Black turtle beans, often referred to as just black beans, are versatile and can be used in a wide variety of soups, stews and other dishes. They are also easy to grow. They make a great project for the young gardener, who can watch the sprouts' progress. They are also very nutritional, offering a fibre-packed boost that adds a heart-healthy bonus to many tasty recipes.
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Things you need
- Black bean seeds
- garden trowel
- 3-foot bean support structures (quantity will vary depending on how many seeds you plant)
Purchase a packet of black beans from a reputable seed company. They will be large seeds, which makes them easy to plant.
Soak the seeds in tap water for two hours before planting. This will help the germination process
Loosen the soil in your planting area using your garden trowel.
Place the seeds in a row 4 inches apart from each other. Each seed should be placed 1-inch deep in the soil. To save time, you can use your trowel to create a long trough, then just drop the seeds in and cover with soil. Each new row should be spaced 4 inches away from the previous row.
Water your plants when the soil appears dry. Be careful not to overwater. The soil should be damp several inches deep, but you do not want puddles or mud.
Use a bean support structure that is approximately 3 feet tall when your beans are grown. You can purchase these structures at any nursery or home improvement store. You can also build your own out of scraps of fencing, rods or even straight saplings. Anything that is straight and secure will work.
Allow your beans to dry in their pods under the summer sun. The beans will turn black as they dry. Before you harvest, check one of the pods. If the beans are still white, you need to let them dry longer.
Crack the pods open to collect the dried black beans. Spread them out on a flat surface and leave them to dry for an additional 24 to 48 hours.
Tips and warnings
- Black beans should be planted in late spring so they mature in the summer, making the drying process easier.
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