Rajma Container Gardening
Today, we learn step by step guide for Kidney beans or Rajma container gardening techniques, ideas, and tips. Rajma or Kidney beans are one of the varieties of common beans whose scientific name is Phaseolus vulgaris. This is a legume which is native to Mexico and Central America. The common bean is a food crop which is very essential and is also a great source of protein all across the world. Rajma is made use in a large variety of traditional dishes. In India, these are termed as Rajma. These are generally well-cooked and then consumed. The kidneys beans which are raw or not cooked properly will be toxic. But the ones which are well-cooked are healthy and are essential to have a diet which is well-balanced. They usually come in several colors and patterns like white, black, cream, red, spotted, striped, mottled and purple.
Rajma are the ones which are somewhat easy to grow, but you will be required to ensure that the roots are not getting waterlogged. Else, they get damaged anytime during the growing season. Like most of the varieties of beans, Rajma can be grown both as vines and bushes. So you will have to select a type which works best as per the space you have. The Rajma can also be grown in containers. In this article, we will learn how to grow Rajma in containers.
Preparation of soil:
For Rajma container gardening, soil plays a major role for better growth of the bean plant and quality of produce.
The Rajma will grow well in the soil which is loose and dry. Soil which is moderately loam is perfect for Rajma. If you see that your soil is heavy, then you can add sand or organic manure for the improvement of soil. The level of soil pH should be between 6 to 7. You can find here out How to Test Garden Soil pH.
Growing Rajma in containers:
- Though the container gardening will not give all the conditions which are beneficial for the growth of Rajma, they can be grown in containers when proper care is taken. For each plant of kidney plant, you will be required a pot which has a diameter of 12 inches.
- When you have decided to grow Rajma in containers, you should always select a kidney bean which is of bush variety rather than a pole variety. Bush varieties are the ones which will grow much better in limited spaces.
- The exact reason for the Rajma not being grown in the container is that the yield which is produced by an average kidney plant will not be sufficient for one individual person. You generally have to plant 5 to 10 plants if you want to provide yourself with sufficient beans in order to use them on a regular basis. You should plant one plant of kidney bean in one pot. Anyways, you will need 5 to 10 separate pots if you planning to grow sufficiently.
- You will need to add an additional amount of gravel to the container. Prior to adding any amount of soil to the container, you will be required to spread a layer of gravel beneath the plant for the purpose of improvement of drainage. Else, the plants of kidney bean can become waterlogged when inside the containers.
- The plants have to be planted sufficiently deep. Like a standard garden, you will be required to plant a seed of kidney bean 1 to 2 inches deep. The seeds have to be sown at the center of the pot.
Care and maintenance of the Rajma in containers:
- The soil should be never allowed to get soggy too much like the roots of the kidney bean plant will be damaged easily when they get waterlogged. In this regard, you will need to give an additional amount of water to the plants when there is a drought in your locality.
- Rather than watering the soil for keeping it damp constantly, you should water it only when you check the soil and you are sure that the soil is dried out at a minimum of 1 inch beneath the surface. You can test it by sticking your finger in a gentle manner into the soil. In this way, you can feel the moisture and take a decision about watering.
- Though the fertilizers which are rich in the content of nitrogen will make your plants appear leafy and also vibrant, these fertilizers will generally do more amount of harm than good as they will encourage the plant to give its energy to the leaves instead of fruits. A large number of doses of nitrogen will give rise to a leafy kidney bean plant which bears fewer beans which are edible.
- After the plantation starts, the Rajma will generally produce nitrogen by themselves inside the roots. A fertilizer which has high amounts of nitrogen will certainly end up feeding the plant with lots of amount of nitrogen.
- If you see that the plants are suffering for the requirement of more amount of nutrients, you can make use of a small amount of organic fertilizer which will not supply a large amount of nitrogen.
- The roots of the kidney bean plant are a bit shallow, so when you are digging up the weeds, you will be required to do very carefully to avoid disturbing the roots of the plant accidentally.
- Make sure that you are not chopping the weeds which are around a kidney bean plant by making use of a trowel or how. Rather than that, you can pull the weeds by making use of hands.
- You can also keep the weeds away by spreading 2 inches of mulch layer around the kidney bean plant after the sprouting is done. In addition to this, mulch will give an extra benefit to the plant by the maintenance of required warmth and humidity while at the same time it also prevents the pods from becoming rot once they touch the ground.
Pests and diseases of Rajma plant:
In Rajma container gardening, you must know how to control the pests and diseases of the plant as soon as you locate them.
- Few of the pests will always target Rajma and the plant is also prone to few diseases. If you are facing a problem with pests, then you can apply a pesticide or fungicide which is appropriate.
- Slugs, cutworms, beetles, and leafhoppers are the ones which target the leaves of the plant. These can be easily avoided if you are monitoring the kidney bean plants on a regular basis and pick them away as soon as you see them. If you do not have this option of picking up, then you can purchase a pesticide which particularly works on these insects.
- Aphids are also the ones which would attack your kidney bean plant, But these are not the ones which can be picked off manually. You will need to treat the plant with the application of a pesticide which is appropriate once you see the aphids as these are the pests which spread the mosaic virus.
- Bean rust is a fungus which is reddish-brown in color and will be in patches on the leaves of a plant. This should be treated with the application of a fungicide as soon as you see the first symptoms of this.
- Powdery mildew is the one which may attack your kidney bean plant. It will appear to be a powder which is white and also fine. You will need to the kidney bean plants with the application of a fungicide as soon as you spot them and you will also have to decrease the watering. The climatic conditions which are humid are the ones which give rise to mildew. So always ensure that the plants will only be watered at the level of soil and not on the leaves.
Harvesting of Kidney bean plants grown in containers:
- Rajma which are of bush variety have to be harvested only one after the growing season.
- The Rajma should be ready for harvest after 3 to 5 months.
- The bean pots which are matured in an adequate way will be dry when you touch them and the beans which are inside the beans will be very hard.
- The beans of one pod have to be checked before you harvest the remaining pods. You can check if the beans are ready by biting them down one after the other. If your teeth are able to dent the bean, then you can allow the rest to dry for a long time before you tend to harvest them and shell them.
- Remove the kidney bean plants from the soil in the container and then, you will need to hang them in upside down condition for few weeks till you see that the pods are dry and the beans have become hard internally. Always make sure that the foliage has died almost before you pull out the kidney bean plants.
- The beans have to be kept in indoor locations now for warmth. But make sure that there is a lot of air circulation when you are drying them.
- After you have pulled out the pods from your plant, you will be required to break them open and take off the beans which are present internally. If you have let the plants to mature in a perfect manner, the beans will already be dry and hard.
- You can shell a small number of beans by making use of the hand. The pods can be placed in a bag which is similar to a pillowcase or you can also choose a pillowcase.
- The pods have to be stepped in a careful manner across the pillowcase so that they can be cracked open. When it is done, examine thoroughly all the pieces to select the required beans and leave behind the pods which are broken.
Storage of the Rajma beans:
- The Rajma which are harvested have to be placed in a jar and you have to store them in a dark and dry location till they are ready for use.
- The beans which are dried will last up to one year if placed in correct conditions.
- If you want the best results, you will need to store the Rajma in airtight bags or jars.
Hope you enjoyed the Rajma container gardening techniques and ideas. Happy gardening!.