Thursday, May 9, 2013

Planting Butter Beans

Sieva Butte Beans

It was another day of digging and pulling up tenacious dollar weeds in the Back Forty. We dug out a garden strip of about two feet wide and twenty feet long for planting beans.  The bean poles were already in place and we made a furrow on either side of them,  We partially filled the furrows with commercial compost already containing fertilizer and is made to retain moisture.  This strip is separate from our regular garden because we needed additional space.  

Our choice of butter beans is 'Sieva.'  It is a climber and needs support.  We put down five (5) seeds of butter beans together in hills in the furrows.  We left enough space between the hills for a hoe or my hand to remove weeds in the future.  We covered the beans and gently tapped down the soil.

Professional gardeners recommend that you space seeds 6 - 8 inches apart in the rows and leave 18 - 30 inches between the rows.  It will take 7 days for the beans to germinate and 40 - 65 days to mature.

Seed Testing:  To make sure that the seeds will germinate, we test the seeds.  This is especially important when we save the seeds from one season to another.  We wet a small dish cloth and put ten seeds on the towel and fold it up.  The towel is placed on a plate and we make sure it stays moist.  How good the seeds are is determined on the how many sprouted.  If half of the seeds sprouted, we double the amount of seed to plant.  If less than 50% sprout then we throw them away.

Tomorrow's topic:  Potato Harvest

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