Tendercrop Green Beans: How To Plant Tendercrop Beans
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By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Tendercrop bush beans, also sold by the name of TendergreenImproved, are an easy-to-grow variety of green beans. These are a favorite withproven taste and texture. Featuring stringless pods, they are easy to get readyfor cooking. These green beans are low maintenance if provided with the basicsof care. Read on to learn more.
How to Plant Tendercrop Beans
When you begin growing Tendercrop beans, plant them in theright soil, in an appropriate location for an easy and productive growingseason.
Get bean seeds in the ground as early as possible. Plantthem when all danger of frost is passed. Temperatures will have warmed by then.This includes soil temperatures. Wait about 14 days past your last frost date.
These beansgrow in USDA hardiness zones 5-11. Learn your zone and find out the best time toplant in your area. They take approximately 53 to 56 days to reach maturity.Those in warmer zones have time to plant an additional crop for families thatlove green beans.
Prepare the planting bed ahead of time. Remove weeds andgrass, then till the soil to about 12 inches (30 cm.) down. Mix in compost orother amendments to improve soil fertility for this crop. Green beans like aslightly acidic soil, with a pH of about 6.0 to 6.8. Take a soil test if you’renot aware of your soil’s current pH level.
Growing Tendercrop Beans
These meaty, stringless pods grow prolifically. Plant seedstwo inches (5 cm.) apart in 20-foot rows. Make the rows two feet apart (60 cm.).Some growers use a layer of compost between the rows to keep weeds down. This alsoenriches the soil. You may use mulch to keep weeds from sprouting too. Theroots of Tendercrop green beans don’t like competition from weeds.
Keep the soil moist after planting seeds. Expect them tosprout in about a week. Thin them out when they are 3 or 4 inches (7.6 to 10cm.). Cultivate around plants regularly until blooms develop, then stop. Anydisturbance may cause blooms to fall off.
Learn to water green beans properly if there is no rain.This helps provide a better harvest. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.Provide about an inch (2.5 cm.) of water per week to bean plants. Water at thebase of the plant, getting the roots but not the foliage wet. This helps youavoid diseases such as root rot and fungal issues that spread through splashingwater. Use a slow stream of water instead of blasting the plant. You may use asoaker hose at low volume on each row. Let the water trickle onto the rootswhen watering by hand.
Allow the soil to dry out before harvesting the beans. Harvest when beans are about 4 inches (10 cm.) long. Cookright away or you try canning the harvest beans or blanch to freeze.
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Tendercrop Bush Beans – Learn About Growing Tendercrop Beans - garden
Your first decision is whether to plant pole or bush beans. Pole beans must climb up a trellis, fence, or other support structure they can twine around. The trellis should be 6-8 feet tall and sturdy enough to take wind. A teepee tripod support can be made with three wooden poles or large branches that are pushed well into the ground and wired together at the top. Popular pole bean varieties are Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder, and Kentucky Blue. Even though seeds are self-pollinated, you should plant new seeds each year to avoid seed-borne diseases.
Bush beans stand erect without support. Bush beans were formerly called "string beans" because fiber developed along the seams of the pods. Plant breeders have reduced these fibers through selection and bush beans are now sometimes referred to as "snap beans." Bush beans will also come into production about a week earlier than pole beans. Popular bush bean varieties are Bush Kentucky Wonder, Contender, Provider, and Tendercrop. French fillet beans are also bush beans with a unique flavor and are harvested when they are ј inch in diameter or less.
Prepare the soil in a weed-free area as you would for other annual crops by tilling in composted organic matter and phosphorus fertilizer. As with other vegetable crops, rotate planting areas from year to year to minimize potential for soil-borne diseases. Bean seeds of all varieties should be planted one inch deep. Plant seeds of bush beans 2 to 4 inches apart in rows at least 18 to 24 inches apart. Plant seeds of pole beans 4 to 6 inches apart in rows 30 to 36 inches apart or in hills (four to six seeds per hill) 30 inches apart, with 30 inches between rows. When using a tripod for support, 5-6 seeds are planted in a circle 6-8 inches from each pole.
Seeds of most bean varieties tend to crack and germinate poorly if the soil's moisture content is too high. For this reason, never soak bean seed before planting. Instead water just after planting. Following germination, provide regular irrigation throughout the growing season. Since bean plants have fairly weak, shallow root systems, avoid deep, close cultivation. This can injure the plant roots, delay harvest and reduce yield. I also overplant and thin seedlings to compensate for potential pest problems.
Harvest green beans when the pods are firm, crisp and fully elongated, but before the seed within the pod has developed significantly. Be careful not to break the stems or branches, which are brittle on most bean varieties. Regular harvesting of green beans will prolong flowering and increase yields.
Beans have fewer pest and disease problems here in the west than they do in the midwest and further east. Our arid climate inhibits many fungal and bacterial diseases. I have had cutworm damage where seedlings are eaten off at soil level. This can be remedied by placing collars over newly germinated seeds (tin cans or yogurt containers with openings at both ends) and removing them when the plant gets two or more true leaves.
Rabbits love green beans so plan on excluding them from your garden plot with fence. I have attached chicken wire 2 feet high to my woven wire fence with hog rings. This also prevents my chickens from eating the young plants through the fence. Woodrats (also called packrats) will climb fences. If you suspect them, you will probably need to use large rat snap traps and quite possibly other management approaches. I’ve been growing Kentucky Wonder pole beans for many years in my garden and always enjoy them throughout the summer.
Green Bean Cultivars
Green beans are available in a wide range of sizes and colors. Despite being called “green,” the edible bean pods may be gold or red. When they’re cooked, they turn green in the pot. Green beans are usually picked while still tender before the seeds inside the pods swell into plump beans.
Among the many cultivars of bush-type green beans are ‘Bountiful,’ ‘Bush Blue Lake,’ ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘Tendercrop.’ Most mature in 50 to 55 days from planting the seeds in the garden.
In general, pole beans tolerate higher temperatures than bush beans. If you have a sunny place where they can clamber up a trellis or cover a wire fence, you can plant classics in your garden, such as ‘Climbing French,’ ‘Kentucky Blue,’ ‘Lazy Housewife’ and ‘Oriental Yard-Long.’
Fresh bean pods are high in fiber, low in calories, and a good source of vitamin C. Dry bean seeds are excellent sources of protein, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1, fiber, and have very low levels of cholesterol.
I often have problems getting my beans to emerge in the garden.
Beans generally germinate and emerge well regardless of garden conditions. If you plant when soils are below 60ВєF, germination is greatly reduced. In heavy clay soils, crusting may be a problem which affects emergence, so pay attention to the seed planting depth. Finally, older seed or poorly stored seed may not germinate and emerge as expected.
Why are the flowers falling off my plants?
Plants may have been water or heat stressed just prior to or after the flowers open. Hot weather (above 95ВєF) and dry conditions cause the plants to shed (abort) flowers. Keep the soil moist and use organic mulches during the flowering stage to minimize stress.
Why do bean pods get stringy?
Stringy beans are further evidence of heat or water stress. Fibers in the pods form during stress making them stringy. Some of the heirloom varieties are naturally stringy (called string beans).