Fertilizing Pole Beans

yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.July 10, 2014

I realize pole beans don't need much fertilizer when planted but what about later in the year. I planted rattlesnake beans starting on 4/21 with a succession planting every week for 4 weeks. I have since learned that one week apart is not long enough between plantings.

I have picked buckets and buckets of beans. Production has slowed down. I have to decide whether to pull the plants or wait and see if they will flower and produce again. I won't need the space for another 45 days when I will plant English peas in the fall. If I leave them in, should I supplement them with fertilizer now. When I planted them in April I used compost and a balanced fertilizer but have not added any fertilizer since planting.

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Production slows down with high temperatures. The plants do not bloom above 86F for me. Pole beans do not require fertilizer in average garden soil.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 5:46PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree with glib above. If you really feel they may need som feeding then go with a very low/no nitrogen mix or just give them a side dressing of a low phos fertilizer.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 6:04PM
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Man, what a mess of beans..I mean looks great...what are you using for the trellis. Love it..

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:51AM
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yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.

Thank you all for your repsonses.

Dave - you often mention in your responses to various posters (forgive me if I get this a little wrong) that when planting in pots that adding compost does not help as a fertilizer because there is no soil food web to break that down into a form the plants can uptake. I am using the square foot garden method (equal parts of peat, vermiculite and compost). As this is soilless, will it develop a proper soil food web and how long does it take to get a good soil web built up?????

Steve - the trellises are 3/4 conduit on the sides and top. I pounded in a 3-4 foot rebar at each leg about 12 - 18" deep. Slipped the 3/4 emt conduit over the rebar and then attached the conduit to the outside of each bed with emt hole straps. There is also an emt conduit across the top of the bed. I zip tied nylon netting between the conduit legs running the length of the bed. In this 2 x 8 foot bed, there are three trellises. One on each edge of the bed and one down the middle. Lots and lots of beans. Zip tying all that netting was a bear. Next year I am going to get some cattle panel to go between the emt legs.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:38AM
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Ha, that is fantastic. Love the trellis design. Looks like a triple conduit system. That might hold up in my high wind area.

I'm just now getting a mess o snaps and snow peas. I also put in beans at a week apart for 4 weeks...and end up with too many but i drop off at the senior center all my overage.

I've never added anything extra during growing for peas and beans. I can't do a fall crop due to a short growing season, but would add at planting time if i could.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:41AM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

volos, I believe the above posters answered all of your questions. I would only add that IME rattlesnake beans start producing again about the time for planting sugar snap peas in our south Louisiana region... and is the same timing as for planting English peas.

Given your outstanding production, one suggestion for next year might be to plant half of your trellis in rattlesnake beans and the other half in Chinese long beans. The long beans have no problem with mid summer heat. Of course, the prerequisite would be that you do like the long beans ...

This year I planted only Chinese long beans...3 different varieties.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:40AM
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this thread was useful to me. Two of my three single frame conduit trellises were bent by a storm this week (first time in 6 years), and I see that the way to fix that is to go double frame, like the OP.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:45AM
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yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.

Thanks Granddad, but I tried Chinese noodle beans (red and green) last year and did not particularly care for them. Rattlesnake beans were reported to keep producing in the heat of summer. They are just now starting to flower for a second time so maybe they will keep producing. I don't need the space for a while so I shall see. I also have a test planting of Persian cucumbers on the same trellis and they are doing great.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:17AM
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About a week ago, I decided to hit my stunted, yellowing Fortex beans with a shot of liquid fertilizer. Already I can see a big difference. The leaves are darker and larger, they look a little bit more like pole beans should.

I think the flooding rains we've had all year had washed away a lot of the nutrients. So sometimes beans do need extra fertilizer.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:20PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

A little off topic, but seeing you climbing on ladders to pick and search for beans makes me nervous!
We tried something a little different this year.
Rather than a typical teepee type bean tower, we did the opposite. x was at the bottom and the top stuck out higher if that makes sense. Now that the beans are coming in, I'm LOVING IT! I don't have to climb, I don't have to go into a teepee and search. They just hang there on the outside of the bed!
When I learn how to post pics, I will! Taking an I pad class next week! Nancy

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:55AM
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Yolos, thank you for sharing how you made your trellis. Great Idea. So do you use netting of some sort?
That system will last for years. Do you pull up the rebar for winter? Love it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:34AM
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yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.

Yolos, thank you for sharing how you made your trellis. Great Idea. So do you use netting of some sort?
That system will last for years. Do you pull up the rebar for winter? Love it.
Steve349 - This was my first year using this trellis. I used nylon netting for the trellis. It will only last a year or two so when it starts to disintegrate I will try to get some cattle panels. I do not take down my trellis but leave them up all year. The 3/4 EMT should last a long time. The rebar is driven into the ground 1-1/2 to 2 feet into red clay. It is almost impossible to get the rebar out of that clay so I just leave the whole thing assembled. Next year I will plant something else there that needs a trellis - maybe watermelon and/or cantaloupe or cucumbers.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:19PM
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