Connecticut Garden Journal: Spilling The Beans On Beans

Jul 19, 2018

It's hard to imagine having problems with your green bean crop. Bush beans are one of the easiest veggies to grow. It's part of our history. Every kid has probably started bean seeds in their science class and were amazed when it bore fruit!

But beans can have some problems. Beans grow quickly in the summer heat and mature fruits fast as well. During periods of rainy weather, you might see a white mold growing on the bean stems or fruit. Simply cutting off the infected plant part and discard it to stop its spread.

Also, watch for rust spots on leaves and also remove those infected leaves. Don't work in the bean patch when the leaves are wet to prevent spreading these diseases.

During hot, dry weather, like this year, watch out for some pests. Spider mites are small mites that seem innocuous when by themselves, but can quickly multiply. They can attack forming webs, stippling of the leaves. Keep plants well-watered and misted to keep the humidity high to prevent spider mites damage.

Mexican bean beetles are out. These yellow and black adult beetles lay eggs on the leaves that hatch into bright yellow larvae that feed and skeletonize the leaves. Watch for the young larvae. Pick them off and throw them in a pail of soapy water. You can use the same technique for Japanese beetles because they love beans, too.

Finally, rabbits and woodchucks love bean plants. Fence your garden with a three-foot-tall wire fence dug into the ground to prevent these four-legged critters from stealing your beans.

Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about gladiolus. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.