[gardeners] What is it with me and beans?

Bob Kirk (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Thu, 6 Jul 2000 22:16:14 -0500 (CDT)

  No, not that. Just plain trying to grow them.

Forget the annual attempts to start a few Roma pole beans. All Burpee seed:
no doubt there's better, but if it's this bad how could they keep selling
it year after year without a peep of protest?
   Early Bush Italian, Roma Bush, French Filet beans. Six seeds each sown
one per 3.5" pot of Stronglite bark based mix.  With careful attention to
bringing the flat inside for cool weather or at least sticking it in the
truck cab overnight.
  Sprouted three each of Romano & French, no Early. Replanting gaps with 2
seeds/pot in home made peat:perlite:perlite mix brought the count up to six
French, five Roma and three Early (two severely stunted, one of which would
not survive).

   All set out, now blooming. Extended the row by direct-seeding two reps
of 3 seeds/hill of each of the 3 cvv. Of which two hills have sprouted two
and three plants of Roma and Early respectively and two more showed signs
of sprouting which disappeared despite hot sunny days, two good rains and
enough watering to prevent the soil ever crusting. BTW, 5 for 18 is as good
or better than I've ever done with direct-seeded Romano pole bean seed.

   Plus a few nights even into the 40's, but that's (almost) typical of
Kansas in July. Anyway, fer catsake, beans grow in the Sonoran desert.
Lewis and Clark ate Sioux or Mandan-grown beans in Dakota. They can't be
this hard to grow, right?
   Or is that just what to expect from selected varieties - that they
should be about the most intractable large seeds (of maybe 100+) that
I've ever tried to grow?