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bean Phaseolus vulgaris

Bean has been planted 78 times by Growstuff members.


bean is an annual crop (living and reproducing in a single year or less)

Median lifespan

65 days

First harvest expected

90 days after planting


bean plantings

Milpa - popcorn bean zucchini -- 29 June 2013

bean harvests

bean seeds

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Planted from


Harvested for



green bean
Phaseolus vulgaris
yardlong bean
Vigna unguiculata (sesquipedalis)
yellow bean
phaseolus vulgaris
lifespan 122 days

Crop Map

Only plantings by members who have set their locations are shown on this map.

What people are saying about beans

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How to save seeds

Beans, peas and corn: remove husks and allow seeds to dry out – this may take a couple of weeks, then remove casings and store.

Pumpkins and melons: seeds need to be washed and set aside to dry for a week or so before storage.

Lettuce, celery, parsnip, rocket, carrots, leeks, onions and radicchio: allow plants to set seed (tall stems of flowers will eventually appear), pick once the seed heads are brown and crisp sounding. Hang upside down in plastic bags for a week or so, rustle the remaining seeds out of the stems and store.

Cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, chillies and capsicums: scoop out flesh and wash through a sieve. Lay the seeds on a paper towel and place somewhere warm and dry for a week or two before storing. Be careful with chilli seeds as they can sting, so avoid touching your eyes after touching the seeds. Once completely dry, cut the paper towel into small pieces and store seeds on the towel in an envelope.

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Bean mosaic virus?

I never have good results growing beans here (SoCal, not too far from the high desert). Few ever sprout. Those that do never grow above 4-6" high and product 1-3 podseach, if they live long enough. (Note - I use legume inoculant on most, but not all, seeds of each type of bean. I always plant in a set of half soaked and half unsoaked. Because science. I also generaly plant new plants that I haven't yet had success with in a variety of soil types ranging from pure potting soil to unimproved local soil, generally a few seeds at a time at 2-3 week intervals during the months when conditions are favorable to sprouting (if I'm feeling particularly stubborn, I'll plant from february to july and from september to early december).

It was therefore with trepidation that I planted my first english peas (Green Arrow from Botanical Interests) last year. I was delighted when they grew well and produced many delicious pods.

I recall looking at the foliage toward the end of the season and thinking it looked... off. Weather-bitten and pitted. Not pretty. But the plant kept growing and producing. I figured it was the heat getting to it.

This year in addition to Green Arrow I planted Super Sugar Snap (from Renee's Garden) and Wando (from Botanical Interests). Sugar is doing fine (though I planted it late so it's just now flowering). Wando never game up. All the pea plants, while growing happily and producing, look funny. Sugar has white streaks.

I tried yard long beans this year. They came up but did not grow well. The foliage was warped, brittle, and had yellow splotches.

I looked through my seed packets. Of all the legumes I have planted here (peas, bush beans, pole beans, scarlet runner beans, yard long beans, two varieties of edamame, cowpeas, and sweet peas) only two of the packets say "Disease resistant."

Green Arrow and Super Sugar Snap. The two that actually grew.

So uhh... anyone have a favorite disease resistant variety of warm-season legume? The more heat tolerant the better. I want something for fresh eating (I'd be happiest with edamame but I'm not getting my hopes up), but I confess I'd be happy to grow a dry bean or even an ornamental just to HAVE SUCCESSFULLY GROWN A BEAN PLANT. (It is amazingly frustrating to have a garden overflowing with wonderful things like garlic and tomatoes and eggplant and funny-looking lettuces, only to be defeated by something traditionally grown as an exercise by kindergarteners! I don't even like green beans all that much!)

I'm betting on mosaic virus, although my experience diagnosing plant diseases starts end ends with the phrase "Google Image Search."

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Another week, another heap of things planted

I really should've got started on winter planting sooner, I think. Everything in the garden is in a lull right now. Although people near me are still blogging about the last of their crops from summer, all we have still going are some chillis and some basil. Lots of things died off in the summer's last heatwave a month or so back, and some of our crops were either disappointing in the first place ( zucchini ) or succumbed to powdery mildew ( cucumbers ). Sigh.

Anyway, everything's paused right now while we wait for the winter crops to come up. I've been planting things in seedling trays rather than direct in the tubs outside, partly because I need to do some work to clear out the dead remains of the summer crops and perk up the potting mix in the tubs for a new season, and partly because there are birds out there who love to scratch around in any bare dirt they can find, which makes direct planting a bit of a challenge.

I have two Ikea mini greenhouses (these ones), which hold 9 standard seedling punnets exactly, with no room to spare. Two weeks ago I planted the first one with various green leafies, beets, and celeriac; those sprouts are now starting to push out their second sets of leaves (except the celeriac, which is barely up). Today I planted another 9 punnets, again with green leafies and some celeriac and chives. I'm hoping to keep up an every-two-weeks schedule, and always have some advanced seedlings to replace any crops we harvest.

Today I also planted snowpeas, in three large tubs with three stakes set tripod-style in each one for them to grow up. I'm not sure how they'll turn out. I'm a little worried about the potting mix, as one of the tubs previously had some beans in it that really failed to thrive. So I took the mix from that pot, split it between the three I'm using, then topped up with a mixture of secondhand potting mix from other tubs, a bit of bought compost, and the composty-soily underlayer that I shovelled up when I dug up the messy old garden scrap heap last week.

I've been reading up a bit on potting mix and things that can go wrong with it, and I'm wondering whether my mix is too dense/wet/badly drained from repeatedly using it and adding compost each time? Perhaps I should add a bit of vermiculite or perlite or something next time round? Something to consider. Of course the other possibility is pH or nutrient imbalance. I did a very rough pH test over the kitchen sink with some vinegar and baking soda, but didn't see anything conclusive. Eventually I womaned up and bought this soil test kit from the Diggers' Club, which not only does pH but also NPK. And yeah, I finally got a Diggers membership. It had to happen sometime. (Can't help wondering whether it's a valid business expense. Hmmm!) Anyway, I guess when that arrives we'll see what's what.

In other news, last week when I cleaned up that compost corner, I also attacked a dead shrub in the front yard, which is the last shrub in the garden bed along the front fence. The landlords originally planted the yard with a bunch of low-maintenance rental-style shrubs which I mostly hate (except the lavender) but some of them haven't survived the dry summer. I can't say I'm very sorry. I wouldn't have ripped them up otherwise, but since they are dead I can now put that front garden to some useful purpose.

My first plan is to plant it with lupins and sweet peas, immediately, to grow through the winter and flower in early spring. Then I'll slash them down -- they're nitrogen fixers and should make good mulch -- and grow sunflowers and beans a pumpkins there for the summer. At least that's my current thought. I'm a little worried because the picket fence to the north may give a bit too much shade at first, but the more we get into summer the less shaded it is, and the taller the sunflowers/beans get and the sprawling the pumpkins get, the less they'll be affected anyway. At least that's my theory.

Apart from that, not much going on. I've been trying to do regular Harvest Monday and Thursday Garden Gobble posts over at my domestic blog though I missed TGG last week and I might miss HM this week unless I go pick some chillis or basil just to say I've got something. (Hmm! Makes me think of a Thai stirfry, now I say it like that. Hmm hmm hmmm.)

Work on Growstuff-the-site is slowish this fortnight because we have a lot of bureaucracy and business stuff to slog through, but I'm hoping I can get some coding time in later this week.

I think that is all. Phew.

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I'm way too excited about this for somebody my age.

There are a lot of beets coming up. In fact, way more sprouts than seeds I planted?? Do "beet seeds" actually each have more than one seed in them? Am I going to have to figure out how to thin them earlier than I expected? Possibly I should have done more research than just reading the backs of the dollar-store seed packets.

There is also a bean that does not quite have any leaves showing but I can see the white neck of the sprout just under the soil, about to unfurl.


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Yay, seeds arrived. Gonna go on a planting binge tomorrow. Especially since tomorrow is tomato day!

Got: Golden purslane Watercress Yard long bean Blackeye pea Charentais melon Cantaloupe (Minnesota Midget) Shelling pea (I ran out)

I've never grown melons before, it will be an adventure. I prepared a little raised bed filled with potting soil far away from the other beds so that they have plenty of room, though I haven't decided between sprawl and trellis. Possibly I will trellis the cantaloupe since they are supposed to be small.

I probably could've planted tomatoes two or three weeks ago the weather has been so hot. (And of course now driving all the way out to descanso gardens for the tomato festival doesn't sound like fun, and I'm tempted to see what they have at the local nursery. But I had such good yields with the kinds that I got at the tomato festival last year. I grew Sunsugar and Jetsetter and they both produced like crazy from the beginning of june to mid-october. Almost half a year of tomato season. I also got decent yields from Copper River and Mister Stripey, but I planted the wrong Mister Stripey somehow and the tomatoes just weren't good. And I don't really like green tomatoes. This year I'd like to grow Sunsugar and Jetsetter again, a paste type, and one random long-season heirloom, whatever looks interesting at the time. Maybe I'll grow Brandywine even though everyone says it never grows well in SoCal.

(Looking at tomato pr0n online is making driving to the festival seem less of a pain, at least...)

At least one edamame plant from the first planting looks like it may actually survive/grow. Second planting, of course, was only a week ago and hasn't come up yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Will this be the year I actually successfully grow beans?

Transplanting the cauliflower in early march looks like it was a good idea (aside from the fact that the horse broke into the garden and ate all but one). The one remaining plant has set properly instead of growing tall and weedy, so I will probably have one decent cauliflower this year and a better idea for what to do next year. Growing brassicas here is a little like trying to get blood from a stone, the climate just isn't suited, but homegrown cauliflower is just so much better than store-bought.