Should You Stake a Bush Bean?

They aren’t climbers like their cousins the pole beans. It shouldn’t be required, right?  Hence the name, bush bean.   

But I have to admit, I find staking my black beans gives them the extra support they need.  Unlike the kidney beans, they have these delicate climbers that are reaching for something.  I don’t know what that “something” is, but they do.  Couldn it be Mother Nature forgot to tell them they’re not climbers? 

Probably not.  However, this is my third season growing black beans — I LOVE black beans — and I’ve found they do better with bamboo stakes set next to their stalk. 

Not only does it give them something to curl around, it helps support the plant beneath the weight of all those glorious pods they produce.  A good thing.  Because strolling out to your garden intent on picking those gorgeous purple pods only to discover your plant “has fallenth over…”   It’s no fun. 

Depressing, really, as it signals your black bean bush (I use the word “bush” lightly) is not producing as well as it could be.  And you want as many black beans as you possibly can produce, because of all my plants, these are the easiest to store.  Which means I can eat black beans for months! 

Another method is to use a trellis for support.  While my kidney beans don’t want to twist their way up a bamboo stake, they do appreciate a little support around their “girth.” 

Like the black beans, these plants become laden with pods and can sag beneath the extra weight.  The trellis below does double duty in the garden.  Not only do I use it for my beans, but I can use it for my Limas, too. 

This way, I’m sure to reap as much bounty as possible from a season’s work.  At least until next spring when the new crop goes in.

And speaking of new crops, how long are these plants supposed to produce?  I have some Hungarian Wax pepper plants leftover from spring (they’re keeping the ground warm until my English peas go in) and they are still sprouting peppers.   Granted, she doesn’t look as lush and beautiful as she once did, but she’s still producing!

Is there a maturity stage where they no longer produce?  Like us, do they find their fertility waning after a while?

Sorry ladies, but it’s true.  We wane.   And if not our sparkling personalities and positive outlooks, at least some of our parts do. 

I wonder:  if I weren’t so busy rotating crops each fall and spring in hopes of achieving organic harmony, would ALL of my plants continually produce?  

I find it curious.  

Hmmm.  Perhaps this calls for an experiment!  I do have those three new rows I could use…

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