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Old December 4, 2009   #16
pooklette
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Pooklette, why do you love growing dry beans?
They're really good for you, require very little effort in the storage department, and come in tons of exciting shapes, sizes, colors, etc. They grow like crazy around here and they don't seem to cross easily.

I mainly grow bush varieties. I plop the seeds in the ground, give them water once in a while, and then in late summer, I pluck all the dried pods off the plants. Very easy.

Oh, and I can squeeze 16 plants into one square foot, so that makes them very attractive for my limited gardening space.
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Old December 4, 2009   #17
pooklette
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Originally Posted by icelord
You have to plant alot to make it worth your wile! Peas, that is.
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How much is a lot?


I need about 6 bush-type plants to get 1 cup of shelled peas. Maybe that's normal, maybe it's our finicky climate...dunno.

Fresh garden peas are so much sweeter than what I find in the store, I think it's worth it to give them room in my garden. I grow bush varieties and plant a row of them about 1 foot wide and 8 feet long. That gives me enough peas to eat fresh and freeze for later.
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Old December 5, 2009   #18
cdbva
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The good thing about vining peas, is that they can be planted densely. A 12 foot row, for me, is about 120 plants (5 per foot in double rows 4" apart).
Wow. What kind of harvest do you get?

Christine
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Old December 6, 2009   #19
Ruth_10
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Ditto what Pooklette said about dry beans. They don't take up freezer space or need canning, they're tasty and good for you, and they are just plain pretty to look at. You can shell them at your leisure in the fall and winter when the press of other garden chores is over.

In the garden they don't require much work beyond the initial seeding and weeding, then the harvesting at the very end. You can plant fairly thickly and shade out most of the weeds. Beans are legumes, so they're good for the soil.

A win all around.
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Old December 6, 2009   #20
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You can shell them at your leisure in the fall and winter when the press of other garden chores is over.

Hmm! Which ones do you like best? The pictures of the pretty ones fascinate me (Jacob's Cattle, e.g.) I suppose one should concentrate on taste, though.
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Old December 7, 2009   #21
b54red
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Tomatoes go without saying, of course. But a few weeks ago I started musing about other possibilities for the spring. This will be the first full year I'll have space to grow whatever I want in the plot that seemed so impossibly huge when I got it. Now I'm wishing I had a couple more plots. But you're only allowed one. And I was lucky to get mine when I did; they say there are 500 on the waiting list now!


So, my prelimary list is:
Eggplant
A mixture of sweet bell peppers
Chard. I love chard.
Turnip greens, maybe with turnips underneath them.
Basil, of course
Sage - may live over
Oregano - will live over
Parsley
Cilantro - must do some research on making sure it grows
Lettuces. I want to grow enough salad that we won't have to buy any.
I might try:
Bay leaves
Rutabagas
Raspberries
Pumpkins (my neighbor at the gardens has offered me half of her plot to do this)
Some kind of squash
Am I missing anything? What will you grow?

Christine
I can give you a little help on the cilantro. It likes cool weather like spinach or lettuce. In our summer heat it just goes to seed too fast. I found out by accident. I planted some seed in containers in early fall to try growing some in the greenhouse; but so many came up I took the extras and just stuck them between some lettuce plants outside. They grew huge and had terrific taste. I had so much that I gave my favorite Mexican restaurant a couple of bags of it.
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Old December 7, 2009   #22
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I can give you a little help on the cilantro. It likes cool weather like spinach or lettuce. In our summer heat it just goes to seed too fast. I found out by accident. I planted some seed in containers in early fall to try growing some in the greenhouse; but so many came up I took the extras and just stuck them between some lettuce plants outside. They grew huge and had terrific taste. I had so much that I gave my favorite Mexican restaurant a couple of bags of it.
I haven't been able to make seeds come up. Maybe I have bad seeds.

Christine
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Old December 7, 2009   #23
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The first thing I harvest around May/June is Sugar Snap Peas.
They are soo good, I wish they would grow all summer here.
Besides peas, I will be growing more peppers next year and
of course tomatoes, thai green epplant, squash, bush beans,
pole beans, cilantro, basil, stevia, chives, green onions and
dill.
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Old December 7, 2009   #24
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Hmm! Which ones do you like best? The pictures of the pretty ones fascinate me (Jacob's Cattle, e.g.) I suppose one should concentrate on taste, though.
I try the pretty ones that fascinate me and then decide whether to keep growing them based on yield, cooking/baking qualities, etc. (Kind of like some of us do with tomatoes.) Two that I grow every year are:

Hidatsa Red ~ bush habit, medium size rosy-red beans, tolerates hot and wet seasons equally well, very productive, easy to shell
http://www.seedsavers.org/Details.aspx?itemNo=1437

Mary Ison's Little Brown Bunch ~ bush habit, medium tan seeds with chocolate brown stripes, tolerates hot and wet seasons very well, very productive, easy to shell
http://www.heritageharvestseed.com/p...0Brown%20Bunch
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Old December 7, 2009   #25
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One caveat to growing dry beans: buying them in the grocery store is much cheaper (they're dirt cheap), but you don't have very many choices.

I've only been seriously growing dry beans for the last couple of years. Last year I grew a fair amount of Vermont Cranberry; this year Tiger's Eye and Canary were my larger crops. Also Sieva lima bean (pole habit).

I grew smaller crops (to increase my seed stock and try some in cooking) of Good Mother Stallard and Hidatsu Shield Figure. I use other types as dry beans as well--this year I saved Tobacco Worm, Jimenez (love these in green pod stage), Uncle Steve's Italian pole, and Kentucky Blue. I haven't cooked any of the Good Mother Stallard yet, but the Hidatsu Shield Figure and Tiger's Eye beans were great.

Haven't decided yet what new-to-me to trial next year for dry beans. I do plan to do a larger planting of Good Mother Stallard and Hidatsu Shield Figure. I have to admit, the pretty ones really appeal to me.
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Old December 7, 2009   #26
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"Tobacco Worm?"

I did a little research and found that you need more space than I have to do dry beans. Darn! I'd love to try some of those varieties. Rick & I have been getting into beans this year, though only the ones that I find in the grocery store. I've heard cranberry beans are tasty.

The link says that Mary Ison's Little Brown Bunch are adorable. Sounds like they know their audience!

Christine
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Old December 8, 2009   #27
Ruth_10
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Christine,
Yeah, Tobacco Worm. What a name.
Do you have room for a tall trellis maybe 4 ft wide? You can grow pole dry beans (Good Mother Stallard is one) without taking up a whole lot of square footage.
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Old December 10, 2009   #28
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Sure I have room for a trellis. Hmm!
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Old December 19, 2009   #29
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it just goes to seed too fast.
What does 'go to seed' mean, b4?
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Old December 19, 2009   #30
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What does 'go to seed' mean, b4?
Oooh, ooh, I can answer that! CIlantro leaves taste much better before it starts producing seed. Once the seed heads start to form, the leaves (which are what you want) start to shrivel and get smaller, like parsley, lettuce, and other members of the parsley family. It's analogous to lettuce bolting -- once it starts to bolt, the leaves become bitter and unusable as all the plant's energy is diverted to seed production.

pooklette, 16 plants in one square foot? I can do that! I can grow bush beans!
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