questions about growing bush green beans in containers

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)June 25, 2009

I would like to grow bush green beans in containers. I'd start out with 4 plants.

What would the rim size of the diameter of the container have to be to plant 4 bush green plants from seed without overcrowding them (12", 24", etc.); this is AFTER the plants have been thinned out.

What would size of the container need to be to plant 4 bush green plants from seed in quarts or gallons? Again this is after the plants have been thinned out to the 4 plants I plan to grow.

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imstillatwork(8-9 Oregon Coast / Ca Border)

I would space them to the package directions and use a pot deep enough to allow root room and drainage.

I know these are not bus beans, but rather pole, however I planted about 36 seeds in a 30 gallon pot (about 30"w x 20"l x 16"h)


click

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:04PM
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lathyrus_odoratus(5A-IL)

Just as a reference, I believe that the Earthbox company, whose containers are about 29 by 13 with soil mix about 8 inches deep, IIRC, says that you can plant 16 beans in a box - 8 in each row, but doesn't specify bush or the other kind. I always thought 8 for bush was too many and have planted 4-5 in a row. It also says that you can plant 8 lettuce - 4 in each row.

Since I use my lettuce as cut and come and it doesn't ever get large, I put about 6 in a row.

You're not using this system, but it may be a handy reference for what they have been able to grow and get good results.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 2:19AM
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opal52(z7b GA)

I'm growing bush beans in home made self watering containers and planted them 8 each in 2 rows as recommended on the Earthbox site.. They are doing great, some are ready to harvest now. Bush beans can be planted fairly close together. I had always grown them in ground until this year. I think the challenge with containers that are not self watering will be keeping up with watering needs.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 9:13AM
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kawaiineko_gardener(5a)

I'm really not trying to be rude, and I apologize if I come off that way as this isn't my intent. I do appreciate the help given so far and for people who have taken time out of their schedules to post on this thread. Thank you.

Unfortunately I haven't really received an answer to my question. I plan to space them how far apart each plant should be spaced. However that doesn't tell me what size
container I would need in gallons to plant 4 bush green bean plants without overcrowding them.

I would prefer to use a window box, so however many gallons the thing has to be to plant 4 green bean plants without overcrowding them, please specify the dimensions of the window box and what size it has to be in gallons.

Imstillatwork, you did say that you planted 36 bush green bean seeds in a 30 gallon pot. That's waaay too many seeds for me. I'm going to be planting 4 bush green bean plants, and this is how many I would like to be in the container after I've thinned the plants.

I assume since I'll be planting 4 bush green bean plants and this is how many I want in a container without overcrowding them after I thin them, that I should plant double the amount of seeds with the number of plants I plan to grow since I'll be thinning them out to the strongest plants later?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 5:45PM
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justaguy2(5)

Unfortunately I haven't really received an answer to my question. I plan to space them how far apart each plant should be spaced.

OK. I would prefer to use a window box, so however many gallons the thing has to be to plant 4 green bean plants without overcrowding them, please specify the dimensions of the window box and what size it has to be in gallons.

6" deep, 6" long and 6" wide. I assume since I'll be planting 4 bush green bean plants and this is how many I want in a container without overcrowding them after I thin them, that I should plant double the amount of seeds with the number of plants I plan to grow since I'll be thinning them out to the strongest plants later?

First, the idea of thinning to leave just the strongest plants is silly. What criteria determines which plant is strongest? Sometimes the little weaklings go on to do impressive things once they reach their stride, and the rapid growers peter out and become weak, but I digress.

If you will only be planting 4 bush bean plants it isn't really worth your time. You will, at best, get 1-2 light side meals from that amount.

Bush beans are usually planted with 3-6" spacing. Root system crowding/competition is pretty much never a limiting factor for them, instead sunlight exposure is. If you plant them too densely the ones in the middle shaded by the sunny side ones become the primary limiting factor.

In a container you have the luxury of rotating it for sun exposure so you can plant a little more densely than in the ground. In a trough style container you can go even more dense since the mass of leaves is only as wide and the narrow container.

If it were me and I was using a container 30" long by 6" wide by 6" deep I would place 20 bush bean plants into that space. That's 3" per plant. I would also fertilize with a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer such as Miracle Grow 24-8-16.

Don't count on the myth of beans/legumes using atmospheric nitrogen when growing in containers. Heck, half the time you can't even count on it when growing in the ground.

With a trough shaped container this amounts to 2 rows of beans and I would rotate the container every day or every other day to get both sides adequate light.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 6:20PM
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vrkelley

>>imstillatwork 9.5? Coast Oregon / (My Page) on
>> Thu, Jun 25, 09 at 21:04

>>I would space them to the package directions and use a pot deep enough to allow root room and drainage.

To the Op, I thought imstillatwork had a good answer. So do a little math. If the pkg says thin to 4 inches apart, your container must be at least 8inches in diameter (for the 4 plants).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 8:33PM
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siambasil(6aOH)

If you think of this as square foot gardening because you are probably using a very good soil mix, then you can plant the beans closer, like 3 inches apart.It only needs to be about 6 inches deep. I would measure 3 inches from the side of the container and space accordingly.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 10:47PM
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kawaiineko_gardener(5a)

You said I can plant them together if I'm using a good soil mix. What would constitute as a good soil mix? Please give a description of what a good soil mix would be for square foot gardening.

If I were to just create a plot and do traditional row format, I'd use a mixture of equal parts loam, cow manure based fertilizer, and peat moss. Would this be a good enough soil mixture that I could plant the bush green beans 3" apart without it overcrowding and stressing the plants?

Could I just use miracle gro potting mix with some cow manure based fertilizer mixed in as my mix for square foot gardening?

Would I need to add vermiculite or perilite to aereate the soil?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:58PM
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justaguy2(5)

Are you growing in containers or raised beds? If containers just use the MG mix and skip the manure.

The 3" spacing is fine as you will need to supply whatever whatever and nutrients the beans need anyway.

The spacing limitation isn't due to water/nutrients, but sunlight. At 3" spacing it's going to be a dense mass and this is why a trough shaped container is ideal. It allows 2 rows with none in the middle to get shaded. Just rotate the container every day or three to get both sides equal sunlight

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:58PM
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recluse(6b/7 NE TN)

I am growing bush beans in 8" pots - 1-2 plants per pot. These pots are approx. 8" deep and the plants are doing poorly.

I am in the process of pulling them all. They are filled with roots and not producing much. Additionally, the beans (not the plants) rarely got longer than 3" and never produced much; about 1/3 as much a an in-ground plant.

IMO, its not so much the diameter of the pot as how deep it is. They don't mind being crowded (as long as they get plenty of sun), but they want plenty of depth for their roots.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 7:30AM
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justaguy2(5)

How were they fertilized, Recluse?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 9:56AM
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jaycee6610

I too would like to know what are the planting conditions for bush beans in containers. I am in zone 9b. i planted some in a 10" pot and they are not doing well. What about sunlight do they need full sun or shade? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:57PM
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bitzppa(11)

bush beans don't need much room , I cram them in and if one or 2 need to come out that's better than having room left :)

BZ

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:02AM
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