Black Beans Gardening (Turtle Beans) at Your Home
Today, we are going to discuss the topic of black beans gardening in your backyard.
Growing Black beans in the backyard
Black beans are considered legumes. They are also called turtle beans as they have an appearance which looks like a shell and their hardness. Black beans are the ones which are edible. Similar to all the other legumes like peas, peanuts, lentils, black beans are the ones which are well-known for very high content of protein and fiber in them. Black beans also consist of many other important vitamins which are popular as a benefit for human health. The types of black beans such as Tampico beans or Mexican black beans are the ones which will add nutrients to your dishes and also makes them tasty and hardy. These black beans can be grown easily and they are also easy for maintenance. You will need some kind of preparation for the growth and harvest of the black beans in your backyard. In this article, we will discuss how to grow black beans in your backyard or black beans gardening at home.
Preparation of the site:
- For the growth of black beans, you will need to choose a spot which is sunny. Black beans are the ones who love to be in sunlight. In this regard, ensure that you are choosing a location which gets full sun in the day time. Generally, the black beans should get sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours in a day.
- The pH of the soil has to be checked and amendments have to be made to the soil is required. Black beans are the ones which grow their best in the soil which has the pH in between 6 to 6.5. You will need to get a soil pH test kit or you can also select the soil and send it for testing.
- If the pH of the soil is too low or too high, you will need to make amendments to it. If the pH of the soil is very low, you can increase the pH by the addition of some lime. If the pH of the soil is too high, you can go with the addition of some sulfur.
- To make amendments to the pH of the soil, it will take a few months, so make sure that you are planning this prior and conduct a soil test before the plantation of beans.
- As it is very difficult to modify the soil pH, you can also take into consideration the growing of beans in a raised bed if you find that your soil is not right. As an alternative, you can also grow a different type of bean.
- Make sure that you are adding a fertilizer which has a low content of nitrogen to the soil. The bean plants will not require plenty of fertilizers. Anyways, if you have raised other types of plants, mainly the bean plants, in the same location, it would be better to improve the soil by adding a small bit of organic fertilizer prior to the plantation. You can choose a fertilizer which has a low content of nitrogen if you want a very good production of the bean.
- Since bean is a vegetable, if you give a high amount of nitrogen, it might cause your bean plants to give rise to plenty of leaves and a very few beans.
Plantation in black beans gardening in your backyard:
- Purchase dry black bean seed You can do that online or you can also get them from a local store. They will be basically labeled as “Black turtle beans”.
- Plant the black beans at the end of the spring. Black beans are the ones which will live in warm weather. The plantation of black beans should be done at the end of the spring as they love to be in full sun.
- The temperature of the soil should be at least 16 °C before the plantation.
- The germination of the beans should take place in 14 days and they will reach the stage of maturity in about 3 months.
- The plantation of the beans should be done at a time when you know that they will be in warm climatic conditions for at least three months.
- The seeds of black bean will undergo the process of germination very easily if you prepare them prior by soaking for several hours or for complete night. The beans have to be soaked in water which is clean for at least 3 hours before plantation.
- The black beans will have the ability to make use of nitrogen in the soil in a better way if you go with the application of a legume inoculant. This application can be done directly to the soil or to the beans. You can contact the local garden supply store or you can also research online for an inoculant which is formulated for beans and other types of legumes.
- One of the inoculants which you can use is mycorrhizal fungi. This will help in the formation of roots and also helps the plant in the fixing of nitrogen.
- You can also go with the application of a few inoculants by pouring the beans in a bag along with the inoculant and shaking the bag in a gentle manner so that the beans will be coated. The other inoculant must be mixed in the soil before the plantation takes place. You can follow the instructions which are mentioned on the package of the product.
- If you like, you can also make a long furrow which has a depth of 1 inch and by placing the beans at a distance all across the furrow rather than making a series of holes which are separate. Ensure that your beans are kept distant enough so that they have enough space to spread as they keep growing. The beans have to be covered with a layer of soil after the plantation.
- The beans have to be given some amount of additional space in between the plant if they are a type of bush which is against to the vining types.
- The beans have to be sown with their eyes facing downwards.
- The soil has to be moistened at the time of plantation as this will encourage the process of germination of the beans. The soil has to be watered in a light manner after the plantation so that the soil will be damp, but make sure that the soil is not becoming soggy. Ensure that the soil is kept moist as the beans will start to grow.
Care and maintenance of black beans gardening
- Black beans are the plants which are hardy and they will not need plenty of water. The beans have to be watered if the soil will be dry or almost dry, or if you see that your beans are wilted in the morning. Make sure that you are not over-watering your beans. Black beans will start rotting at the roots if they sit in the soil which is soggy for a long time.
- Mulch will help in keeping the weeds away. They will also restore the moisture in the soil and maintain warmth in it. You can find a mulching material which is organic like hay or chopped straw.
- The beans have to be mulched for every 3 weeks after the plantation or once the plants have been sprouted and grown few leaves.
- You will need to leave 2 inches of the space which is free of mulch around the stem of each and every plant. Having the mulch across the stems will cause rotting in the plants.
- If your black beans are a variety of vines, they will require some sort of support. Once the bean plants will begin to grow, you will need to keep a pole or trellis beside each and every plant. You might require to tie the plant to the pole in a gentle manner so that you can train it for growth across the support.
- Each and every pole or trellis should be at a height of 3 feet.
- Black beans will have roots which are shallow, so you will require to be careful while pulling up any sort of weeds surrounding the plants. Always make sure that you are pulling the weeds by manually by making use of hands and try to reduce the growth of weeds as much as possible by mulching all around the beans and weeding the place before the plantation.
- Black beans are prone to pests and aphids. Aphids are a specific concern as they can cause infection to your beans with the mosaic virus. Rinse the pests by making use of a garden hose on a spray setting which is sharp or you can remove them off by making use of the hand. To get a long-term solution, you can start applying neem oil spray or pyrethrin.
- If you do not want to make use of any chemical pesticides, you can introduce few ladybugs into your backyard. Ladybugs will consume aphids and other pests. You may be able to buy ladybugs at your local garden center.
Harvest and storage of black beans:
- You will come to know that the pods are ready for the harvesting when they turn yellow, hard and dry. You can harvest them when are in green color, but you will require to let them reach the maturity stage and dry completely before you can cut off the beans inside.
- Black beans actually reach the stage of maturity and are ready to harvest 3-4 months after the plantation.
- If your black bean plant is of the bush variety, all the pods have to reach the maturity stage at the same time. If you are having vine variety, you will require to harvest the pods on a regular basis all across the growing season to promote production continuously.
- When the pods will become yellow and dry, you will need to take two scissors or a tiny pruner and remove any pods which are matured. If you are not completely sure that the pods have become mature, you can even break one and check if the beans are black and dry inside. You can also try to bite a bean and if you find it dry, it means it is ready to harvest.
- You can even harvest the black beans at the time of dry climatic conditions. If your beans are fully prepared for the harvest but the weather forecast determines a heavy rain, you can bring the entire plant to the indoor location and hang it in the upside-down direction so that it can dry inside completely.
- Once the harvest is done, you can crack them and open to remove the beans which are present inside the pods. The beans have to be spread out on a surface which is flat and allow them to fry for a complete day or two before you cook or store.
- It is very tiring to hand-shell the beans. It would be very easy for you if you collect the beans by putting all the pods in a sack and stomp on it a few times. You can also hit the sack against a wall to get the beans.
- The black beans can be stored for up to a year if you decide to store them in a proper way. You will need to put them in a place which is dry and cool and you will have to keep them in a container which has an air-tight lid for the protection of the beans from insects and moisture.
That’s all folks about growing black turtle beans or black beans gardening at your home.
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