Peas and Beans in a Home Garden. As our daily vegetable intake (5 serves a day) should include a green or two, peas and beans are a good choice and they can be grown easily in the home garden.
Their uses are versatile and they are abundant in protein and vitamin C which is more than handy!
Mind you, when I talk of beans here, I mainly mean string beans – don’t care much for broad beans! However, each to their own.
Like all veggies, they like well-drained friable soil in a sunny position. Before planting the seeds, dig in a good layer of composted manure and mulch. Actually growing any legumes has the side benefit of improving your soil for future crops.
The soil temp should be over 60 Fahrenheit. Late April at least. If it is cold to the touch or too wet – wait.
- TIP 1: Soaking pea seeds overnight in water before planting helps insure strong germination.
- TIP 2: Use a powdered pea/bean inoculant to coat pea seeds if you haven’t grown peas in your garden previously. This will provide bacteria that live on pea roots and produce nitrogen. [an innoculant refers to Rhizobia bacteria that are found on the roots of legumes to help produce nitrogen.]
Don’t over water when they are growing, but when they flower give them a good soaking.
By picking peas when they are ready to open will encourage more to develop. If you miss them and they dry out – keep them for next year’s seeds.
The varieties that produce lavender or purple flowers also make great ornamentals for your flower garden.
To ensure the best flavor, bush beans should be picked while still slender and no inner bean is well developed. For fresh bush beans all summer, plant every two weeks and pick frequently.
Provide them with a pole to twine up as they grow. A trellis or chicken wire is better for peas.
Harvest once the bush beans are smooth, firm and crisp. By constantly picking your bush beans you will have a constant, fresh supply.
If you grow French beans (which are actually from Central and South America) hold back on the planting time as they are frost tender.
Broad beans are pretty straight forward to grow, being hardy and can be sown as early as October for a harvest in the late spring. They will need some support to prevent being blown over. Harvest when they are small, as this is for a better taste.
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