Green ones, yellow ones, purple ones who knew there was magic in a bucket of beans? Learn how to grow bean plants in your home garden with this step-by-step guide.
The magic of growing beans is the sparkling assortment of colors, shapes and sizes of bean variety just waiting for you to grow. For this example, we will use dwarf French bean seeds, which grow more quickly than other beans. Choose a sunny place that is sheltered from the wind. Use rich, well-drained potting soil. Dwarf beans grow 20 in (50 cm) high. The seeds germinate in 7-10 days, and the beans are ready to pick in 10 weeks.
Cut stars out from foil food containers and stick them to the bucket with any strong, quick-drying glue that is suitable for plastic.
Choose a few varieties of dwarf French bean seeds to produce different colored beans. We used dwarf green, purple king and yellow rocquencourt beans.
After soaking, the seeds will have begun to swell.
Make a few 2-inch-deep holes spaced equally around the soil-filled bucket, and put a soaked bean into each hole. Fill the hole with soil and cover with a bag.
Cover it with glitter to keep slugs away from the seedlings. For extra protection, sprinkle glitter, broken eggshells or crushed seashells on the soil. Put newspaper underneath the bucket to catch any spilt glitter.
When they appear, cut both ends off some plastic bottles and use them to protect each one from slugs. Keep the plants well watered as they grow.
Tie the plant stems to plant stakes or twiggy branches to stop them from falling over. Use a figure-eight loop so the stems don’t rub against the supports. Keep well watered.
Remove them by wrapping tape around your fingers (sticky side out) and rubbing them off, or spraying them with water to knock them off.
Wait until they're about 4 inches (10 cm) long, before they mature and become too tough to eat. This also encourages more to grow.
To get seeds for next year, leave one or two beans to over-mature before picking. Then let them dry out and split.
Excerpted from Ready, Set, Grow! by DK Books