Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning for crops you can harvest this fall from your survival garden. While many gardeners are harvesting green beans, you can be planting some for harvest later. If you plant in July, you may be able to avoid pests that bother beans earlier in the season. Also, there should be no problem with germination, since the soil will be warm.
Growing beans in containers is a good idea. There are plenty of varieties of bush beans out there to choose from. Unlike pole or runner beans, bush beans don’t need support because they don’t run or climb all over the place. You can control soil temperature and moisture more easily in buckets, nursery pots, or even grow bags. They’ll blossom and set beans sooner, too. Imagine impressing your city neighbors by growing beans on your balcony.
This may seem elementary, but beans are simply seeds. If you let green beans, or any other beans, grow to full maturity on the plant, you’ll have seeds you can use next season. Naturally, if you’ve planted a variety of dry beans, you’ll want them to grow to maturity. It’s fun to pop them out of their shells when they’re ready. Of course, if you’re saving bean seeds, you’ll want to save seeds from open pollinated varieties, since hybrids won’t produce true next season. Hybrids may revert to one of the characteristics of the plants used for breeding them.
I’ve heard the flowers are edible, though I’ve never tried eating them. If you start your beans late or have a really short season, that might be something you’ll want to keep in mind. After all, we’re talking about survival gardening, and every angle is worth considering.
I’ve had good success with Provider bush beans for green beans. They produce a lot at first, then slow down in the heat of the summer. A variety called Hurricane has done well for me, too, and seems to hold up better and produce longer than Provider. Whatever variety you choose, beans are so easy to grow and so good, how can you resist?