Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green Bean Harvest Time

Here they come!! The beans are on the bushes and picking has begun. Hooray! Green beans are the second most popular plant for gardeners after tomatoes. We picked our first crop this week and cooked them up in a big pot of boiling water along with potatoes, onions, and bacon. Add seasoning, and let it simmer for 45-60 minutes or till tender. The first batch of beans are always the best, and this pot was deeeee-licious.

My husband staggers the plantings so that they all don't mature at the same time. In this way we will just be finished picking the first planting when the next planting will be ready...ideally that is the way it should go...He usually plants another batch every three weeks. Just be aware of how many days till you can harvest the variet of bean you chose. Check the information on the back of the seed packet. Don't plant them too late in the gardening season or they won't be ready before the first frost. Bean plants do not like frost.

The first pickings should be worth your while, getting lots of crisp, tender beans from healthy bushes. Picking the beans encourages the plant to grow more beans. I don't like them when the pods have mature beans in them because the beans are tough. Everybody has a different take on their favorite flavor and texture, so if this is your first attempt at growing green beans ( also known as snap beans or string beans in different parts of the country), you can experiment with the maturity of the beans.

As the bean plants get bigger and thicker, you may have a problem with mold/fungus if there is too much moisture. Moist soil keeps the beans growing, but avoid over watering. I know Mother Nature may interfere with this plan by dumping rain on the garden, so work with her as your partner in gardening. Keep your eye on weather forecasts to judge how you care for your garden.

In the next few weeks I am going to experiment with a few green bean dishes and give you a report on the recipe. If you have a great bean dish you like to prepare for your family, please send it so I can try it too. Thank you.

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