By Lorraine Shoemaker
There are few things better than fresh vegetables straight from the garden. Those
of us fortunate enough to grow our own veggies can attest that there is little comparison between home grown, home canned green beans and those in an aluminium can from the local grocery store. They hardly taste like the same vegetable!
It’s just as easy to grow pole beans in pots on your deck as in a formal garden. Just make sure that there is sufficient support for the vine. This can be in the form of a lattice or maybe a tipi shaped support made of three 5-6 foot sticks or poles tied together at the top. Tipi style supports make for easier bean picking later on. For complete instruction of planting vegetables and general gardening visit, www.usda.gov .
Once your bean plants start bearing fruit, check the vines thoroughly and often for mature beans. The optimal size is about 4 inches long. Left too long on the plant, the bean pod grows pithy and fibrous, and will slow or prevent the growth of new fruit. So you may need to pick every day as these pods are adept at hiding. Getting low to the ground and looking up under the leaves will expose many pods previously undetected.
Once you have harvested your plants, can or freeze as soon as possible for optimal freshness and nutrition. Five pole bean plants yield about 40 quarts of prepared beans. Safe and complete canning instruction is also available at www.usda.gov .
There is an abundance of fruits and vegetables that can be container grown in a limited space, so almost anyone can enjoy garden fresh produce – even without a green thumb.