Beans

The green beans are originally from Central and South America. Green beans are immature, fresh pods of seeds. They also called haricot hosts, which are termed new beans

Why eat and grow beans

Beans are healthy and nutritious, and the beans contain lots of good vitamins and nutrients. Among other things, you can find the following nutrients in beans:

  • The vitamins: A, B, C, E and K.
  • The minerals: magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc and lime.

They also have a high dietary fiber and protein content.

Cooking and use

You can use the beans for almost any cold or hot dishes.

You should not eat beans raw because they contain lectin, which can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. When the beans are heated, this substance becomes harmless - so give them a quick boil, or warm them in another way before serving.

If the beans are dry in the pods (like seeds), they should be soaked and cooked. It is due to the content of the toxic protein lectin, which can induce vomiting, diarrhea and in severe cases abdominal cramps and bleeding. In addition to soaking dry beans, it reduces cooking time; it also reduces their unfortunate ability to give some air to the stomach.

Fresh beans should not be soaked before they can be cooked and eaten. How long to cook depends on how mature, they have become. Some beans should be cooked 15-30 minutes, depending on maturity and how cooked you want them.

Fresh (green) beans such as haricots verts only small amounts of lectins and only need to cook in 5-10 minutes depending on the size.

Cultivation of beans

There are two main types of beans:

  • Bush beans which grow to about 50 cm in height
  • Pole beans (the tall, climbing ones).

Pole beans must be tied up on an espalier or around cut branches. The height must be 2 meters or higher.

You will then need your beans to a depth of approx. 5 cm with a distance of 15 cm and 50 cm between each row. Water well in the groove before sowing, but never during germination as the seeds can rot.

You must sow your beans in warm soil or they will germinate poorly, or not at all. In addition, beans do not tolerate night frost both spring and fall. You just have to wait until the soil temperature is higher than approx. 14 ° C. The soil temperature must be 14 ° C all day. Therefore, if you want to make sure the beans are sprouting well, you should wait to sow them until it is summer.

You can also sow your beans in pots in the greenhouse and plant them out in the first half of June. Then you have strong plants from the start and avoid any holes in the row that may come if some bean seeds do not germinate.

Beans do not need a well-fertilized soil, as it is a nitrogen fixing plant. Beans appreciate a loose mound of soil and they quickly cover the soil.  Once the beans have received the first leaves, you can add a layer of ground cover.

You only need to remove weeds between the rows 1-2 times enough. After that, the bean plants pretty much fit themselves.

Beans cannot tolerate lack of water and they you must water before they start hanging with the leaves. In a normal summer, it is only necessary to water the beans during periods of drought.

Harvest and storage

Depending on what kind of beans you have planted - and weather conditions - you can harvest them after 50-70 days.

You can harvest beans in three stages of development:

  • Pods: Pick pods before seeds are developed. Although the pods can also be purple, yellow and green with red streak, they all called 'green beans'. If you have planted the common, green garden bean and want to get the thin haricots vert beans, just harvest them before they get too thick. The more you pick, the more new beans come.
  • Unripe seeds: You can also use the immature seeds in the big thick beans that you did not get harvested in time.
  • Mature and dry bean seeds: Make them dry on the ground as long as possible. Otherwise, you hung them up for post-drying after harvest.
    If you cannot make them dry, you can harvest and use them as fresh beans. You can freeze without blanching.

Storage of dry beans

You bellow the seeds when dry. Dried beans can be stored in paper bags in a cool room for several years. If enough space is available, the plants with the dry pods can be put away for later use in a dry place.