A Guide to Growing and Harvesting Dried Beans

 Dried beans are easy to grow and can be stored after harvest for a healthy and delicious meal all winter long.

 There's a lot of satisfaction in producing your own low-cost plant-based protein on the farm.

Combine beans with corn, rice, or other grains for a complete protein.

 Beans are high in B vitamins and folic acid, contain minerals like iron, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and are high in fiber.

A Guide to Growing and Harvesting Dried Beans


Planting tips

Plant the beans after the last frost date in your area and ideally wait until the soil is warmed up (70 to 90 degrees F). Beans should be sown directly into the ground.

Space the seeds 4 centimeters apart. Space the rows from 14 to 91 centimeters depending on your equipment.

 If you are growing a small number of hand-harvested beans, place the rows closer together, if using a tractor, space 91 centimeters apart.


Rising notes

Beans do best in moderately rich soil , but they thrive even in somewhat depleted soils because they have the ability to fix their own nitrogen. 

Beans do not respond very well to added fertilizers, If your soil is acidic , add a little lime before planting.

If this is your first time planting beans in this soil, be sure to coat your bean seeds with inoculant, a specific species of Rhizobium that beans need to germinate (you can get it from the seed company or farm store where you buy your seed). Once in the ground, the inoculant will stay there and multiply almost indefinitely, so this is just the first planting task.

Mulch at the start of growth to reduce weeds. 

Once the plants are well established, they are excellent for shading out weeds.


Pests and problems

As tender annuals, beans are very susceptible to frost. 

Plant once you are sure all danger of frost has passed and harvest early if necessary, as described above, to avoid frost damage in the fall. 

Too much rain can lead to rusts, molds and burns, avoid working among wet plants. Return under the bean debris at the end of each season and practice crop rotation.

Cutworms and root maggots sometimes attack seedlings, thin plants to allow good air circulation .

If fall weather is very wet or frost threatens the harvest, pull the plants up early and finish drying under cover, such as in a shed, barn or basement. 

Beans will continue to ripen in pods even after they are picked, so don't worry too much if you have to harvest immature beans.


Maintenance

Beans are quite easy compared to other crops, Just grass, water and mulch as needed during the growing season. 

They are fairly drought tolerant, but you need to make sure they have enough water while they form pods and seeds for a good harvest.


Harvest

Dry beans are harvested when they vibrate in the pod.

 Pull the plant by hand and hang it from the roots. 

Traditionally, bean plants are tied to a pole five to seven feet high you can harvest up to five acres of beans by hand, but more than that will require specialized harvesting equipment for your tractor.

Dried beans require threshing to extract the beans from the pods. 

For small amounts, you can do this by hand by squeezing the cloves open.

 A traditional method is to hold the plant by the roots and bang it against the inside of a barrel, for more than half an acre of beans, you may want to invest in threshing equipment.

After threshing, the beans should be cleaned and sorted, for small amounts, do it by hand, using a screen and hair dryer to remove debris (or an air compressor if you have one). 

Split beans can be fed to farm animals. For large bean crops, you can purchase a seed cleaner.

If the beans are soft (bite one and see), continue to dry them until firm to the bite before storing. 

Freezing beans before storage kills any potential insects such as the bean weevil.


Storage and preservation

Store dried beans in a dry, cool, airtight container away from direct sunlight. Beans are best used during the season after being harvested, but they will last for several seasons if needed.

Beans are self-fertilizing, so you don't have to space different varieties apart.

 Just save your best and earliest ripening seeds for next year.

*

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post