest of between 65-75 days.
Pole Beans: Germinates in approximately 8-14 days. Create three-pole teepees about 6' tall. Leave 3-4' between the pole groups and a small pile of compost at each base. Then plant 6-8 seeds at the bottom of each pole. Finally, after the second set of leaves appear thin to three plants per pole. The bean poles should produce all summer long after approximately 65 days with regular harvesting.
How to Harvest
Watch your plants, and when the beans start to form, you'll have to harvest every 2-3 days to keep the plant producing. You will know your pods are ready for harvesting when they are well-formed, rounded, and snap if bent in half. If you've planted wax beans, they will turn a good yellow colour. Be sure when harvesting to pick all the ripe beans, or the plant will stop producing. Harvest lima beans when still a deep green. If they start turning yellow, you should leave them on the vine to ripen as a dry bean.
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