Bush Bean Plants & Soil Deficiencies

Bush Bean Plants & Soil Deficiencies

Steamed, stir-fried, roasted or new, bush beans are a delicious addition to any summertime meal. Domesticated versions of South American plants, they have been selectively bred over time to add cultivars like apartment Italian green, French filet, purple-podded and yellow wax. Self-supporting, easy-to-grow bush beans can achieve about 2 feet in height and produce greatest in soils with the proper pH and sufficient nutrients.

Soil Test

Conduct a soil test in a new or untested garden to determine soil pH and the content of vital nutrients in your garden. While easy test kits are available at most garden centres, sending your soil samples to a professional laboratory gives you a more accurate and complete picture. To gather soil, scrape on the surface free of sticks, stones and other debris. Utilizing a stainless-steel trowel, dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep and have a soil scraping from the side of hole. Repeat this in at least six distinct spots on your garden, combining the trials together in a clean plastic bucket. Do this a few months before planting — it might take up to four weeks to receive your results back and you need enough time to work in any recommended amendments.

Adjusting pH

Although beans are not overly special about fertility, they don’t prefer a soil pH from the 6 to 6.8 range. This measurement of the soils’ level of acidity or alkalinity affects their wellbeing. If the pH is from the desired variety, plant growth goes down — the beans cannot uptake the nutrients and minerals they need from the soil. In this weakened condition, they are more susceptible to fungus and disease. Most soils in moist, wooded spaces tend toward the acidic variety and need a shot of agricultural lime worked into the soil to increase pH. Ideally, this slow-release soil amendment should be added a few months before planting time.

Nitrogen and Phosphorous

Nitrogen is a vital component in bean’s photosynthesis and leaf development. A deficiency causes yellowing leaves and an overall paleness. But like all beans, legumes possess the capability to make their own nitrogen. Unless your soil test indicates a serious nitrogen deficiency, then avoid adding any to your garden bed. Excess nitrogen ends in boisterous leaf growth at the expense of fruit production. Simply dusting your beans with a seed inoculant at planting time primes them to make as much nitrogen as they need. Phosphorous is just another basic nutrient. It is required for reproduction, cell growth and fruit production. Too little stunts plants and also an excess can add an unwanted bitter flavor. Adhere to the recommendations from your soil test results for any required phosphorous.


The all-around soil enhancer, compost needs to be a part of the soil improvement plan irrespective of your test results. Two to 3 inches worked to your own beds helps to protect against a soil crust that can inhibit the emergence of tender new bean plants. In addition, it helps to retain moisture, improve drainage and adds beneficial microorganisms. Furthermore, compost suppresses diseases and insects while promoting higher yields.

Growing Tips

This warm-season crop should not be implanted until soil temperatures have been at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant seeds 1 inch deep, 2 to 4 inches apart, keeping the soil moist but not soaked throughout the germination period. After plants have fully emerged, thin them to each 4 ins and mulch with straw, wood chips, grass clippings or leaves to keep moisture and moderate soil temperature. Overhead watering encourages leaf disease — use a soaker hose or water at soil level. Planting every 2 weeks extends you season. Pick often to encourage production and plant beans at a new spot each year to discourage any disease buildup.

See related

Comments are closed.