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How to Prune Pole Bean Plants

Pole beans include several varieties such as Kentucky Wonder, Goldmarie, Marvel of Venice, Romano, Blue Lake Pole and Cascade Giant. They are called pole bean plants because they grow vertically and need support, like a trellis or wooden stakes, to grow properly. Pole beans are usually cultivated by seeds in the spring and to enjoy a plentiful harvest you may need to prune your pole bean plants during the growing season.

Remove all growth within 6 to 8 inches of the plants, including other pole bean plants. Pole beans need adequate space to grow and since the seeds are usually sowed into the soil in the spring, there will be many plants growing in the planting area, so they need to be thinned out. In addition, weeds and other plants will use up valuable nutrients and water intended for your pole beans. Use 2 inches of mulch to help control unwanted growth.

Prune away diseased stems. This can be done anytime. Diseased stems are usually discolored or spotted. Cut them away several inches from the infected area and remove them from the garden. Treat the plants with a fungicide or pesticide if necessary (take a sample leaf to local nursery) and keep an eye on your plants. If spots or discoloration occurs again, take out the whole plant before it infects your other pole bean plants.

Prune away damaged stems anytime. Broken stems will probably not heal and will only use up valuable nutrients. Prune just below the damaged area.

Bean Plants Need To Be?

Plant all bean types three inches apart within their rows, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. If you are planting pole beans on tepees, sow four to six seeds around each leg of the tepee, with each leg of the tepee at least two feet apart. Whatever your spacing, set beans into the ground at a depth of 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Bush beans are ready to be thinned when they are about 3 inches tall. This is also a good time to put down straw or other mulch. As with bush beans, use scissors to cut the weaker seedlings at the soil line. Tie pole beans to their trellis, stake or pole as they grow. Choose the strongest-looking seedling around each pole that forms your bean vine tepee. Depending on how you've set up your tepee, the roots of the vines will be two to four feet apart, although their tops will eventually touch. This gives you more options.

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