Soil Inoculant for Green Beans
Green beans and all legumes are nitrogen fixing plants. This means they take nitrogen out of the air and fix it into the soil.
This is actually done by bacteria that the bean plants have a symbiotic relationship with. The bean plants play host to the bacteria that take up residence in the plants root systems forming nodules in the roots and the bacteria produce nitrogen the plant needs to grow.
The bean plants are not very selective of their guests and will sometimes take up bacteria strains that produce little or no nitrogen.
This soil inoculant will fill the surrounding soil with the right bacteria strains to ensure that the bacteria taken up by the bean plants are beneficial nitrogen producing bacteria. This is a good way to organically improve soil health.
Best Soil & Soil PH for Green Beans
Green beans can do well in a wide range of soils and soil PH ranges. They grow best with loamy soil that has a PH of between 6.0-7.0.
Loamy soil is a mixture of three particles sand, silt, and clay. The combination of these different particles creates the perfect soil.
The size difference in the particles allows for air, water, and roots to travel freely through it and the different properties of the particles allows for good moisture retention but also good drainage.
The best way to make sandy or heavy clay soil more loamy is not to add one or the other but to add organic material, compost. Adding organic material gives soil a better texture and adds nutrients and beneficial soil bacteria.
To gain access to huge amounts of compost call your local city governments. Cities collect grass clippings and leaves and pile them into huge mulch piles that are generally open to the public.
To prepare the soil for green beans use a shovel or spade and work the soil about 18″ down. This will break up any compacted areas and allow the bean roots to grow more freely and soil to drain better.
Beans will do well as long as the soil they’re planted in soil that drains well and the bean plants have plenty of sun.
Best Fertilizer for Green Beans
Beans are considered light feeders and are nitrogen fixing plants. Use an all-purpose fertilizer as directed before planting and once or twice during a green beans life cycle will give great yields.
Like most plants, green beans need the most nutrients at flowering and the start of fruit production so at the beginning of flowering is a great time to give a last dose of fertilizer to the plants.
Fertilizers are labeled with a N-P-K ratio, that’s Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium. These are the three main nutrients plants need followed by calcium, magnesium, sulfur, etc.
This home test kit will tell you your soils nutrient levels for 13 nutrients as well as the soil PH.
Jack’s Classic is a standard all purpose 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer. You can use half the amount the directions call for and make it a 10-10-10 fertilizer if you want to give a smaller does.
A good organic fertilizer is Organic Plant Magic. It measures 6-5-5 +Ca. It has a wide mix of different organic matters and 10 different beneficial soil bacteria strains.
Do Green Beans Need Full Sun?
Beans like full sun. Full sun is at least 6 hours a day. At the beginning of the growing season check which areas of your garden have full sun, partial shade, or full shade throughout the day.
If you’re gardening in a tight space there are ways to add light to the garden. You can take a piece of cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. Use the panel as a reflector and place it where it makes the most sense. You can use mirrors and I’m sure there are lots of other tricks I don’t know to add light to the garden.
Although beans like full sun they do not do great in consistent high temperatures above 85 degrees. Putting mulch on the soil and regular watering can help keep the soil temperature down.
Watering Green Beans
Green beans need about an inch of water a week while in the vegetative state and once they start flowering they need about 2 of water a week. This includes rainfall.
It’s a good idea to water right after a short rainfall so that water penetrates deeper into the ground and will still be available to the plants after the topsoil dries.
Use a rain gauge with a wide mouth to determine how much rain has fallen and how much water your sprinkler puts off within a time range.
To check if the beans need to be watered feel down 3-4 inches into the dirt; if it’s moist let it be and if it’s dry water.
Another sign for when to water is wilting of the leaves. Wilting during a hot day is normal and the leaves should perk back up later at night or by the next morning. If you see wilted leaves early in the morning you probably need to water and should check the soil.
What Temperature Is Too Cold for Green Beans?
Green beans grow best with temperatures from 60-80 degrees. You want most of the green beans plant production to take place in months with the average lows above 50 degrees. Temperatures lower than this will noticeably slow down production and lessen yields.
The earliest you want to plant green beans outside is when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees or above. Use a soil thermometer to know when to plant most vegetable seeds outside.
Please comment below with any of your own thought or tips on growing bean beans.