Sprouting Green Beans

Row of green beans start to sprout.

Green Beans, August 23, 2013

Green beans were planted on Saturday, August 17 and some have sprouted.

In order to keep them alive and growing, my husband placed a soaker hose along each row for more water to the roots, and less wasted in sprinkler irrigation. We tried drip hoses, but the time and cost were higher—and the soaker hoses can be run very low to conserve water.

With about 60 days to green beans, these should produce the first round about mid-October. If we have any early freezes or frosts, we’ll cover them with tarps at night and open them to air (when above freezing) in the day.

Two additional pictures (below) show the green beans sprouting through the row of ground.

Green bean sprout shown pushing up through the ground

Green Bean Sprout

Three different plants at three different ages.

Sprouting Progression

Green Beans

green beans may2013

These green beans were picked on May 31, 2013. Green beans can be grown as either Spring or Fall garden vegetables; the Fall garden often produces more than the Spring garden–once the heat of late Spring arrives, the plants will die back. Last Fall we covered the plants with a tarp for  Frosts and Freezes through November. The deer love green beans and will carefully pick all ripe beans–we keep green beans close to the house with a fenced yard and it has worked so far. During the drought, however, the deer came into the yard to forage acorns and other green plants. As the beans mature, pick them and the plants will continue to add new ones.

Once picked, soak the beans in water for 30-45 minutes, then drain the water, put them in a small colander and store in the refrigerator for at least a week. The beans can also be frozen. Five steps to freezing; 1) Snap the ends off the beans (and cut to desired size), 2) blanch with hot water (I drop them in a pot of boiling water, wait 30 seconds, then drain in a colander in sink), 3) place beans on a  cookie sheet and cool about 10 minutes, 4) place cookie sheet of beans in the freezer about 30 minutes, and 5) place frozen beans in freezer bags—the beans won’t stick together and you can select however many desired and store the rest.


Freshly dug potatoes


Nearly 50 pounds of potatoes were dug on June 10, 2013. These potatoes went through 3 heavy frosts that caused significant above ground plant dieback. Had there been no frosts, we probably would have easily doubled the harvested weight. There are 9 pounds of potatoes in this large bowl. Red potatoes are Red Lasota and White potatoes are Kennebec. Both potatoes performed exceptionally well this year! Potatoes need loose soil; watch for potato rot with excessive moisture — especially if it’s hot outside!

Environmental Effects on Corn

Here is an example of  the effects of environment.

This year, we planted corn 10 days later than last year (it was cooler than usual this spring).

We planted about the same number of seeds, and most of the seeds germinated. Unfortunately, there were 3 frosts and light freezes from mid April until mid May. Some corn plants were damaged by the frost — despite being covered with hay mulch for protection.

On May 19, 2012, we harvested an abundance of corn (32 quart bags in the freezer!); however, on May 24, 2013, the corn was still at least 3 weeks from mature and fewer than half the plants survived. With heavy rains starting in late April, the grass has nearly taken  over.

May 19, 2012 corn

May 19, 2012 corn

May 24, 2013 corn

May 24, 2013 corn