Are beans the eas­i­est vege to grow?

NZ Gardener - - Letters -

In most of New Zealand, you can start sow­ing dwarf and climb­ing beans this month. Sow a row or two ev­ery cou­ple of weeks and you should get a steady sup­ply of pods from these pro­lific plants from now un­til Jan­uary. But re­mem­ber beans are frost ten­der, so if you think you might still get a late frost or if the soil is cold to the touch, then wait un­til later in the month or even Novem­ber. Or else, if you grow the peren­nial ‘Scar­let Run­ner’ beans, when you see the plants pop back up out of the ground, you’ll know it’s warm enough to start your other beans from seed. Give beans a sunny spot in the gar­den, with rich moist soil and don’t let plants dry right out (par­tic­u­larly if you are grow­ing them in pots). Beans will slow down or stop pod­ding if they get heat-stressed, plus heat-stressed plants are more vul­ner­a­ble to at­tacks by sap-suck­ing green vege bugs. Space seeds at least 10cm apart and bury the seed about 3cm deep. Leave about 50-60cm be­tween each row. Slugs and snails love beans, so if those gas­tropods are a prob­lem at your place, start seed in trays and plant out when es­tab­lished and lay snail bait when you do. Climb­ing beans need some­thing to scram­ble up, so plant near a wall or trel­lis or give them an obelisk or a sim­ple bam­boo teepee.

Start your beans.

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