Thursday, 29 November 2007

Bed 10: Beans

Bed 10:
Climbing Beans:

Due to our highly saline soil and water supply here in SA we have difficulty growing dwarf/bush beans successfully See fact sheet here

I have had success with the climbing varieties Blue Lake and Purple King.
This year I am returning to the Blue Lakes after trialling other types from Seed Saver's Network last year and having no success with them.

These Blue Lake (from Eden Seeds) beans were planted direct into Bed 10 (on 22 Oct 07) which is also a trial Wicker Water Bed along with Tomatoes. The beans are growing at the rear (south end) of the bed on a 1800mm high trellis. They also share the 50% overhead shade structure with the Tomatoes.
Being in a wicker bed they are watered from beneath the surface although when first planted they were watered via an in-line dripper to ensure the germinating seeds were receiving enough water.


Growing requirements:
Latin Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Family:Fabaceae
Soil: They like a fertile, non-acid, well drained soil.
Sow: Spring and Summer after all threat of frost.
pH: 6.5 - 7
Spacing: 15 cm apart along trellis.

My Notes
Give a liquid feed of Epsom Salts twice during growing season.
As legumes they do not require high levels of nitrogen in the soil.
Should be harvested as soon as ready to promote further fruit set.
In crop rotation they can follow Fruiting plants like Tomatoes and can be followed by the Cabbage family or other greens.


Good Companions:
Beetroot
Cabbage
Carrot
Parsley
Cucumber
Potatoes
Summer Savory

Bad Companions:
Fennel
Garlic
Kohlrabi
Onions
Sunflowers

Sources:
Organic Vegetable Growing by Annette McFarlane
The Australian Organic Gardener's Handbook by Keith Smith
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte
Southern Holdings Easy Guide to Companion Planting and Seed Sowing
Companion Planting in Australia by Brenda Little

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