Next to tomato plants, bean plants are the most popular vegetable to grow in your vegetable garden. Easy to grow and abundant yield are some of the reasons gardeners favor growing beans. However, bean plants are sensitive; various factors will impact how well your bean plants grow and produces beans.
Too Much Water
Although bean plants grow best in moist soil, too much moisture, or over watering, can cause damage. Do not pre-soak your bean seeds before planting, as this may cause your bean seeds to crack and not germinate. Instead, plant your bean seeds dry, then water the soil immediately after planting, but be careful not to over water the soil during germination to avoid a the same problem. Over-watering mature bean plants can cause them to develop fungus and diseases on the leaves and bean pods. This is particularly true if you grow your bean plants too close to each other, causing poor air circulation around the plants that does not allow the moisture on the leaves to evaporate. Moisture that remains on your bean plant leaves and pods are more apt to attract fungus and disease. Wide spacing between your bean plants and rows will help eliminate high moisture levels on your plants.
Detrimental Companion Plants
As beneficial as some plants are to surrounding plants, some plants should not be grown together. Onions, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli should not be grown next to your bean plants. Bean plants require high levels of phosphorus and calcium from the soil, as do the previously listed plants. Growing your bean plants with onions, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage or broccoli will cause the plants to compete for these important nutrients.
Bean plants grow best when the soil pH is close to neutral, which is a pH range of 6.6 to 7.3. Adding amendments to your soil, like lime for high pH or sulphur for lower pH, will inhibit your bean plant growth. High alkaline soil will not allow your bean plants to absorb necessary phosphorus, and a lower pH, acidic soil will block your bean plant from taking up calcium. Use a soil pH tester, or have your local cooperative extension test your soil, before adding any soil amendments.
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