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Bush Beans 9 to a square??? Toplef10Bush Beans 9 to a square??? 1zd3ho10

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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Bush Beans 9 to a square??? I22gcj10Bush Beans 9 to a square??? 14dhcg10

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Bush Beans 9 to a square???

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Post  ScarlettBeans 4/24/2020, 11:05 pm

I am new to SFG and CONFUSED.

Recommendations for bush beans are to plant anywhere from 1 to 4 to 9 per 1 ft. square. I am totally confused.

If a bush bean gets to be about 10 inches wide, why would I plant more than 1 per square?

For pole beans I'm also seeing variation from 4-8 plants per SF (I plan to provide vertical support).

If it makes a difference, I'm gardening in a coastal valley in Northern California and it gets HOT in the afternoons but cools off when the sun goes down .... usually.
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Post  markqz 4/24/2020, 11:45 pm

ScarlettBeans wrote:I am new to SFG and CONFUSED.

Recommendations for bush beans are to plant anywhere from 1 to 4 to 9 per 1 ft. square. I am totally confused.
Welcome Scarlett! I'm way south of you, but it sounds like our weather pattern is similar. I've only been doing SFG since August of last year.

What I learned from the forum just a couple of weeks ago is how to convert packet seed distances into SFG numbers.

Take the final thinned distance between plants, and divide 12 by that number. Then multiply that result by itself.

So if your packet says to thin to 4 inches, divide 12 by 4 to get to 3. Three times three is nine.
If your packet says thin to 6 inches, divide 12 by 6 to get 2. Two times two is four.

But sometimes the packet will say something like "thin to 4 to 6 inches apart"  Then what?

For me, I would err on the side of fewer plants per square. I've found overcrowding to be a real problem. My kohlrabi planted 9 per square blocked the light from surrounding plants and from themselves.

On the other hand, this year is the first time I've planted beans in a SFG. Well, I did plant them last year, but they were stunted by overhanging leaves from squash plants. So that doesn't really count. This year I've got some squares going with 4 to a square and some with 9 to a square. Hopefully in a couple weeks I'll know which is the better choice for my Early Contenders.

Once again, welcome! I hope this helped. I'm sure someone will be along with even better info very shortly. Smile
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Post  OhioGardener 4/25/2020, 8:27 am

I grow both Blue Lake and Provider Bush Beans, and always plant them 9 to a square. They do great at that close spacing. I always have two adjacent 4'x4' sections of a bed planted with beans, which gives us our year's supply for freezing.

This was the first picking from last year's beans planted that way. Don't they look delicious? Can't wait for this year's crop.
Bush Beans 9 to a square??? Green_17

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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/25/2020, 8:45 am

Hi ScarlettBeans. Welcome from Atlanta, GA. Glad you're here.

I'm in the 7a/b borderline. Grow bush beans at 9/sq with no problems. I have also found that once the beans are pulled, I can cut the plants & get new growth & a new crop. But I also plant pole beans at 9-12/sq with no issues.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/25/2020, 8:53 am

AtlantaMarie wrote: Grow bush beans at 9/sq with no problems.  I have also found that once the beans are pulled, I can cut the plants & get new growth & a new crop. 

I do the same, AM, except I don't pull the plants. I cut them off at ground level, and replant. The new plants enjoy the benefits of the decaying roots in the soil, with the included Rhizobium bacteria the plants left behind.

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Post  lvanderb 4/25/2020, 9:26 am

I'm going to have a hard time with the pulling of the plants. I always leave my plants in - this is kind of a new thing for me. I usually get a second harvesting of beans...what to do!

Linda
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Post  OhioGardener 4/25/2020, 9:38 am

lvanderb wrote:I'm going to have a hard time with the pulling of the plants. I always leave my plants in - this is kind of a new thing for me. I usually get a second harvesting of beans...what to do!

Linda

You probably have a shorter growing season than we do, Linda.  Our first bean seeds go into the ground around the first of May, and we get 3 or sometimes 4 pickings of beans from them. By the end of July or early August the plants are exhausted and we cut them off, and plant new seeds. We'll get 2 pickings from those beans before frost kills them in Mid-October.

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Post  lvanderb 4/25/2020, 10:06 am

Thanks, I'm thinking that, reading this, my season is just a bit shorter. I'm in zone 5b, and our last frost is May 24ish.

I'm probably not eating enough of my garden to notice! So the raised bed and sfg should help me with this.

Linda
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Post  sanderson 4/26/2020, 3:21 am

Scarlett, The book instructs 9 beans per square for bush varieties and 8 beans for pole varieties. The same holds true for peas.

In Fresno, the beans are really ragged by mid summer. I often cut the plants down to a foot or so and let them grow again. This year, I am going to try cutting the plants off at the soil line and replanting fresh beans. Then October 1, the beds are sowed or planted with starts for the winter crops. One of the benefits of California. Very Happy

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Post  yolos 4/26/2020, 10:00 am

I do not plant 9 per square.  Only 4 or 5 per square.  We have all kinds of insects/diseases and I can't see if they are taking over if the planting is so thick.  But I do have a lot of square feet and don't have to push thick plantings.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/26/2020, 10:08 am

OhioGardener wrote:
AtlantaMarie wrote: Grow bush beans at 9/sq with no problems.  I have also found that once the beans are pulled, I can cut the plants & get new growth & a new crop. 

I do the same, AM, except I don't pull the plants. I cut them off at ground level, and replant. The new plants enjoy the benefits of the decaying roots in the soil, with the included Rhizobium bacteria the plants left behind.

Sorry OG. I kinda mis-spoke, I guess. I don't pull the plants. Just the beans. Then CUT the plants & let them grow again until the end of the season. I have gotten 2 loads of beans off the bushes that way.
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Post  Mikesgardn 4/26/2020, 7:17 pm

I plant 9 per square, but they do splay over into adjacent squares.   I sometimes use twine to contain them.
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Post  sanderson 4/27/2020, 12:03 am

Yes, a little corralling helps. I use either cheap fencing sections from Dollar store, string or pieces of nylon trellis netting.

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Post  OhioGardener 4/27/2020, 9:07 am

Same here, Sanderson.  I have to put a small fence wire around the bed to keep the beans from flopping over the edge of the bed, and they still try to go through the fence.

This is a picture of last year's beans in mid-July. The fence wire is holding them up.
Bush Beans 9 to a square??? Green_18


This is an earlier picture of the beans that shows the fence wire better.
Bush Beans 9 to a square??? Beans_11

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