The Great Bean Experiment.
In a couple of previous posts I talked about planting store bought beans meant for cooking.
Some folks mentioned that they may not grow and one gardener doubted they would grow since they may have been irradiated.
Reasonable arguments, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway.
Keeping the irradiation comment in mind, I made a point to buy beans packaged in Mexico.
Dunno why, just figured they may not go the extra expense to irradiate a product that moves off the shelves pretty fast.
The beans I bought are branded El Orgulla, de mi tierra.
Great Northern beans in a 2# package for under $2.00 if I remember right
In fact, if some of you folks like to do Mexican cooking - as we do - go to the Mexican section of your market and look for spices and peppers
packaged in strong plastic or cellophane bags.
Spices are expensive and this can be a real money saver.
Nice part is, you get about four times the usual amount for well under half price.
Quality is as good as anything bottled in the US.
I did make two attempts to grow the El Orgulla beans directly in the garden.
First time around, they floated up and out and nothing happened.
Second time, I planted a little deeper and had the same results.
The El Orgulla beans look just like the Burpees pole beans I bought, but the Burpees did not float up and out even though buried at the recommended
depth of ½" if I remember right.
They’re doing well and I should have planted a lot more of them.
A few weeks later I tried another experiment.
This time around, a pot full of Miracle-Gro (I have no connection with these people, but am finding it to be a great product that does as
Anyway, the plan was to plant the beans at varying depths in the small-medium sized pot.
Quite a few were tossed in at depths ranging from 1" to 6".
I think I planted these about a week ago and part of the thinking was that the constant watering of the container plants twice every day would keep
the deeper planted beans wet or at least damp and they would have a chance to germinate.
Water evaporates from containers pretty fast so you need to keep on eye on soil moisture.
Just stick your finger into the soil and if it’s dry the first 3"-4" down, water the container.
I usually flood the top to about ½" deep each time.
That may sound like a lot, but keep in mind our dry desert atmosphere.
Late yesterday afternoon, nothing had changed in the bean pot except that a few more had floated to the surface.
This morning, eighteen hours later, the top soil of the pot had erupted and the bean plants were about 1 ½" - 2" tall.
Note the pics taken about two hours later.
This first pic shows the view from overhead.
This one shows a side view and how far the beans grew overnight.
A surprise for sure.
Plans now are to run one more experiment.
Sweetie suggested we soak a batch overnight, much as you would for cooking and plant them about 2" - 4" down.
Seems like an ok idea to me.
Plans after that are to till the ground off the narrow end of the garden, it’s already been amended, extend the concrete blocks - got just enough to
make it - and extend the fence.
I had planned to put corn in there, but depending on what the tomatoes need for shade, I may move the car trailer to where it was in the first photos
although a little further forward so as to help block the strong S/W winds from beating up on the garden.
The wind stripped all the leaves except for a few top ones off a bell pepper plant, but it came back ok.
The Sweetie Cherry tomatoes I started in a big container and re-planted to an almost as big container and took up to a friends house was left in their
back yard while they were gone for a week.
They’d been doing well and the hope was they’d make it through with minimal watering and no one in attendance.
Thinking was their little lawn with automatic sprinklers would give the tomatoes some water and they’d make it through.
Sad to say, they came back to find all the leaves stripped off all three plants and figured a squirrel had done it.
They have a cottontail rabbit problem as well so that was a thought.
After I’d seen the plants and remembering what had happened to my bell pepper as well as another experienced gardener concurring, we determined that
their even stronger winds up on the mountain about 1000' higher than us had done the damage.
I’m pleased to report the Cherry tomatoes are coming back just fine.
That due to the container is on rollers and gets rolled out of the severe winds and into the shade late in the afternoon.
Word around this area is, tomatoes need shade of some kind to make it.
Right now I’m trying to determine how much.
And . . . with the bean experiment a small success, I’m going to plant the whole bag in an about 10' x 15' area and let them cover the ground.
Weeds shouldn’t be to hard to keep down and as noted by some of the other gardening enthusiasts here on ATS the beans add nitrogen to the soil so
what more could an amateur gardener ask?
Food and green fertilizer all in one package.
I’d planned to extend the garden out to the east (left) where the car trailer is sitting in these latest photos and the plan - right now anyway - is
to plant a large block of corn that’s different from what’s planted now.
Trouble with the corn that’s planted now is, it’s a yellow and white hybrid and the ears are fairly slim.
Along with the corn planting, another package of cooking beans among the corn.
I may try a package of pinto beans from the same Mexican company as well.
Depends on how far the Great Northerns go.
I do realize that corn is wind pollinated and planting two different types is liable to give you some interesting results as to what kind of corn you
That’ll be ok too.
If I get some offbeat corn that has fat ears and tastes good, I’ll have my own family heirloom seeds.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained....