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Beans are one of the oldest and most versatile crops. Not only are they yummy to eat, whether it’s raw, steamed or stir-fried, they also put valuable nitrogen back into depleted soil. For us, beans are a rich source of folic acid, calcium, fibre, vitamins A, C and K.
The humble bean Phaseolus vulgaris, is a member of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family alongside peas and legumes. Beans are easy to grow as long as you follow the directions for the variety chosen.
Beans can be divided in two categories, bush beans and climbing beans. Bush beans are quicker to grow and harvest occurs around 50 to 60 days. They are ideal for pots and generally do not need support.
Climbing or pole beans utilise space as they grow upwards supported by poles or trellis. They may take a bit longer to harvest, around 60 to 90 days, but you get more beans from each plant.
Beans can be further subdivided via their pod. Green beans also known as string, snap or French beans have smooth, slender pods. Whereas runner beans have slightly coarser pods and tend to crop longer. Finally, there are the exclusive warmer climate crops such as soya or lima beans.
Follow our seven easy steps to successful bean harvest including tips along the way.