Planting: Top 5 Tips for planting Beans

Planting: Top 5 Tips for planting Beans

Beans are really one of my go to crops each year! They are the kind of crop that very rarely fails and even the kids derive plenty of pleasure from snacking on raw beans and picking bucket loads on a hot summer evening.

Beans are great for the soil too. Legumes fix nitrogen back into the soil which is great after ripping out nitrogen hungry plants like potatoes, brassicas and leafy greens.

Here are my 5 Top Tips for growing beans: 

PLANTING YOUR BEANS – Beans are really easy to grow. Make small runs about 25mm deep and drop a seed about every 10cm (I plant 2×1.5m rows). Backfill with a light covering (about 25mm) and press down for good seed contact before watering. Unless it’s really hot and dry you won’t need to water again until shoots appear.

SUCCESSION PLANTINGS – I plant 3 succession crops, once every month, after the initial planting. Some people plant every 2 weeks but I find this gives me too many beans to handle!

DON’T OVER FEED WITH NITROGEN – since beans already fix nitrogen you won’t need to feed them with it. In fact, too much nitrogen may too give you many leaves and not enough beans.

PICK BEANS YOUNG & REGULARLY – Young beans taste better than old woody ones and regular visits to the garden will prolong the harvest.

PINCH BEANS OFF – This is hard when kids are harvesting, but always try to pinch beans off the plants with your thumb and fore finger. Pulling beans can damage the plant, break off entire limbs or even pull plants out of the ground!

Happy gardening!

Planting: Top 5 Tips for Tomatoes

Planting: Top 5 Tips for Tomatoes
There are is lots of debate about how to best grow tomatoes (and I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below) but here are my TOP 5 TIPS for fantastic tomatoes.

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1. DRIP WATER – Tomatoes don’t like overhead watering so run drippers or “leaky hose” to water them below the foliage and avoid “early blight”

2. COMPOST SOIL – Tomatoes need some good quality compost in their soil and even a small amount just below the roots at planting so they grow into it and get a boost later on in the season

3. TRELLIS OR STAKE – To keep plants from breaking or falling over and getting wet foliage, tie the plants to a stake or trellis as they grow

4. PINCH OUT SIDE SHOOTS – Some people prune their tomatoes, others don’t. I prune them by cutting off lower branches and pinching out side shoots. This allows more air around the plants to lessen the chance of disease and helps to grow less but better quality fruit!

5. SPACE IS KEY – Don’t crowd out your plants but give them plenty of space, 75-100cm between each plant! This will help them breathe and lessen the chance of diseases that like a warm humid environment.

Editors note: This article was first published on the Donald Veggie Patch. Republished with permission.