It’s about three weeks earlier than I normally would put out the beans, but with the weather we’ve been having…I’ll take my chances.
This year, one of my goals is to better manage my space through timing. I spent a fair bit of this past fall and winter with more bare ground than I would have liked. I didn’t plan well enough, but it was my first year-round garden attempt. Learn, adapt, grow.
Early beans will help with this. If I sow them now, they’ll be little plants by the time I pick the greens in their space.
This is my backyard 100. Last year about this time I was busy each evening working foot by foot, inch by inch, to turn the sod installed and left alone since ’85 into a fertile plot of loose, lively, vibrant soil. The soil in these parts is usually one of two types – nutrient-void clay or limestone bedrock. I’ll leave a history of that transformation for another day. Today, it’s beans.
Part of my plan for this bed is to get these beans in, done, and ready to go when my After Frost Round needs the room to stretch out. These three varieties are from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:
– Kebarika is in the foreground. They’ll make their way into soup and such as dried beans.
– In the middle is Selma Zesta. It’s a new attempt at a green bean variety.
– In the back we have Potomac. These beans felt magical when they touched my hands. Like they carried their hundreds of years of ancestry inside each one. I was glad to’ve selected these.
I tend toward a dense-planting style, but not Square Foot Gardening (unless entirely by accident.) I learned a lot on spacing from The Sustainable Vegetable Garden. So far, I’ve had good success with most of their spacing guidelines. I did have a spacing issue with some zucchini on 15″ centers last year (they got about 24″ in diameter) but really like the spacing they recommend for beans – six inch centers.
I like using my Hori Hori to sow seeds. It easily measures both planting depth, and spacing, by the marks along the blade.
And then sometimes, I just get lucky. These lettuces were some of the ones that volunteered in my lawn after I pulled the bolted plants from the spring beds. I moved them into the bed months ago, and now they’re huge! We had some of the romaine with dinner the other night – delicious!