Step by step: sow beans!

Step by step: sow beans!

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The beans are an ancient vegetable, and if they look like large beans, they don't taste like it. They can be eaten whole in the form of pods, but it is mainly in the form of grain that they are cooked. It is these same grains which were once used in the galette des rois, today replaced by handcrafted porcelain beans to the delight of fabophiles. There are hundreds of bean recipes, so you can take advantage of the high protein, vitamin and fiber content of this legume. The beans can be sown in autumn south of the Loire, making sure to offer them the protection of a tunnel, because they fear repeated frost. Early planting allows harvesting in June. Spring sowing is possible, there also under chassis if you sow from January. In the case of planting in the open ground, you can start cultivation between late February and early May, for a harvest in early July and late August. Beans like rich, moist, but well-drained soils. We can add compost or manure beforehand. A sunny place sheltered from the wind is ideal. The enemy of the bean is called the black aphid! Among other remedies, we can minimize the invasion by planting dill between the rows. In general, avoid chemical sprays which destroy even the auxiliaries, like the larvae of syrphids or ladybugs which however render many services by greedily feeding on aphids. Without aphids, the plants will be more beautiful and more generous. However, their presence is not annoying at the first stages of the invasion, but it is then necessary to intervene at the risk of seeing the leaves curl up, causing a drop in yield. Some say that their presence during the first weeks would promote fruiting. We just have to sow it to check it… Difficulty : easy Cost : less than 5 € per 100 grams Tools required : - A hook - A hoe - A rake - A watering can

Step 1: Draw a groove

After passing the hook to loosen the soil, draw a furrow about 7 cm deep with the hoe.

Step 2: Sow

Place the bean at the bottom of the furrow.
Continue along the entire length of the row, spacing your grains 10-20 cm and your rows 50 cm between them, if you make several rows! You can mark the location of your plantations with a piece of wood at each end of the row to mark their location while the first shoots appear.

Step 3: Cover and tamp

With the rake, gently push back the soil to cover the row you have just sown. Pack lightly without excess.
Water the soil abundantly along the row.
A week later, the first subjects are already showing up.

Step 4: Butte the stems

The bean is a crop that requires a little maintenance. As with the potato, but for different reasons, you must butter the plants when they reach a height of fifteen centimeters. Butter consists in bringing a small mound of earth to the first leaves on the base of the stems. This work makes it possible to strengthen the wearing of the rods and thus their resistance to wind. It is possible to stake your plants, either by using small hazel branches, or by planting two stakes at each end of the row, connected by a string or a wire, to which you will hang the shoots. Other maintenance work to be done at the same time: hoeing between rows and weeding.

Step 5: Pinch the flowers

When the first flowers appear, pinch (i.e. cut) the shoots from the top. Pinching is usually carried out between the 5th and 10th flower according to the desired height. This is to promote the enlargement of the pods, but also to limit the invasion of aphids which preferably colonize the top of the plant.

Step 6: Pick

The pod is picked when it reaches maturity - it is then still green and closed - namely 3 to 4 months after spring sowing, and starting at the bottom.

Step 7: Fold down

After harvesting, fold the stems close to the ground. Nitrogen-rich roots can be left in place to enrich the soil.


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