Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Vegetable of the Year for 2021
Introducing the vegetable of the year for 2021, the green bean! There are many species of beans in cultivation around the world, yet it is the common green bean reaches celebrity status as National Garden Bureau’s vegetable focus for 2021.
One of the earliest cultivated plants, garden beans can trace their beginnings to Central and South America. Vining or climbing beans were an original member of the “Three-Sisters” – a companion planting of the first domesticated crops of maize, winter squash, and climbing beans.
These became the three main agricultural crops used for trade and food for Native North Americans. Breeders continue to breed a stringless trait into modern genetics as well as other traits like dark green succulent pods, good bean flavor, concentrated fruit set, stress tolerance, and disease resistance.
I love stir frying them with onions and peppers in garlic oil! YUM. They’re also great to just eat off the vine. Green beans or ‘snap’ beans as they are also referred to come in a variety of flavors, pod shapes, sizes, and a colorful pallet including shades of green, purple, yellow, and speckled bicolors.
As mentioned, there are many types of green beans, Bush beans are compact and fit well into both small garden patches or patio containers fitted with cages. They’re attractive too!
Pole beans are the vining type and grow wonderfully on a trellis.
And let’s not forget French green beans!
- Beans need sun and warmth.
- Don’t plant them in cool, wet soil. They are quick to mature. Use mulch around the plantings.
- Plant every couple of weeks for succession harvesting!
- Pole beans have a long harvest of about 6 to 8 weeks.