The most commonly known and widely grown herbaceous perennial plant is the French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), otherwise known as the green bean or European bean. The various categories of green beans, according to cultivation, are shell beans, snap beans and unripe fruitless pods.
The bean plant is an herbaceous perennial plant native to Africa and Asia, with a stem that resembles a bean pod. The leaves are flat and smooth, with green stems that hang down from the base of the plant, reaching up to three feet.
The leaves of mature plants are oval in shape, with flat tips, and may grow up to twelve inches tall. The pods, which are large, are covered in small white hairs. The pods turn green and turn black during their maturity, becoming fully ripe when the beans split open and release their edible flesh. The beans are eaten raw or boiled in water or milk, and the skins can be roasted, cut open and served as snacks.
There are many different species of beans grown for their edible beans, but the most popular of them all is the bean known as P. vulgaris. It has a fleshy, creamy texture and a rich taste that make it a favorite of many people. While this bean is an annual, it grows and produces seeds throughout the year, thus it is one of the most versatile beans.
Beans are an important source of protein and energy. In addition, beans contain vitamin B3 and fiber. These are two essential nutrients that you do not get enough of in your diets. Many people think of beans as being low in protein and fat, but they are actually very high in both of these and are a complete food that is good for you. Many experts also recommend beans to diabetics because of the fiber content, as it assists in controlling blood sugar levels.
Because the green bean plant grows year-round, it is easy to grow. Most gardeners choose a location in their yard where the soil is well drained to facilitate proper growth. Once the soil is well-rooted, the bean plant can be planted as soon as the spring, and the roots can spread out over the rest of the year.
The bean plant should be watered often, at least once every couple weeks, even if the soil is fairly dry. When the soil around the bean plant is moist, you should water more often. A good rule of thumb is to water the bean plant’s bottom around ten days after a heavy rain. Watering the plant will help it grow healthier, and it will keep the plant from drying out.
To prevent the bean plant from drying out, mulch the leaves of the plant often, but not too heavily. Mulching keeps the soil cool, preventing moisture from evaporating and condensation from collecting on the leaf surfaces. To make mulching easier, plant several beans together. Mulching should be done around the beans once a week before the first frosts.
To help prevent weeds from growing around the bean plant, place a barrier between the beans and the garden. A thick plastic or Styrofoam container or netting should be planted around the beans, with a hole in the middle, so that air cannot escape. This will keep weeds from getting into the bean plant, and it will protect the bean plant from wind erosion, which is common when growing in open fields.
When the bean plant is established, it is time to fertilize it. Fertilizing can be as simple as applying a half teaspoon of fertilizer to the top inch of the soil each week. Or, you can use a high-quality organic fertilizer specifically formulated for the specific type of bean you have.
There are several types of fertilizers on the market, and each one is formulated to work well with various types of bean plants. Some farmers prefer to purchase a pre-packaged liquid fertilizer in spring and apply it throughout the year, while other farmers prefer to use soil additives such as vermiculite and perlite. Fertilizer will also be applied to the plant in late winter and early summer, once a month to improve its appearance.
Once the bean plant is established and growing, it is time to harvest the crop and enjoy a tasty treat for all of your friends and family. Once the bean plant has finished producing beans, it is time to enjoy the benefits of this delicious and nutritious food for several months, as it is always in season during the holidays and throughout the coldest times of the year.