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Topic: Bush Beans in a Container?

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Subject: Bush Beans in a Container?
Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 427
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We have a limited area of garden space that I could use to plant veggies. However, keeping the puppies out of it is a never ending battle. So I'm wondering if I could plant blue lake bush green beans in a container of some kind and actually get any green beans? Can I do this with radishes and cucumbers?

Thanks for your advice.

Subject: Me too
Date Posted: 5/3/2008 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 373
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I would like to know also.  We have limited garden space, but like fresh vegtables.  I have tomatoes, peppers and squash growing in large black plastic pots by a fence.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Frances

Also a librarian retiring in June.

Date Posted: 5/3/2008 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
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Yes, that can be done very well. I have a garden, but always plant  a few tomato plants in pots b/c they usually mature faster. It's easier to control water and plant food too.

Date Posted: 5/4/2008 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,926
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Bush beans are I think the easiest vegetable in the world to grow.  I have 6 small containers--each maybe 2 feet high and about a foot across.  I have great success with bush beans every year.   Just wait until all danger of frost is past before you plant.  I put about 15 sprouted beans (seeds) in each container (way more than the spacing they usually recommend).  And water faithfully every day.    I am sure you will have great success with bush beans!

Date Posted: 5/4/2008 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 427
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Thank you so much! I've got the seeds now I just need to find pots big enough for them.

 

 

Date Posted: 5/5/2008 5:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,926
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Michelle, here's another tip:  don't just plant the dry seeds, take the time to sprout them before you plant them.  That way you won't waste time and effort on a bad seed that will never sprout.  It's very easy to do.

Layer 1 or 2 paper towels, and dampen them.  Sprinkle the seeds down the middle of the surface.  Sprinkle more seeds than you think you will need, since some will be duds.  (I am doing a batch right now, and I put around 40 beans on the paper towel).  Then fold up the ends of the paper towel around the seeds, but keep the whole thing sort of flat, like an envelope.  Put the damp packet into a plastic bag (like a freezer bag), and fold the end over, but do not seal the end or zip it closed.  You want the air to be able to circulate.  Then, just put the baggie near a winow where it will get some direct sunlight every day.  You don't really have to do anything else.  As the days go by, you will see condensation cloud up the baggie, but that is okay.  You always want to see moisture inside the baggie.      

If you check it in about 4 days, you will see that most of the seeds have cracked open.  A few days or a week after that, you'll see the sprouts (growth tendrils).  And you can pick out and discard the duds, since if they haven't at least cracked open by then, they never will.  So, when you are ready to plant, just use the ones that actually sprouted, and you will be practically guaranteed a good crop.  Plus, by using sprouted seeds, you can position the bean when you plant it so the sprouted side is "up", thus making it easier for it to work it's way up through the dirt to the sun.

Good luck!!  Please let me know if you get a good crop!  

 



Last Edited on: 5/5/08 5:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/5/2008 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,665
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My experience with both container and ground-based vegetable gardening is almost everything does better if you start from small plants (like they sell at Lowes) rather than seeds. With containers the most important thing to do is to make sure the pot is big and heavy enough that the fully grown plant won't overturn it. Tomatoes do best if they have stakes and so do beans. Don't even try to grow underground veggies like potatoes, beets, carrots, etc. in containers no matter how big the container. They simply can't get all the nutrients they need from potting mixes (actually potatoes prefer a soil with a high ash content).

And remember, veggies need a lot of sun and quite a bit of water, so make sure you leave them in a wide open area and keep track of how much moisture they are getting!

Subject: seeds
Date Posted: 5/5/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 373
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I like the idea about sprouting the seeds.  Have you tried any other seeds?  Would like to hear more about this.

Frances

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 5:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,926
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Hi Frances, yes, I have sprouted many beans and seeds, although mostly not for gardening and planting---but for eating instead.  Those packages of bean sprouts that cost about $4.00 that you see in the produce section of your grocery store--you can grow yourself for pennies.  I grow my own frequently.   It's also very simple and very cheap.

All you need is a glass jar (like an instant coffee jar, or a salsa jar, washed clean of course), a piece of old panty hose or cheese cloth (about 5 inches square, washed clean of course [!]), and a rubber band.  No need to buy one of those fancy contraptions they sell.  Put about 1 tablespoon of beans into the jar, and then cover the opening of the jar with the piece of panty hose, securing it in place with the rubber band.  Then, pour in about 2 inches of water (run the water right through the panty hose, no need to remove it), slosh it around, then immediately drain out all the water, pouring through the panty hose, so the beans stay in the jar.  If you can, shake the beans around so they coat up the sides of the jar, rather than sitting in a clump at the bottom (although this step is not vital).  Now, just put the jar on the kitchen counter where it will get some sun, and leave it.  That's about it. 

Thereafter, two times a day (morning and evening), just rinse the beans again (pour in 2 inches of water, slosh aroound, and immediately pour it out).  That's it.  The idea is to never leave water in the jar because you don't want the seeds actually sitting in water, but you do want them always damp.  No need to rinse them more than twice a day, however. 

You will see the sprouts grow in just a couple of days.  You can eat them when they are small, about a half inch to an inch long, or let them grow longer, to maybe 3 or 4 inches, depending on the type of bean you have used.  I put them on sandwiches, instead of lettuce.  They're usually best to eat (in my opinion) about the 4th day.  That's why sometimes, I have a couple of jars going, started on different days.  I use all different kinds: mung, lentils, limas, etc.  Before eating, you may want to give them a final rinse out of the jar and drain on paper towels.  Experiment to learn which ones you like best.  And what you don't eat can be stored in a baggie in the fridge for a day or two.  Also, if you have a large family that likes them, you can use a bigger jar and more beans per batch.

Anyway, hope you find this info useful.  Have a great day!

 

 

 

Subject: sprouts
Date Posted: 5/6/2008 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 373
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I did that years ago, but have not recently.  You are inspiring me to try again.  We liked the mung beans best.  Great instead of lettuce on a sandwich.  Gotta try these again.