Tripod Bin

One of my greatest joys in life is walking into the garden and picking a bucketful of beautiful, fresh

green beans. Then taking them directly to a pot of boiling water in the kitchen. Nothing like it.

Three days later, I can do it again. And so can you with these tips.

First, you need to decide what to plant. The two main choices are bush beans or pole beans. I prefer

pole beans because they are easier to pick, have better flavor and have less problems from pests and

disease.

Pole beans, of course, require something to climb on and, therefore, tend to take up space.

But, if you think limited space prevents you from having pole beans, guess again. You can have enough beans

for a family of four in a six square foot area.

A method I use is to take three six foot long wooden poles (don't use metal) and place them in a tripod

arrangement, tying them together at the top. It only takes about a three foot area, so you can have

two of them in a six foot plot.

Plant the beans indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost, in peat pots. Do not use pots that require

you to remove the plant from the pot to transplant. The peat pots can be planted directly in the garden

without disturbing the roots.

Prepare the soil by adding compost (I prefer well-aged manure) as soon as you can work the soil

in the spring. Most important!!! Plant your beans in a spot that gets at least 6-8 hours of direct

sun each day. Beans love the sun.

As the beans send out long shoots, train them to climb the poles if they do not do it own their own

(generally, they will). Keep them watered but not soaked. Fertilize once when the plants start

climbing the poles.

There are many varieties that thrive in practically any summer climate, as long as you have

about six weeks of over 70 degree days. I like the "bluelake" for it's ease of growth, good

flavor and high yield.

So, give it a try this year. Then when you smell those fresh beans that you grew, cooking in the kitchen,

you, too, will experience one of the great joys of life.

About the author: K. Miller is the webmaster for www.basicgardentips.com where hundreds of free gardening articles are available. Also see the best southern recipes at www.olsouthrecipes.com

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