|Bush Green Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)|
Green beans are an easy to grow staple in many backyard gardens. They are also sometimes known as string beans, snap beans or French beans. No matter what you call them, they are a good addition to your garden and your table. As a legume they are known to have a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria that puts nitrogen back into the soil, and to be higher in protein than most other vegetables. Green beans come in bush and pole varieties. Bush beans usually grow no more than two feet tall and do not require support, while pole beans can grow over 8ft tall and require a pole or trellis for support. Often pole bean trellises form a teepee that is at least 6ft tall and 4ft in diameter with several beans planted around each leg of the teepee. Pole beans would be a perfect candidate for vertical gardening, and both bush and pole beans make good companion plants for high nitrogen users.
Plant green beans in well drained soil and full sun after the soil has warmed up in the spring. They can be planted in rows or squares, but should be space 3-4 inches apart and one inch deep. Maintain even moisture and watch for pests like beetles or slugs. (I have observed that the slugs in my garden have a liking for my purple green beans and are not willing to share if given the chance to populate.) Harvest green beans when they are firm and crisp. Be sure to hold onto the plant at the top of the bean when removing in order to prevent ripping off whole branches accidentally.