Throughout my gardening career I have always grown bush beans. I plant them close together in a raised bed, 9 per square foot. I haven’t mentioned it before in this blog but I have been following Square Foot Gardening principals for a long time. (see link) I will talk about that later in an additional blog post. I enjoy bush beans and have been very successful growing them. They grow to about 2 feet tall and usually provide a lot of beans. They do have a shorter season and need to be picked quick or they become spongy. Succession planting works well with bush beans. Every 10-14 days I plant a few rows of beans ensuring beans throughout the season. For more information on succession planting you can read here: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cook/eb370/entry_9894/ .
Last year I purchased two old metal arbors off of craigslist and my husband placed them in the garden. One of them was put in the back of the garden where there is afternoon shade. What to do about that? I had been reading about three sisters gardening. This is a way of growing vegetables that was practiced by the Iroquois for centuries. First corn is grown to 5 inches in a mound, pole beans are then planted around the corn and finally squash is planted. The corn provides support for the other plants. I’m going to try it this year!
Anyways, I googled three sisters and found this website http://appalachianheirloomplantfarm.weebly.com/ which showed pole beans and cornfield beans from many, many years ago. This is my kind of heaven. I quickly ordered two sets of heirloom beans and by the end of the summer I had so many beans I did not know what to do with all of them!
Pole beans come in many types and seeds can be purchased out of any seed catalog or here on my website! They do require a trellis, fence or arbor to run up. Half pole type grows to around 6 feet and full pole beans can grow to be 12 feet tall.