Problems that may arise:
Although relatively easy to grow, bush and pole beans are prone to certain diseases such as powdery mildew, anthracnose, bacterial blight and rust mosaic.
There are some varieties that are more disease resistant than others, but I tend to focus on my favorite flavors and heirloom varieties rather than this factor.
Tips to keep your plants healthy:
- Use healthy seeds to start
- Rotate crops after each planting
- Keep around the plants clear of debris (rotting leaves, weeds etc.) *
*I have read that bean plants like mulch, which nourishes and protects the soil while keeping the moisture level in the soil even. I have not tested this though.
There are also a couple of types of bugs that like bean plants:
Mexican Bean Beetles: Mexican bean beetles are large brown/copper colored ladybug-like bug.
Japanese Beetles: Japanese Beetles are small and metallic-green.
Aphids: There are many different varieties of aphids. But if you see a bean leaf covered in tiny bugs, larger than a mite, but smaller than a ladybug, it’s probably an aphid.
Simply pick off the leaf that is infected or any of the adult beetles, larvae or eggs you discover. If you see aphids, give the leaves a good hosing to knock them off. Any leaves or beans low to the ground may attract slugs as well, so trim them if needed.
Important points and a few extra tips:
1. Wait for warm weather to plant (65 + degrees)
2. Water evenly.
3. Plant beans close together, but make sure the leaves have air to breath.
4. Rotate your crops.
5. Keep around the bean plants weeded and free of debris.
6. Keep your beans picked.
7. Stagger plantings (for green beans all season long.)
* Personal experience and sage gardening advice from friends.