The Beans got Bumped

I finally pulled the bush string beans. Now you see them…DSCN1577

Now you don’t… 09-02-08 (9)

The plants still looked pretty good, that’s why it was hard for me to make the decision to pull them.  I have a tendency to hold on to things if they’re working even a little bit.  The string beans were still producing just a little bit, but I’m glad I pulled them. Now the bell peppers, which I absolutely love, will have more sunshine. And since they’re putting on another flush of flowers, I’m glad to help them out with more sunshine.I have to disagree with the spacing recommendation by Mel Bartholomew, the writer of “The Square Foot Garden” book.  He said you can put nine bush beans in one square 3x3x3 or maybe it was even 16 (4x4x4x4).  I only put four in each square and they were way too crowded which I think hampered production.  To keep them as contained as I could in their little squares I used tomato cages.  The beans were hard to find, and I’d miss too many that would end up too tough to eat.  Most of the time I’d rinse them and eat them raw, and when they got too big they were just plain nasty.  Here is a link to a really good summary of Mel Bartholomew’s book on the square foot method.Next year I’ll try planting the bush beans two to a square.  That way I’ll have eight plants with room to grow and I’ll be able to see the beans on the plant instead of 16 plants crowded together and I miss half the beans.Another thing I disagree with.  Mel talks about watering your plants in terms of cups of sun-warmed rain water.  I agree that rain water does wonders for plants, but my whole garden would be dead if I went with cups of water.  I found that everything does really well if I water at least every other day.  My boxes are raised over the existing soil, so maybe that has something to do with it. Gardening is an experiment in progress.  Every gardener finds what works best for them.

Happy Gardening!!!!

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