A few days ago I posted an item saying it’s not too late to plant a crop of beans for harvesting in late summer or early fall. A reader commented and asked me if I had any idea why his bean leaves might be turning yellow. After writing my response, I thought I’d share it here with you, since it illustrates a bit of my gardening philosophy about dealing with problems that come up. I haven’t consulted with long-time gardening experts on this, some of whom would probably be horrified by what follows. This comes from my own experience. Take it for what it’s worth, and if you have something to add, feel free to comment.
To tell you the truth, much concerning plant diseases and their remedies escapes me, no matter how often I read about it. That brings up a point—read about it. If I need to know something specific, I’ll look it up, rather than stow it mentally. My personal philosophy is to provide the best growing conditions I know how, which should prevent a lot of problems to begin with. Let me toss out a couple thoughts on the yellowing leaves, and you can go from there. If you want something more reliable in the way of info, you might check to see what your local university extension office has to say. They may have a leaflet on raising beans or on whatever other plants are posing problems. They may also have a Master Gardener’s program in which you could enroll to take some classes on various aspects of gardening.
I usually pull off yellow leaves and don’t worry about it, as long as most of the plant looks healthy. Let’s face it. Sometimes plants will die, but don’t worry that you’ve failed. A number of variables could come into play here, such as soil, how much or little you’re watering, and weather. There could even be something as odd as drift from pesticides, too, depending on your proximity to other gardens or farm fields. Each variety of beans, or any other plant for that matter, has different requirements. Check to see how long it takes to grow from seed to harvest. Then you might consider planting some new seed if there’s time, and see what the new crop does.