Growing Climbing Beans

Latest Update 18th August 2017. 

Climbing Beans 
  • I grow climbing beans with a row on each side of a climbing frame.  With 2 climbing frames, that's a total of 4 rows.  Productivity has been excellent.
  • Most of the beans are preserved in a chest freezer, and will last my wife and I about a year.
  • Melbourne's hot dry summers are ideal for growing climbing beans, especially when grown in rich and moist organic soil.  
  • The raised bed in the picture is a Garden Ecobed with a built-in water tank.  The water wicks up into the soil continuously and maintains that essential moisture.
  • Organic climbing beans are very nutritious and find there way into most of our meals at harvest time.  Simply delicious.  
Details. 
  • Binomial name:                                        Phaseolus vulgaris
  • Family group:                                           Fabaceae.
  • Variety:                                                    Blue Lake Climbing.
  • Crop rotation group:                                  Legumes.
  • Garden bed type:                                      Garden Ecobed.
  • Recommended soil pH:                             6.0 - 7.5.
  • Minimum sun per day:                              8 hours.
  • Plant spacings (centres x rows):                200 x 300 mm.
  • Weeks to harvest:                                     9 - 11 weeks.
  • Good companion:                                     Beetroot. potato.
  • Climate:                                                   Warm temperate.
  • Geography:                                              Southern hemisphere. 
Nutrition.
  • This food is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. 
  • It is a good source of protein, thiamin, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fibre and folate.
  • More from nutrition data.self.com.
Maintaining Ecobed Productivity. 
  • Check out my blogpage which explains how I maintain productivity in my Ecobeds.  It describes how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants through their leaves. 
Propagating Seedlings. 
  • Check out my blogpage which explains how I propagate seeds.
Propagation Plan.
  • Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds.
Growing Instructions. 
  • Provide a frame to support the beans.  I use a custom designed relocatable frame which follows the legumes as they move from bed to bed in the crop rotation plan.
  • Sow 2 rows of climbing beans as soon as a bed has been prepared following the harvest of winter peas.   Leave the mulch in place just clear a small space for each plant.
  • Plant the rows 300mm apart and sow the seeds 200mm apart in each row.  Use a dibber (or your finger) to make 30mm deep holes in the soil and sow a seed in each hole.  Water generously with seaweed extract mixed with rainwater (suppliers dilution rate).
  • Use chicken wire netting (or similar) laid over the mulch where the beans have been sown and peg it down.  It protects the young seedlings from worm seeking birds.  The beans will grow through the netting and it can be left there until harvest.
  • Apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks with all the other edible plants.
Harvesting and storage
  • Harvest the beans as they fill their pods (usually from February onward).
  • Picking beans early encourages more flower and pod formation.  Use a pair of scissors to snip the pods off the vine to avoid damaging it. 
  • Climbing beans freeze well.  Just blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, cool, dry and put them in your freezer in a resealable bag. 
Organic Pest Control.
  • Climbing beans, like most vegetables, are vulnerable to attack from certain pests in my garden.  My blog on "Controlling Garden Pests" explains a little about these pests and what to do to protect plants from them.  For details click on the appropriate link below.
  • Slugs and snails.
  • Greenhouse whitefly.
  • Powdery mildew.