Re: [gardeners] What is it with me and beans?

George Shirley (
Fri, 07 Jul 2000 07:55:37 -0500

Bob, I can grow just about any bean without problems with the plant. It's
getting a decent harvest that often defeats me. It's getting that correct
combination of sun, shade, fertilizer, and water that takes some doing.

I started using Kentucky Wonder Bush beans several years ago and generally get
really good yields. This year I got poor yields but attribute that to rain and
sun at the wrong times. At least in a drought year I can control the water.

As to spotty germination, I've been growing beans since at least 1950. Started
at my Dad's side when a boy. Always, always have gotten spotty germination.  Due
to that I always overseed the row and then thin when 4 inches high. The beans
that grow in the Sonoran desert are bred for that weather though.


Bob Kirk wrote:
>   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?