Friday, January 07, 2011

Growing beans in Florida

My two cents. 

Forwarded conversation
Subject: beans and misc

Date: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:17 PM
To: "" <>

I have tried with no luck over the past 9 months to grown bush and pole beans. The bush beans keep drying up into little twigs and the pole beans got attacked by black aphids. Do I just suck or am I overlooking some trick. Particularly with the bush beans. Seriously, 4 different plantings, different places, etc. All germinate fine but then die.

Also, what date should I use for my frost free date when calculating when to start seedlings inside?


From: Central Florida Gardener <>
Date: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 8:45 AM

well, i plant my beans when i see the first week of warm (80+) weather predicted... whenever that is. beans need a lot of warmth to grow and there's no use starting them early. i get lots of production from my beans in april, may. i then usually switch over to lima beans. i have only ever grown fortex (pole), rattlesnake (pole), and willow-leaf limas (pole from southern exposure). you might have luck with other varieties, but these are the only ones i have used.

they need SOME organic material and fertilizer, but not much. too much of anything just makes them very green, lush--but no beans. 

my guesses for why things haven't worked: 1)not enough CONSISTENT moisture. water EVERY DAY. this is not up north. our soil drains very quickly. use a heavy layer of mulch. 2) timing; the best time of the year is spring. some people plant a fall crop, but i have better uses for my space, moreover there's lots of fungal issues in the fall and i don't use any chemicals in my garden. 3) wrong variety. try the ones i've listed. 4) wrong spot. Full sun is a LOT of sun in the summer. a little afternoon shade is probably a good thing. I think the best exposure is 6 hours of morning sun and then partial shade the rest of the day. that's florida. we have strong sun. 

finally, i assume you're asking about spring tomatoes and peppers, since those are the only two crops that you need to worry about. start your seeds NOW (last week, really). nurse them along. as early as the end of feb, transfer them to the garden. 

good luck!


Homesteading Mommy said...

I have fabulous results with yard long beans also. Red-seeded asparagus beans (not at all related to asparagus by the way) is my favorite. They produce like crazy all summer long and because they are so long, just a few make a meal. They blanch a freeze well too.

Anonymous said...

The long beans are awesome ! resistant to everything . and when you get the aphids they are on one l or 2 leaves and I just cut it off and it's all good !

Anonymous said...

How late can you plant asparagus beans into the summer?

Michael said...

if you mean yardlong asparagus beans... i'd say you MIGHT be able to get a crop in before it gets too cool. it's been awhile since i've grown YLB, but if memory serves, they take a long time to get to production... like 4 or 5 weeks (long for florida!). that puts you at the beginning of september for harvest, say... then a month of harvest, maybe, depending where you are.
if you have the space and the seeds and the AMPLE trellis available, go ahead and plant them.

Anonymous said...

Rattlesnake pole beans grow fine in Central Fl even in the native soil, ie. primarily sand. I plan to plant some Asparagus Yard long beans this spring. Does anyone know if they will do well planted in Central Fl native soil?

Unknown said...

I know this is an old post, but to answer this last question for others. Yes, yardlong beans grow great in Central Fl. Start them in April, and early Sept.

Unknown said...

The question was will they grow in just the native sand

LD said...

I have never tried them in sand and not sure how well they would do but might plant one just to observe the difference. I grow 4 of them in a 5 gallon bucket of water. (Kratky method)