Beans are a staple crop in home gardens around the world. They are robust, easy to start, and a delicious garden vegetable that can be canned and preserved for later enjoyment. But have you ever wondered if there was anything that you could do to maximize your bean plant’s performance and increase your yield? In fact, there are some really easy, time-tested tricks that can help you have a huge harvest of your favourite beans.
Beans are a perfect crop for first-time gardeners. They are super easy to start (you have probably started a bean seed between wet paper towels in school before) and don’t require much upkeep. However, with these few simple tricks, your bean plant production can be off the charts, year after year!
Start beans in biodegradable pots
Although you may not think it matters much, starting bean seeds a month or so before your last expected frost in biodegradable pots can make a huge difference to plant health and production. Of course, if you have a long growing season, the best thing to do is directly sow beans, but for those who want to get a jump start on the season, planting your beans in biodegradable pots will help in not disturbing the roots. Bean plants don’t like to have their roots messed with, and transplanting seedlings from starter trays can hamper plant health. Using a biodegradable starter pot (one per bean seed), you can plant the entire pot into the garden without disturbing plant roots. Bean plants with undisturbed roots produce far better than those that have been handled and transplanted. PBR International has a wide range of Jiffy biodegrable pots for you to use for your bean seedlings.
Mulch, mulch, and mulch
After seedlings emerge, or when you plant your early started plants, provide at least two inches of organic mulch. Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil and keep plant roots cool. In our experience, plants without mulch often lose their blossoms during periods of heat and drought, and this equates to fewer beans.
Add some “DynaGro” Fertiliser
Beans are light feeders, not really requiring constant feeding during the growing season like some other plants. This is good news for the gardener who is short on time. However, an excellent practice is to add PBR International’s “DynaGro Liquid Fertiliser” to the soil before planting your bean patch. This fertiliser adds a good nutritional boost for young plants and allows for strong root development and bean production.
For best production, beans need regular irrigation during the entire growing season. A lack of water can squash production and produce beans that lack flavour. Mulching helps retain moisture, but you must provide regular water during and after flowering, especially to ensure a good harvest of tasty beans. One of my favourite ways to keep beans happy, healthy, and producing, is to install a drip irrigation system that ensures regular water is being delivered.
Although bean plants are hardy, to get the biggest harvest possible, pay attention to both the air temperature and the soil temperature. Beans do best when the air temperature is between 20 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius.