Bean varieties offer you options for your garden. Beans are available in two main types: shell beans and snap beans. Shell beans offer protein-rich seeds while snap beans are grown for their pods. Furthermore you can segregate beans into four growth patterns: bush, pole, runner, and half-runner. Bush bean plants are bush-like in form and are self-supporting. Pole beans have vines that grow up structures and appreciate stakes or trellises. Runner beans are cool weather condition pole beans and half-runners have a growing habit that falls between pole beans and bush beans.
There are tons of beans available to grow in your garden this year, but let’s explore the most popular. Black beans, black-eyed peas, fava beans, garbanzo, lima beans and string beans are all easy to grow and have nutritional benefits. Check out the highlights of each:
Black beans – popular for stews and soups, these beans need three months of warm temperatures to mature. Be certain the danger of frost has passed when planting black beans.
Black-eyed peas – available in bush and runner varieties, black-eyed peas are easy to grow given the proper climate and conditions. Black-eyed peas are typically white with one black spot on them.
Fava beans – thriving in cold, damp weather, fava beans are more popular in Europe than the US. They take about 75 days to mature and are a great source of vegetable protein, only second to soybeans.
Garbanzo beans – a bushy bean plant that needs about 65-100 days until maturity, garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas.
Lima beans – consisting of pole and bush varieties, limas take 60-75 days for bush variety growth where pole types need 90-130 days for growth. Plant lima bean plants when you’re sure that frost threats have passed.
String beans – grown in soil temperatures at 65 degrees or higher, these plants need about 45-75 days until harvest. Stakes or a trellis will help support these climbing vines.