Thursday, November 21, 2013

What Beans Grow Well in a Greenhouse?

In the first ever, guest blog post, from the entrepreneur & author Stewart Segura, representing the main sponsor of Just Gardening Fun, the GoGardenGuides brand. Stewart is an executive wholesale accounts manager at EarthCareGreenhouses.

Intro to Bean Agriculture: By Means of Using Garden Greenhouses

What Beans Will Grow Well & the Best within a Greenhouse Garden Structure?

Most beans do well in a greenhouse setting, but some are particularly well-suited to it.

Asparagus beans prefer steady warm weather that only greenhouses and subtropical climates can provide, so if you live in a continental climate your greenhouse is where you would grow your asparagus beans.

For the most tenderness, harvest asparagus beans when they are 12” to 18” long. Fortex beans are similar to asparagus beans in requiring similar growing conditions. Fortex beans can be harvested about 75 days after planting.

Types of Beans That Thrive in a Greenhouse Setting

Bronco beans can be harvested around 55 days after planting. Bronco beans also possess the property of being mold-resistant. Louisiana purple pods can be picked about 65 days after planting and have a delicate flavor and an interesting purple color.
  • They are vulnerable to changing environmental conditions, so they grow much better in greenhouses than outside.

Runner beans can also be grown in a greenhouse, and it can be useful to do so to avoid cold wintry temperatures.
  • Though with runner beans, it is also important not to let your greenhouse, get too hot in summertime – it may be necessary to provide some shade and ventilation.
  • They also need to be watered often.

Keeping Your Greenhouse Beans Watered

  1. You can water greenhouses manually if they are small and few, but if you have large greenhouses or very many of them then this is probably too labor-intensive, and you may want to invest in automatic watering systems like mist sprayers and mechanical evaporation systems guided by time clocks or computers.
  2. If you are growing many different plant varieties in greenhouse settings, different watering times and amounts can also get complicated.
  3. Using automation can keep these complex schedules under control.

Keeping Your Greenhouse Beans Warm and Cool

You also want to keep your beans heated in wintertime – you will need more than just sunlight to keep the greenhouse warm in some locations. There are electric, gas and solar power greenhouse heating systems to help maintain greenhouse temperatures during cold winter nights. Cooling is a concern as well, as bean plants that are too hot on sunny summer days will not grow well. Using shade or evaporative cooling can both be helpful, and proper ventilation is also useful in this respect.

Growing Green Beans in a Greenhouse Environment

  1. Standard green beans can also be grown in a greenhouse.
  2. They need to be kept warm but not hot in full sun conditions.
  3. Green beans also require high quality compost to thrive properly.
  4. They should be spaced about 9” apart and supports must be added for climbing purposes – strong, vertical garden twine supported by horizontal wires can be used, and two plants can climb up each stretch of twine.
  5. Keep your greenhouse environment somewhat moist for green bean growing to avoid potential red spider mite infestation.
  6. Take care that the greenhouse glass is clean as well to allow full sunlight to reach your green bean plants.

Harvesting Greenhouse Grown Green Beans

  1. It should take around 75 days for your green beans to be ready for harvesting – check pods daily once they have started to form, since they grow fast.
  2. Pick them when they are about 4” long to get the best flavor and texture.
  3. Keep picking the pods and more will quickly grow to replace them. Note: Do not leave any on the vine.
  4. You can also test pods for eating on another factor separate from their length.  Note: Snap them in half, and if the snap happens cleanly with no string fibers attached, then they are ready to harvest.
  5. Also, you will be able to see the beans inside the pods, but they will not be bursting out of the pods.
  6. Use scissors to cut the green bean pods from the plants, as pulling them off can risk pulling the whole shallow-rooted plant out of the ground, if you are not extremely careful about it.

What to do with Harvested Beans? 

  1. Eat green bean pods, after washing, on the day of picking, or else freeze them.
  2. If you do not want the pods and only want the beans, you can let the pods fully ripen – this is the case when the pods are turning brown and starting to split open.
  3. When they are ripe, shell the pods and retrieve the beans, which can be eaten fresh, frozen or dried for future use.
  4. When green bean plants are finished cropping, they will die and decay.
  5. So at this point, cut off the above ground portions of the plants and dispose of them in the form of compost, if you so desire.
  6. If you leave the roots to decay in the soil, the soil will be enriched will nitrogen, which can fertilize such crops as cabbages and potatoes.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

9 Tips for Successful Container Gardening

There are many ways to use gardening containers.

 Best Parts of Potted Garden Plants Picture
Small Black Hydroponics Plant Potted Garden Container
As most people getting into organic gardening soon discover, availability of space is a main concern. Not all of us have acres of back yard.

A great way to solve space constraints is to find creative ways to use gardening containers - pots, metal tubs, window boxes, etc.

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