The first bush bean that we grown was 'Redland Pioneer' in our garden and has been the best performer among the bush beans we have tried (not many though still to compare with). But it has been the most reliable bean to fill in the hungry gap. Bush bean grows really fast and provide some beans in 7~8weeks of growing, sometime earlier if the weather is preferable for their optimum growth. It is really an important veggie in our garden since it fill the hungry gap in spring and again in fall. We sow 'Redland Pioneer' bush bean 3 times a year-spring, summer and autumn. Well, rather than leaving the soil bare after harvesting other veggies, we might as well grow beans so they help fix nitrogen into the soil again. Its a win-win situation. I feel that bush bean seeds does not require much water to germinate, too much water can cause the seeds to rot easily in cool season. A really good veggie for a lazy gardener like me, bush beans not a heavy drinker and not a heavy feeder.
Bush bean 'Redland Pioneer' seedlings'
Because we don't have that much space to grow and very greedy, I tried to maximize the space we have by planting the plants densely together in spring/summer. I can get away growing them densely in a spot with full sun because they don't compete each other with light and it helps keep the soil moist longer as it is covered with the foliage. Less evaporation. Save money from buying mulch. I gave up with mulching this year because the bird will cause serious damage by their scratching habit on seedlings. Last spring when we transplanted tomato at this area, we direct-sowed bush bean seeds around the tomato seedlings. It did very well and the tomatoes grow without any fuss. Humidity is very low in our garden warm season here so our tomato plants can readily accept being close to other plants and I don't have to worry about good air circulation.
Beans grow well in partial shade too. But not as prolific as in full sun which you get more beans to harvest. In partial shade, I probably plant shorter plants together with beans to give the bean plants more light and not to over-shadowed them. We had many violas flower plant volunteers one spring season, and I transplanted them as border plant just to make the garden look more colourful. If in tropics, I can imagine portulaca (moss rose) growing in the viola place instead. At the back row are Bloomsdale spinach young plants.
Bush Bean Redland Pioneer very prolific.
At their pick season, just a few plants will give you enough harvest for an average family number.
I have been growing them for 3 years but this is the first time/year I really collected their seeds. I have been trying to collect them earlier last year but its hard to get the seed pod dried properly in autumn season. I also found sprouted bean seeds in the seed pods during autumn. So this time I let the summer heat wave do the quick drying process for me.
Shining harvested bean seeds.
Have a lovely weekend!