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Common Bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

French Bean, Green Bean

Beans grow with little maintenance and produce an abundance of pods. They can add nitrogen to the soil, making them ideal plants for organic vegetable gardens. The plants are easily cultivated but are susceptible to several diseases, such as rust, blight, and wilt. Generally, beans are warm-season annuals that grow erect (bush types) or as vines (pole or running types). The seeds contain a lot of protein and so are often used as a meat substitute. There are many different varieties of bean that have been derived from the original species that come in all kinds of colours and textures.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Beans are picked at an immature stage when the seeds inside have not yet fully developed. Look for firm, sizable pods and snap or cut off the plant. Do not tear the plant.

Propagation

Seed
Plant seeds during the Spring after the last frost. Sow 5cm deep and 5-10cm apart directly in the bed. Thin bush beans to 10cm apart. Thin pole beans to 15cm apart and provide a structure to train up.

Special features

Crop rotation
Beans are legumes and so enrich the soil with Nitrogen.

Geography

Origin
Central America, South America
Natural climate
Mediterranean, Subtropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand, Clay, Compost
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Alkaline
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Green Beans are high in Vitamin C and fibre. They can be eaten fresh in salads or eaten as a cooked vegetable.

Personality

Family
Fabaceae
Flower colour
, White, Purples, Pink
Scent
Mild - Flowers have a slightly sweet smell

Problems

Beans are susceptible to a variety of insects with beetles being the most common; these insects can easily be picked off by hand or sprayed with soapy water. Excessive heat and humidity can cause a variety of disease problems in beans.

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