Growing beans is very easy, but growing it at home is the easiest. There are many types of beans which could be grown at home in a larger amount and get a large and steady harvest both for personal consumption and for commercial purpose. Growing beans at home is very simple!. To go about it.
Site a land at home that has a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8 immediately after the last frost. Prepare the land and sow the bean seeds 3 or 4 in a row, then water them till they sprout and take care of them till harvest.
Beans is an edible crop in the family of Fabaceae which comes in many shapes, sizes and even colors.
There are many types of beans, but in this article, we are going to discuss about Snape beans(green beans) bush beans and pole beans.
Bean crop is very allergic to cold weather condition ( frost), but this does not make it a hot weather crop either, but a warm weather crop.
It has a very great economic potential, and has large amount of nutrients, that is the main reason it is on high demand on both national and the international market.
Beans is not like other crops that could be grown indoors at home, the type of beans like pole beans do grow up/tall and climb on something and bush beans do grow bushy and untidy on the floor, so beans is not a good crop to grow indoors and to grow it at home, a home Garden is required!.
Although you could sow them in a container indoors to germinate and once they do, they should be transplanted to the home garden where they will be grown.
TYPES OF BEANS TO GROW AT HOME
There are many types of beans, but in this article, we will be focusing on 3 types that are more suitable to be grown at home, they are:
Pole Beans: Is a tall type of beans that grow upward and requires a trellis or support.
pole beans is very tidy compared to bush beans because it grow upward on a support and does not require much land space, unless on a commercial farming purpose.
When it comes to harvesting, this type of beans is very easy to harvest than bush beans. Although there is not much difference between pole beans and bush beans, the only difference is, the pole type grows upward on a support while the bush type grows on the floor and is untidy.
Snap beans (green beans): Green beans is another type of beans that is very suitable to be grown at home. It comes in many types of colors, but the most popular is the green colored Variety, that’s why it is popularly referred to as green beans.
Green beans is the most popular type of beans that is grown at home, it is found in many Gardens of many homes in America, Europe and Asia.
This type of beans is very easy to pick and eaten because it could be eaten raw and cooked also, it is normally canned and sold.
It makes a very tasty meal when prepared with cabbage, carrot etc as a salad.
When it germinates, it could take up to 50 to 60 days for it to mature and be ready for harvest and it is harvested before it grows very thick ( overgrow).
One thing interesting about green beans and why it is different from other types of beans is, ‘ both the beans seeds and the shell of the beans are edible’, unlike other beans that only the seeds are edible.
Bush Beans: Bush beans as the name goes is a type of beans that is bushy and untidy when looking at because it grows on the floor and occupies good amount of land space, compared to the other 2 types above.
Bush beans is so much like the pole beans, but like I stated before, the only difference between them is bush beans grown untidy on the floor while the pole type grows very tidy and climbs on a support.
Just like pole Beans, bush beans could take up to 80 to 100 days before it could mature and be ready for harvest.
CONDITIONS NECESSARY TO GROW BEANS AT HOME
Before any type of beans could be grown at home, it is very important to know the Conditions which is needed to grow beans and get a good amount of yields in return.
Before siting or choosing the location of the home garden to grow beans, here are some of the necessary things which beans need to do well and which they don’t need.:
The most important thing to consider before siting a beans Garden at home is the soil. Beans plant needs a soil with high water drainage capability because they don’t thrive on a waterlogged or damp soil for long, although they need water to survive, but not in excess.
The soil should be very rich with organic matter and has a pH of about 6.5 to 7.0.
So a part of the home Garden where the soil does not easily get damp and where the soil is highly fertile should be a perfect selection for growing beans.
Apart from the soil, the wether or climate condition is another necessary factor to look into before siting the beans garden.
As I have mentioned earlier on this topic, bean crop is not a cold weather crop, that’s why it does not thrive much in spring, rather it is a warm weather crop and that is why it does very great in regions that has hot climate condtion such as Africa.
When growing beans at home, despite the type, it is very important to sow the bean seeds at the end of the spring season, so that they could not be tampered by cold (frost).
Although beans could be grown at anywhere, but it should be known that this crop does not tolerate hard soil, so it should not be grown on hard soil or rocky soil.
PREPARATION OF HOME GARDEN FOR BEANS CULTIVATION
When the garden that is suitable for beans farming has been selected, the next step is to get it ready for beans cultivation.
To prepare it for the cultivation, there are few tools that is needed, although home gardens are normally smaller than big farms, so I suggest manual tools such as shovel/spade, wheelbarrow, Cutlass, hoe and rake.
The Cutlass, hoe and shovel is needed for cutting of bush and uprooting them and also weeding and making farm beds.
The wheelbarrow and hand glove is needed for packing the dirt’s and disposing them off!.
The rake is used for picking up the dirt’s in the soil and smoothing the soil surface.
After getting these tools and clearing the garden, then make farm beds where the beans will be sown.
Use shovel and hoe to make the farm beds. They should be about half a foot or a foot in height and up to 3 to 5 feet in width.
When the farm beds are through, the next step is to make tiny holes on them, about an inch or 2 deep in the farm beds and give a space of 8 or 10 inches if it is pole or green beans, but if it’s bush beans, give a space of up to a foot or 2 feet.
GETTING AND GERMINATING BEANS SEEDS TO GROW AT HOME
When the garden preparation has been done and the farm beds are done too, now it’s time to get the seed and germinate them.
To get the seeds, it is very advisable to buy from good and reputable stores because those seeds you will buy are well treated and in good farming Condition.
In case you need help with a good seed store, here is my recommendation. CLICK HERE.
When the seeds arrive, you can sow them directly in the garden during the non spring season, but if it’s during the spring season, don’t sow them immediately in the home garden, first of all, germinate them, then transplant to the garden after spring.
To germinate and grow them indoors before transplant, get good flower pots or big boxes, fill them with good loamy soil that is very rich in organic matter.
make small homes on the sand and sow the bean seeds upside-down, cover with sand and water them with small amount of water every 3 days. One spoonful of water is good for each of them.
Bean seeds needs about 60°F to 80°F to germinate, so make sure you keep them in a place that qualifies for this temperature.
With the right temperature and if everything goes well, the seeds should be able to germinate between 10 to 20 days.
PLANTING OF BEANS IN THE HOME GARDEN
If you are growing them during non spring season, once the seeds arrive, go straight to the home garden and sow them.
To sow them in the garden, sow 2 or 3 seeds per hole and place them upside down in the holes, then cover them with earth, water them with at least 1 inch of water per hole every 2 or 3 days and they will sprout in about 10 to 20days, depending on the type of beans involved.
If you plan to grow them in the spring, and then transplant to the garden afterwards, then follow the instructions I gave above on how to germinate and grow beans indoors in boxes or pots.
After they might have germinated in those boxes and pots, allow them to stay there for a little while longer, so that they could grow strong for the transplant.
After the spring, get them out and plant them in the garden farm beds you made, cover the roots with earth.
Note – When getting the plants out of the boxes, adequate care should be take in order not to destroy the roots and their stems. Use small farm shovel, dig into the pots, and uproot the plant, then transfer them to the holes on the garden.
Or to make it easy, use boxes that has a removable bottom to germinate the seeds, so that when the bottom is removed, the plants will drop intact with their roots untampered.
CARE OF BEAN PLANTS GROWN AT HOME
After sowing or transplanting the already germinated seeds to the home garden, the next work is to take care of them by providing the necessary things and also prevent some hindrances which they might encounter on the process and which might hamper their growth and yield.
Some of the care includes:
Draining: As I have mentioned earlier on this topic, beans does not in anyway tolerate damp or waterlogged soil, so that is why it is important to grow them on a soil that could drain itself at least.
You could also help in the drainage process by constructing a drainage system in the garden. To construct it, use shovel to make small gutters and channel them out of the garden. This will go a long way to dispose off too much water that might be stored in the garden.
Drainage system is very important when growing this crop in a rainy season and not important in non rainy season, unless you mistakenly over-watered the crops and cause the soil to be waterlgged.
Farm bed serves as a good drainage system also, that’s why I do recommend using it to grow this crop, especially during the rainy season, so that it will protect the crops from too much water and also help to dry up the soil to some extent.
Watering/Irrigation: In as much as bean plants does not like too much water not cold weather, that does not in any way means it does not require water at all.
Water is very important in every living thing which bean plants are not excerpted!. It bean plants does require water , but not very much of it.
The watering process starts immediately the seeds are sown. Water help in the germination of bean seeds. A spoonful of water is okay to apply to the place where they are sown to help them germinate. Application of water on a schedule of once per 2 days is great.
Also when they sprout, they still need water to help them grow and give yields, So half a cup of water is great for each plant on a schedule of 2 days and if the rain is still active, watering them is no more important as the rain will have to take care of them. At least a good rain once in a week should keep them hydrated for the whole week and even more days.
Watering is somehow unnecessary in the rainy season. Tools such as watering bucket or cane should be used to water the beans garden at home if necessary.
Application of Manure/Fertilizer: Manure and Fertilizer are very important for growing beans at home.
Without manure or Fertilizer, the beans might not grow well and might not produce good yields, that’s why it is important to apply manure on your beans garden as soon as possible in order to give the bean plants a boost.
In my own garden, ( although small beans garden) I normally apply manure even before sowing the bean seeds in order to give the soil the fertility it requires to grow the bean plants.
After clearing the home Garden, I do spread animal dungs ( organic manure) on the empty land, spray good amount of water on them and allow them to be fully mixed and absorbed in totality by the soil before I make my farm beds.
This method have given my beans a large boost and it has worked for me either I try it.
Apart from my method, you can use the popular method of applying manure when the plants have grown up to some level.
If you are to use Fertilizers, it is very important to avoid buying fertilizers that contains large amount of nitrogen as nitrogen is not very necessary for bean plants, rather it might cause more harm than good because the beans plant itself does have good amount of nitrogen already and thus does not require more.
If you are to use organic manure, animal dung is the best, avoid green leaves ( compost) as they are not healthy for this plant.
When applying Fertilizer, if you sow the bean seeds 3 or 4 per hole, a teaspoon of Fertilizer should be applied per row and if you sow 2 per hole, half teaspoon should be applied!. To apply, make round hole with your fingers around the plants, apply the fertilizers and cover slightly with sand.
As for animal dungs, quarter cup should be applied per plant.
Applying support/Trellis: If you are growing pole beans, it is very important and necessary to apply support to them.
Pole beans is not like other beans, this type of beans do grow up and it’s a good climber, so when growing this type of beans, make sure to apply support to them.
support like bamboo, tree branches etc should be gotten, and placed very close to the plant, so that they could climb up on the supports.
Note – Don’t use a live bamboo as a support, unless you will spend many years fighting the stubborn bamboo trees on your home garden, instead use old dried bamboos for this.
Crop Rotation: Crop rotation is another important way to care for bean crops.
This is important because beans doesn’t do very well on a soil that is used frequently to grow bean plants, so at least this crop should be rotated to other gardens at least for 2years.
Pruning: Pruning is another great way to take care of the beans grown at home.
This is necessary because when the beans have started growing, not all of them will survive and grow up to give yields, some of them may die at small age, so it is good to remove those and allow the healty ones among them to grow.
Although this is very uncommon if the seeds are from a good store and also if the soil is fertile enough.
Mulching: Mulching is a good way to care for this plant in the rainy season.
This simply means covering the plant with either leaves or anything to protect it from either too much sun or rain.
This is necessary when the plants are still tender and prone to heavy rain. Use pan or bucket that has good opening at the top to cover the bottom of the plants. Green leaf is not advisable.
Weeding: Weed is one of the disturbing factors in beans farming and so it is very important that the plant is free of weed.
To take care of the weed, I normally use herbicide on the empty garden before sowing the seeds. This goes a long way to help in curtailing the weed which might start sprouting up as soon as possible, thereby giving the plants the chance to grow up without the interference of weed.
You can also spray the herbicide or chemical once you see them sprouting out from the ground or you can choose to do it manually by uprooting them with the help of weeding hoe.
One very bad thing about weed is if they are not removed, they will outgrow the plants and overshadow them, they can infest the plants with diseases and habour pests and also they will be competing with the plants to suck of the soil nutrients and water, thereby harming the plants.
DISEASE/PEST CONTROL OF BEANS PLANT
Growing the beans at home does not mean they are free from Diseases and pests, the only difference is, it gives you the the opportunity to be in close contact with the plants and thus be able to notice and rectify any emerging problem.
Some of the diseases and pest that do attack bean plants, even at home garden are:
Beans pests includes – Flea beetles, cucumber beetles, leafhoppers, mites,aphids,slugs, Mexican bean beetles.
leafhoppers, Aphids, and mites can be controlled once they are noticed with a blast of water from the hose or they could also be controlled with the use of insecticidal soap.
They could also be controlled by crushing. Look out for them and their eggs crush them between your fingers and thumb. Also you can remove or cut out the parts of beans that are infected.
Mexican bean beetles, cucumber beetles, and flea beetles when left could turn the plants leaves to skeleton, in order to Control them, pick and crush them or spray them with insecticidal soap, canola oil, or kaolin.
Apart from pests, beans plant is very prone to various kinds of diseases such as Blight, mosaic virus, powdery mildew, anthracnose.
Plant disease-resistant varieties of beans.
To help control these diseases, keep the garden clean and free of debris, avoid handling the plants when they are wet and also try as much as possible to keep up with the crop rotation method.
HARVEST AND STORAGE
As I have mentioned earlier in this content, beans takes between 80 to 100 days mature and be ready for harvest.
Green beans is harvested earlier than other types is beans because it is best when still fresh. 50 to 60 days is okay to harvest green beans. But the other types are harvested when the shells start drying or have dried.
To harvest, tools like garden scissors or sharp kitchen knife is needed to cut the beans shell out of the vine.
After harvesting, the next step is to store them, as they might not be eaten or sold immediately.
To store green beans wether shelled or unshelled, a refrigerator is needed. Shelled green beans could last up to 3 weeks in a refrigerator and unshelled ones could last up to a week and a few more days.
Green beans should not be washed before storing in a refrigerator, or they will spoil very quickly.
Other types of beans is dried under the sun after unshelling them and getting the pods (beans). They could last up to a year or even more when dried very well and put in a dry bag and stored in a place with normal or balanced temperature.
IMPORTANCE OF GROWING BEANS AT HOME
One of the importance of growing beans at home is, it makes it easier for them to be gotten anytime and faster when needed.
It puts you in the position to take adequate care of them as they are closer to you. You could easily dictate any disease or pest attack and Control them immediately.
Beans is very rich in protein and some good amount of other nutrients which the body needs to survive, so growing it at home make it easily accessible and cost effective.
If you follow all the steps I gave in this article, you will be able to grow beans at home and get a huge and healthy harvest. I hope you have learned alot from this content, if you do, kindly show love by sharing it on the social media and also subscribe to my newsletter.