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Types of Green Beans
Green beans are easy to grow from seeds, yielding a tasty and healthy harvest. The most common types of green beans that home gardeners raise from seeds are bush beans and pole beans. Popular varieties of bush beans include Blue Lake, Festiva, Roma II and Soliel. Choices among pole beans include Kentucky Wonder, Romano and Triomphe de Farcy.
Green beans need plenty of sunlight, and they do best in well-drained, fertilised soil. Wait to plant seeds until after the last frost occurs and the soil temperature has reached at least 18.3 degrees C. Staggering planting on two-week cycles will provide a continuing supply of fresh green beans throughout the growing season. Seeds should be planted at a depth of 1 inch in rows that are 3 feet apart. Leave 1 to 2 inches of space between bush-bean seeds. Place pole-bean seeds in mounds that are 3 feet apart. Put a 6- to 8-foot stake in the centre of each mound for the pole-bean vines to grow on. Water the seeds well and watch for sprouts to develop within about a week.
Water green-bean plants weekly during dry spells so that the soil does not dry out. Be careful when hoeing and pulling weeds, because the roots of beans are near the soil surface and can be easily damaged. Fertilise and water the plants when beans begin to appear. Bush-bean plants typically reach a height of 2 feet. Pole beans can stretch as far as 10 feet.
Green-bean plants will produce their first crop about 60 days after the seeds were planted. Harvest beans when their pods are crisp and firm. Use care in removing the pods to avoid breaking the plant's stems. Boil fresh green beans until tender and then serve. Green beans can be stored in the refrigerator's crisper for about a week.
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