|Variety||Blue Lake 274|
|Days To Maturity||55|
|Plant Height||16 in|
|Fruit Length||5.5 in|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
An ancient crop found on every continent except Antarctica, the bean is a staple of the human diet in all cultures. Packed with fiber and protein (including the vital amino acid lysine), it is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C; folic acid; iron; calcium; and phosphorus. Eaten with certain grains, such as corn, it makes a complete protein. Some varieties of bean can be eaten fresh, while others can be stored for many months. Doubtless the bean is responsible for the survival of countless peoples during the (at least) 9 thousand years it has been cultivated as a food crop.
How fortunate, then, that the bean should be both delicious and easy to grow! You don't need a lot of garden space for beans -- they even thrive in containers -- and few plants are easier to grow. If you've got sunshine and soil, we've got a great bean just waiting for you!
Choosing a Variety
There are as many types of beans as there are gardeners to grow them! Grown almost everywhere in the world, beans are amazingly various, with some 4,000 varieties currently available. Beans grow in two ways: vining, which we call Pole beans; and mounding, which we call Bush beans. That said, let's quickly narrow the selection by categorizing beans into their 3 main groups:
Snap or String - These are young beans intended to be eaten "pod and all" when fresh, or to be frozen or canned when young and tender. The pods are succulent and flavorful, making them a popular home garden choice. These 'green' beans can come in colors like green, gold, purple, or red, and the pods can be range from long and thin to stout or flat. Bush snap beans mature in about 45 to 55 days. Pole snaps take 60 to 70 days.
Green/Shelling - Also intended to be eaten when young (that's what "green" means; it doesn't indicate the color of the pods!), green or shelling beans are grown for the tender young seeds inside the pods. Limas (butter beans) are a popular green/shelling bean. Bush green/shelling beans harvest in 70 to 80 days; pole green/shelling beans are ready in 80 to 95 days.
Dry - Dry or hard-shelled beans are meant to be eaten after the seeds inside the pod have dried out, though many varieties, such as our own Borlotto Solista, can be picked young for fresh eating, too. Ideal for long-term storage, dry varieties were the beans of choice in home gardens until the early 20th century, when advances in storage methods and improved varieties of snap and green beans made fresh beans more readily available and much more tasty. And dry beans can be eaten young at about 90 to 100 days, but will take more weeks to dry completely in the pod for harvesting as "dry" or storage beans.
When to Start
Direct-sow beans outdoors in spring and early summer when the soil has warmed up and night temperatures remain above 55 degrees F.
If you live in a short growing season or prefer to begin the seeds indoors, sow them in large peat pots no more than 4 weeks before you plan to transplant them. Beans prefer not to be disturbed after sowing, so transplant can be chancy.
How to Start
General information for all types of beans
Beans need full sun and deep, rich, well-drained soil to grow their best. As soon as the soil is workable in spring, dig down about 8 inches in the areas you are planning to sow your beans. Work a good amount of rich compost, manure, or other organic matter into the soil. If you are planting pole beans, consider their position in relation to the rest of the vegetable garden. When the beans get tall, they will cast shade for several feet, so plan accordingly: prepare the soil on the northern end of the veggie patch to avoid shading other plants, or farther south if some shade is desired for neighboring plants.
Sow beans about 1 to 1½ inches deep. Sprinkle inoculant as you plant, to increase the nitrogen-fixing ability of the bean plants.
Expect high germination rates from your beans. You should see the first sprouts in about 6 to 10 days.
Bush beans: Space beans about 3 inches apart in single or double rows 18 to 24 inches apart. For a continuous season of bush beans, do not plant all the beans at once. Make successive plantings every 3 weeks up to 2 months before your first anticipated fall frost.Pole beans: Space 6 to 8 beans evenly around the base of the pole or other support. If growing the beans up a trellis, space them 3 inches apart. If growing the beans up a freestanding fence, space them 3 inches apart along both sides of the fence.
Beans are open-pollinated plants, not hybrids. They are self-pollinating, and technically can be cross-pollinated, but this is very rare. The standard advice is to separate different types of beans by physical space or natural barriers (such as high walls or tall, dense plants), but gardeners constantly report growing many different beans side by side with no apparent cross-pollination.
If you want to can or freeze your bean crop, consider growing varieties that harvest all at once. Snap bush beans, because of their shorter crop time, are an excellent choice.
Consider growing a Three Sisters planting of corn, pole beans, and squash. This Native American technique is one of the best examples of companion planting for mutual benefits. Not only do each of the 3 plants help the others grow their best, but the beans and the corn, if eaten together, form a complete protein! And nothing looks quite as exciting in the vegetable garden as a Three Sisters display.
Harvest fresh beans before you can see the bulge of a developing bean through the green pod. At that stage, the bean is over-mature, the pod is tough, and the beans are best eaten as a shelled bean.
Store unwashed fresh beans in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for a few days. Washing the beans before storage causes them to decay quickly. Instead, wash them just before serving or cooking.
Harvest dry beans when the pods are completely brown and dried out, but before the pods have split open. The seeds inside should be hard.
Many edible bean varieties are so lovely you may wish you had them in the flower garden, and several types of beans are now grown primarily for their ornamental effect. Scarlet runner and <#prodlink#"5511">dwarf runner are all beautiful ornamental beans no sunny garden should lack. For something a little out of the ordinary, consider the magnificent Hyacinth Bean.
Beans are a very easy and successful crop, but to make the most of them, follow three simple rules:
Pests and Problems to Watch For
Green, Snap, French, String, and Wax Beans are all produced by this vining or bushing, annual plant. Harvest when the beans are succulent, just before they are mature. Keep them picked to keep the plants producing. To dry beans, allow them to remain on the plant until they turn brown and begin to shatter
Note: These seed counts are estimates. The actual number of seeds per ounce/pound may vary slightly.
|(P) Pkt *||200||100||160||(P) Pkt *||200||200|
|(M) 1/4 lb||575||275||375||(G) 1/4 oz||450||2000|
|(N) 1/2 lb||1150||550||750||(H) 1/2 oz||900||4000|
|(L) 1 lb||2300||1100||1500||(J) 1 oz||1800||8000|
|(R) 2 lbs||4600||2200||3000||(K) 2 oz||3600||16000|
|(S) 5 lbs||11500||5500||7500|
* A few varieties may have a different (P) Pkt seed count than the quantity listed; check the specific variety's description for the number of seeds per pkt.
Superior Germination Through Superior SciencePark Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.
Superior Standards - University InspectedTo make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.
Hand Packed By Experienced TechniciansPark Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.
When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.
The Park Seed Gold StandardAnd many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier. When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!
Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).
Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.
The ancient Native American technique of growing Corn, Beans, and Squash together in an arrangement called the Three Sisters is the ultimate in companion planting and helps increase harvests, naturally!
Corn acts as a support for climbing bean vines, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil for the high feeding requirements of corn and squash, and the squash provides mulch and root protection for the corn and beans! After cooperating beautifully in the garden, corn and beans form a complete protein when eaten together! How's that for a mutually beneficial relationship?
The Three Sisters are all easy to direct sow in the garden and are a great project for children, teaching them about the beauty of natural harmony while providing a fast-growing reward for their efforts.
Make the best possible use of your garden space this season, and try growing the Three Sisters! Just follow the easy steps listed below, fertilize well, plant other companions like herbs to assist with pest control, and you'll be harvesting your best crop in no time!
In May or June when soil has warmed:
Shape a flat-topped circular mound of soil about a foot high and 2 feet across at the top, sloping outward toward the base. Plant a circle of corn seeds on top, about 5 or 6, and water them in well, tamping down your soil mound firmly so it doesn't wash away in the first rain. Space the mounds 3 or 4 feet apart in the garden.
Since all corn grows on sturdy, dependable stalks, the variety you choose depends on the flavor, disease resistance, and holding ability you want. Sugar Buns is a Sugar Enhanced (SE) yellow hybrid with absolutely scrumptious golden kernels and is positively scrumptious. For SE whites, you can't beat Silver Princess, with extra-long ears bursting with flavor. And for the sweetest ears yet, you absolutely must try Corn Mirai, available in Yellow, White, Bicolor, and even a Mini!
About two weeks later:
When your corn reaches about 5 or 6 inches high, plant Bean seeds (6 to 8 of them) around the edges of the flat top or about halfway down the sloping sides of the circular mound. Push the seeds down deep into the soil and, if you're planting on the slope, make sure the soil is nice and firm. Add a bit of Nature's Aid at planting time to help the Beans fix nitrogen.
To get your Beans to climb up the cornstalks, choose Pole rather than Bush varieties. Smeraldo is far and away the best-tasting Pole Bean, with flat pods up to 10 inches long on vigorous 4- to 6-foot vines. Park gardeners rave about Kwintus, a super-early performer with succulent pods on stringless 8- to 10-inch pods. And is the classic name in Beans, with top-quality dark green pods that are both stringless and fiberless, even if you pick them a bit late. We even have Blue Lake available in organic seed!
One week or so after that:
Plant Squash seeds around the base of the mound, on flat ground. You can make them radiate around the mound, or just go in the direction you have available space! 6 to 8 seeds in a ring around the base of the mound is usually plenty.
The traditional Squash family member for this Sister is Pumpkin, with its all-American flavor and long growing season. For a quicker harvest, grow Summer Squash varieties such as organic Early Summer Crookneck or Zucchini such as space-saving Eight Ball Hybrid.
When everything begins growing...
Thin the plantings to 2 or 3 Corn stalks, each with no more than 2 Bean plants winding around it. (You'll need to help the Beans get started growing up the stalks). The Squash is going to vine along the ground, so the number of plants you need depends on how far apart your mounds of corn and beans are, how long the vines get, and how much walking space you need in the garden.
Add a FOURTH sister: Sunflowers!
Sunflowers attract birds, thus tempting them away from your corn plants. They shade the vining bean plants while also adding support. Plus, they're beautiful! It's a win-win situation!
A superfood is one that is exceptionally nutritious, with low caloric content and high amounts of fiber, protein, or vital nutrients. A balanced diet containing many (or all) can have miraculous health benefits, preventing and even reversing almost every negative condition associated with age.
Take a look at this rundown of what exactly makes these plants so great, and start planning your life-changing garden today!
The average Apple contains only 47 calories, but it is packed with vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids) that fight the negative effects of aging. So, it’s true what they say about an apple a day, but that isn’t the only food that should be a staple of a healthy diet!
Avocado is the richest fruit in terms of folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium. They are also a great source of the “good fat”: oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, so enjoy that wonderful flavor with relish!
Beans, especially lentils, are a great alternative to meat, adding just as much protein without all that saturated fat.
Blueberries are one of the richest sources of phytonturients (antioxidants), which can help improve health and, most importantly, prevent cancer! 1 to 2 cups of blueberries a day will provide a good daily dose of these miraculous phytonutrients.
Broccoli is notorious for its health benefits, and for good reason! Extremely low in calories and extremely high in a wide variety of vitamins (plus antioxidants), Broccoli is truly a fool-proof food. Eating it has a myriad of health benefits, from boosting the immune system to improving heart health.
Cinnamon is not just a delicious spice to please your palate, it has also been found to have unexpected health benefits: it is a naturally antibacterial that can stop the growth of bacteria like E. Coli in food, and it is also a great glucose moderator, helping people with type II diabetes decrease their glucose levels, triglycerides, and LDLs.
Garlic contains many nutrients and amino acids, but is best known for the sulfur compound allicin, an amino acid that serves as a general health promoter, fighting everything from viruses to old age, arthritis, stroke, and cancer. This is why Garlic has been used medicinally since at least 2600 BC.
Kiwi is extremely rich in Vitamin C (more than oranges), which can boost immune function, fight free radicals, and improve heart health. Kiwi has even been shown to reduce the formation of blood clots, and it is a rare low-calorie source of Vitamin E (most sources are high in fat).
Onions have recently been found to produce a powerful compound when cut: thiopropanal sulfoxide. It is this substance that gives onions their disease-fighting and antioxidant properties, and it is also the reason for their pungent aroma and eye-watering effects. For the greatest health benefits, let your onions sit for a few minutes between cutting and cooking so that this compound has enough time to form.
Oranges are well known as an important source of Vitamin C, and they also contain a flavonoid called hesperidin, which has powerful antioxidant and antimutagenic properties on its own, and also amplifies those properties of Vitamin C, creating a very powerful synergy for preventing many types of cancers, as well as promoting general health.
Pomegranate juice has the highest polyphenol concentration of any fruit juice, making it a fantastic antioxidant. It is also rich in Potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.
Pumpkin is the healthiest of all the gourds, being extremely high in fiber but low in calories, and having a uniquely potent combination of carotenoids. The carotenoids in pumpkins—most notably alpha- and beta-carotene—promote skin health and eye health, and also help prevent cancer, most notably breast and lung cancers.
Soy is an amazingly affordable and abundant source of protein. Not only is it the most concentrated plant protein available, it also provides small doses of minerals, phytontrients, omega 3 fatty acids, and all nine essential amino acids. Soy really does have everything!
Spinach is a great source of iron and also contains a truly impressive array of all types of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Popeye’s favorite veggie is reputed to prevent everything from cardiovascular disease to colon cancer to cataracts.
Tomatoes are so delicious that, let’s be honest, most of us would eat them no matter how bad for us they were. Luckily, tomatoes are good for you, helping to prevent cancer and heart disease, due largely to the rare antioxidant Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color.
Park Seed is the best source for all these foods—our seeds are a great value because of their low price and high germination rate, while our plants are well-established and guaranteed true to type, providing you surefire bumper crops of these Super edibles!
And growing your own superfoods doesn’t just save you money—it also has added health benefits compared to the food you would get at the supermarket. First of all, you can carefully control any chemicals used in your own garden, so you know your family isn’t going to be adversely affected by the pesticides, preservatives, hormones, and artificial coloring that gets into supermarket food.
Secondly, fresh foods right from the garden actually serve up much more nutrition to your body than store-bought foods.
Scientists have found that vegetables and fruits begin to lose nutritional value once they are picked, and that key nutrients degrade when cooked. So, it turns out that even some super foods aren’t that great for you once they spend several days getting to your kitchen and then you have to cook them.
This just confirms what wise gardeners have been saying forever—the healthiest foods are the ones that you eat fresh right from your garden! Invest in a season’s worth of superfoods for you and your family—it’s just as good for you as getting a gym membership, but so much more affordable!