For the past two years I have planted bean seeds and been sorely disappointed. The first year none of the seeds sprouted and last year the few plants that did sprout, quickly fizzled and stalled, never producing more than a few leaves.
This year during the planning stages of the gardens, I did a lot of research as to why certain plants flourished in my gardens while others did not. It became apparent that “winging it” in the garden is not an option. Too many plants cannot produce or thrive when paired up with others. In my reading, I learned that beans especially are quite sensitive and that where I had planted them in the past, they were doomed to fail. The plants I had to stay away from were garlic, onions, and sunflowers. Peppers were also mentioned as a foe to beans, but the information I found was not consistent. Some sites said to avoid planting them together, while others said they could be planted together.
As the gardens began to take form, beans were plotted for an entire section in the back garden, but seeing as nothing ever works out as written on paper, it ended up on the side of the house. Not only was this area far enough away from any contradictory plants, but it was next to the A-frame so now all the climbing vegetables would be together. There are some peppers along an adjacent garden, but my hope is that since they are not sharing the same soil and there is a section of grass between them, if peppers are a hindrance for beans, they will not be affected.
I planted two rows of pole beans and three rows of bush beans. After nine long days, I finally was rewarded with a sprout — a single sprout, but at least it was a sprout.
By day fifteen however, nearly all the seeds had sprouted and they seem to be on their way.
I’m not sure if these plants will make it long enough to produce any beans, but I am certainly going to keep my fingers crossed. This morning I woke to frost, which had not been predicted. I got out before 6 a.m. and hosed every plant in all the gardens down, but we’ll see what happens. It is possible that beans are just not meant to be for my gardens, but for the time being I’m going to keep on trying, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.