I planted 3 varieties of bush beans back on May 6th. All 3 of them went into the new raised bed we just built. I’m trying an experiment this year with this new bed. Usually we will add several wheelbarrows full of compost to a newly created raised bed. This time, I’m planting beans directly into un-amended soil. Once I get the soaker hose put down, I am going to do a generous mulch of compost and grass clippings. At the end of the summer, the bean plants, compost, and grass clippings will get turned into the soil together right there in the raised bed, instead of being cleared away and taken to the compost pile in the backyard. Hopefully this works and saves us a bit of extra labor.
The 3 varieties of bush beans I am growing this year are Slenderette (I grew these last year), Velour (a purple pod), and Denver (new for me this year). Each variety got 1/3 of the raised bed.
My son was eager to help, but after about half a dozen rows his interest waned. I used a measuring tape as a rough guide. I was aiming for approximately 4 inch spacing in all directions. (I might regret plating the beans this dense when it comes time to harvest!)
It only took about 8 days until the first beans broke through the surface. I was pretty nervous about whether or not they would be able to push through the tough clay soil.
But they did!
My little helper has loved watering them often and they are almost all up and thriving. There’s been a few lost to hungry bugs (I think those grasshoppers have started munching already) or other causes, but for the most part things are looking good in the bean bed.
And this is how they look now:
You can see we got the weed cloth and mulch finished around the bed, so everything looks good in the park strip now. I just need to get the soaker hoses set up and mulch added so we don’t have to water by hand anymore.