Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

Beans – The most prolific producer of my kitchen garden January 24, 2010

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 4:47 pm

I am ready to hail the star of my kitchen garden. and it’s beans! Well one might ask what makes a particular veggie star of a kitchen gardener.
Here are few reasons:

1. The time taken from sowing to harvest should be low enough for a gardener to not lose patience. Beans definitely score very high in that respect. By now i have already seen 3 full cycles of beans, the time taken for one full cycle is roughly 2-3 month’s and there is continuous produce for almost a month and half. One can easily expect a harvest once a week.
Pic taken on 14th dec

Pic taken on 21st Jan

Beans - Pic taken on 21 Jan.

2. The plant should not be nutrient hog. It should be low maintenance, should grow well in pots with no chemical supplements. Beans fits the bill just fine. I normally grow 2-3 plants in 15 ltr pots. Also this particular plant in the container is growing in bright shade and doing perfectly fine even without a single day of direct sunlight.

One of the 2 plants growing in a container

3. Should not be very prone to diseases and pests. In my experience till date, not even once my beans plants has been attacked by any pests.

4. The produce should commensurate the amount of the effort.The below picture is ample testimony to that. Also the produce is very well spread over a period of time giving very less scope for wastage.

harvest of beans on 23rd Jan

In addition to all these advantages, it also has few more plus points like:
5. It’s easy to save seeds from beans plant. So, the investment in seeds is only one time. The saved seeds have given me near 100% germination and plants are healthy.
6. Beans are legumes, which means they have the capability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere helping make your soil fertile.
7. The beans grown in the garden taste so much better than the ones in market. You can almost tell the difference even with the cooked ones.

So, go ahead and sow some beans, they normally don’t require transplantation and can be sown directly. I am not sure if there is any specific season in which they should be sown. They have done well in almost every season in my garden(Bangalore). The only other veggie i can think of which fits most of the criteria’s mentioned above is palak. If you are looking for sustainability from a veggie garden, then it’s hard to miss these two.

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14 Responses to “Beans – The most prolific producer of my kitchen garden”

  1. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    Congrats on your success over beans and the sustainability effort for the same. Could you tell me where you got your seeds the first time? Also, does the prolific growth require staking?

    BTW, I have harvested 14 cucumbers so far ! I notice that the foliar growth has decelerated now, is this normal? Also, the transplanted ones are succumbing to diseases – pale green leaves, stunted growth and little flowering. I have to take a tough decision – whether to destroy them… the are just 3 feeet high 1.5 months after sowing.

    Have you tried growing ridge gourd?

    Regards
    Meena K

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Meena,
      As far as i remember the initial seeds were bought from Lalbagh. I still have some 10 odd seeds from the last seed saving. I would be glad to share them if logistics can be worked out.

      Congrats on your cucumber harvest. Am sure it must be a great feeling. I too had noticed the foliar growth deceleration midway. I guess it’s normal. The production phase lasts for 1.5-2 month’s roughly.

      Some times such tough decisions as to remove the weaker plants are in order to make better use of the available resources. Guess nature has it’s own selection and elimination process and we just have to go by it.

      I had tried ridge gourd only once, with the seeds bought from my native. Didn’t germinate at all. So, am looking for good seeds to start. Hope i’ll do it some time soon.

      Regards
      Raj

  2. Sumathy Says:

    Hi Raj,

    Great! Congrats. The beans look wonderful. I too have the same query as Meena :-). Could you tell me where to get good quality beans seed and bottle gourd? I too am planning to start a vegetable garden. What manure/compost did you use?

    regards,
    Sumathy

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sumathy,

      Thank you for all the praise for the beans 🙂
      I have answered your first question in the reply i have given to Meena 🙂

      The bottle gourd seeds were from Mayhco seeds and are F1 hybrids. They were gifted to me by one of my college time friends whose brother happens to work in Mayhco and he came to know of my interest in gardening through this blog. I must say the seeds were of very good quality 🙂 Again in this case too few seeds are still available and would be happy to share them if logistics can be worked out.

      I normally use a mix of lots of organic stuff for my pots and soil depending on their availability like vermi-compost from DoH and Kudlu compost factory, gobar compost from my neighborhood doodhwala, all kitchen vegetable peels and scraps, powder charcoal, then panchagavya spray on foliage and soil, lawn grass cuttings etc…

      Regards
      Raj

  3. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    Thanks for your response. I would like to collect the beans seeds from you. I stay in Jayanagar IV T Block. If it is fine, I would like to come over to your place and collect the same .Pls let me know the convenient place and timings.

    Regards
    Meena K

  4. That was great, Raja! The beans look so fresh and no doubt homemade ones are tasty and worth the efforts!

  5. Sumathy Says:

    Hi Raj,

    Thanks for the offer. I will like to collect the seeds from you. Do let me know the details. I will be shifting my place soon, will come after I settle in my new place:-).

    Thanks once again.

    regards,
    Sumathy

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sumathy,

      You are most welcome. Do plan to come on weekends any time as per your convinience and give me a call before you start. My mobile number and address will be in your mailbox.

      Regards
      Raja

  6. geekgardener Says:

    Hi Raja,

    The bean plants look so lush and having tasted the harvest from your garden I have to say I am tempted to grow more beans. Its so fresh and crunchy. We cooked the ones you gave us, separately so that we differentiate the taste and Its like tomato where home grown ones make lots of difference.

    Have you sowed lettuces?

    Thanks again.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi geekgardener,

      Pleasure is entirely mine. Glad that you liked the taste of the my garden produce.
      Haven’t sowed the lettuce yet. Plant to do it this weekend.

      Regards
      Raja

  7. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    Thanks for the seeds you gave me. Visting your garden and talking to you and your wife were really very motivating. The papaya from your garden is very delicious; my daughter loved it.

    I have sowed the beans and pumpkin seeds today. I soaked them overnight and put them in Pancha Gavya solution for 20 min. before sowing. I will keep you updated on the progress I make…

    Regards
    Meena K

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Meena,

      Pleasure is entirely mine. To have someone as enthusiastic as you visit my place really feels great.

      I am very impressed by your passionate explanation about all the different kind of greens and their medicinal properties. Wish you luck in your plans to bring them all, here into your terrace garden in B’lore.

      Regards
      Raj

  8. K. Meena Says:

    Hi Raj:

    I could emulate your success with respect to growing beans , in my terrace garden. Thanks for the inspiration you are providing us.

    A query: can you explain the process of saving seeds for beans. Do we just leave one or two beans to dry completely , in the plant itself , for seed production?

    Regards
    Meena K


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