Posts tagged ‘beans’


In order to maximize energy and space in the garden, many gardeners choose to co-plant multiple crops together in the same field.  In the Beach flats garden, corn beans and squash are planted together in various formations according to each gardener’s experience and traditions.  Corn beans and squash co-planting is known as a three sister garden and is common in many indigenous planting traditions.  There are two ways in which corn and beans are commonly co-planted in the Beach Flats Garden.  The more common method involves planting the corn 1 to 2 months ahead of the beans, so the corn has time to grow.  This method produces a larger yield from the corn in exchange for a smaller quantity of beans.  The other method involves planting them at the same time and allowing the beans to climb over the corn as it grows.  The bean yield is greater while the corn is reduced.  As the beans grow they feed the soil to the benefit of the corn beans and squash in the parcel.  The third sister, squash, can be seen growing in the rows.  The squash plants reduce evaporation and weed growth by making shade in the parcel.  Vine squash can be trained to grow down the rows to maximize the effect.  However a gardener chooses to plant, if the garden has corn beans and squash, its a happy garden.

August 4, 2012 at 6:00 am 1 comment

Support your beans

Beans are generally a prolifically growing vine that will climb anything they can get their tendrils on.  The more they have to climb, the more they will grow, and there are many ways to provide support for them.  Planting beans with corn is an ancient and sacred way to co-pant these staple crops.  The corn supports the beans and the beans nourish the soil as they grow; both plants benefit from the others presence.    Also, a gardener can plant them next to a fence and they will climb it.  A trellis or other structure can be custom built for the season if no fences are available.  Some poles stuck in the ground with or without wires running between the is a good way to row crop beans.  A tipi is an easy and sturdy way to make a very tall structure to maximize space.  Finally, a gardener may choose to plant bush beans instead, these beans are self supporting and need no structures.

August 1, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

The mighty bean

Our beans have made good use of the houses we built for them.  Soon they will flower in preparation for the beans that will come.

July 7, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Growing Taller

The black beans and pinto beans we planted are doing well this the summer heat and long days.  The houses what were built for them are providing good support for the ambitious climbers.  Soon they will flower, and the flowers will become the pods that hold the sacred legumes.  For now they will receive water and sun.

June 21, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

How they grow

The beans we planted in our parcel are sending up tendrils, looking for something to climb. Soon they will find the houses we built for them.

May 31, 2012 at 6:00 am 1 comment

Bean Houses

The main task for the day was building  sturdy houses for our beans.  Several weeks ago we planted our beans in circles in the garden.  Ojos del venado and Black turtle beans are the two varieties we have growing now.  The houses I Built for them today are made of bamboo poles about 8 feet long.  I shoved the ends in the ground and bound the tops with wire in several places for stability.  Soon the beans will begin climbing the poles in their quest for the sun.

May 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm 1 comment

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