Commercial farmers and backyard gardeners begin planting their bush beans between April and June. An important factor to consider is proper spacing. How many bush beans per square foot?
You can plant 9/SF (9 per square foot) or 9 bush beans per square foot. This practice plays an important role in farming and gardening. It does not only apply to bush beans, but it also applies to melons, corn, pumpkins, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables grown above and below ground.
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American Climate Zones
The time to plant bush bean seeds depends on the climate zone.
The practice has been utilized for decades for farming and gardening.
There are five climate zones – north/central, southern, alternative criteria allowed, south/central, and northern.
Farmers residing in states within the northern climate zone delay planting their bush bean seeds until at least June.
In the southern climate zone, on the other hand, bush bean seeds are planted as early as April.
While many commercial farmers and backyard gardeners rely on the Climate Zone Map, others wait until the threat of frost is non-existent.
As long as you are aware of the air temperature and soil temperature variances for bush beans, it should be fine.
Bush Bean Soil Preparation
Bush beans thrive in soil that is rich and loamy. Some gardeners prefer rocky and sandy soils to loamy soils. Well-draining soil is recommended for bush bean plants.
Soil preparation begins with tilling, a method utilized by farmers to loosen garden soil. Loosen the soil up to 6 inches deep. Most rototillers can reach depths of 6 inches, which is ideal for this gardening project.
Add compost material that equals about 25 percent of the 6-inch depth.
This is approximately 1-1/2 inches of compost material. You can utilize a shovel or hoe to mix the soil and compost material together evenly.
Test the soil to ensure it drains well. Measure off a 12-inch square space to test the drainage.
Fill the space with water and set your timer. As a rule of thumb, the soil should drain no more than 1-inch/hour (1 inch per hour).
Anything longer means the soil is not ready to start sowing your bush bean seeds. In this case, add more compact material before repeating the drainage test.
Bush Bean Spacing Recommendations
The key to avoiding overcrowding bush beans is proper spacing. Improper spacing can lead to disease, difficult maintenance, and malnutrition of bush bean plants.
It can also cause the healthier plants to smother out the more vulnerable plants. Some of the plants will not survive while others will flourish.
When the plants are too close together, the stronger plants will absorb the nutrients belonging to the more vulnerable plants.
Eventually, the plants will die, resulting in a loss of resources, money, and time.
It is important to consider your bush bean plants as living creatures. You can also think of the plants as a den of lions in a zoo. The zookeeper pours the food into a trough, where all the lions can access it simultaneously.
The more vicious lions eat all the food, leaving little to nothing for the more docile lions. If this practice continues, what do you think will happen?
Sewing too many bush bean seeds in a square-foot space can be problematic, which is proper spacing comes into play. There are 144 square inches in a square foot.
Each square foot measures 76 inches by 38 inches. You can utilize this measurement to space out your bush bean garden. You can also do like most backyard gardeners and space out your garden in 12-inch squares. You should have four 12-inch squares.
Sowing Bush Bean Seeds
With your garden space squared out, it is time to start sowing your bush bean seeds. It is recommended to sow bush bean seeds up to 1/2 inch deep and three inches apart.
Create nine holes up to ½-inch deep in each, leaving between three and six inches between each hole. Place two bush bean seeds in each hole throughout your garden.
Gently cover each hole without compacting the soil. This will allow the seed to freely emerge from the soil.
What is the purpose of planting two bush bean seeds in each hole? This is a safety measure just in case one of the seeds does not germinate.
If both seeds germinate, you can always transfer one of them to another location in your garden. If you have an empty hole from a failed germination, you can utilize it.
Bush Bean Water Recommendations
Most gardeners and farmers rely on rainwater to water their bush bean plants. This is ideal in regions, where it rains at least once a week. If your garden does not have a watering system, you will need to do it manually.
Each bush bean plant needs up to three inches of water weekly.
Bush Bean Fertilizer Recommendations
The soil for bush beans should lean toward acidity. The pH recommendation is between 6.0 and 6.5. Bush beans are hardy plants, so a slight pH variance will probably not make much difference in the outcome.
However, to maximize the growth, it is best to stay within the recommended pH range.
You should test the soil pH at least once a month. Testing kits are available through home & garden shops, big-box stores, and hardware stores.
If the test results are not within the recommended pH range, you will need to make a few alterations in the soil. Utilizing elemental garden sulfur, add it to the soil to increase the acidity.
To increase the alkalinity, there are two safe and effective options. Add compost material or organic manure to the soil. Once you become familiar with making soil pH adjustments, it will become second nature.
Bush beans are a hardy plant that will grow in Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Virginia, and other US states. It is recommended to heed the 9/SF ratio when sowing bush bean seeds.
The proper spacing could be the difference between living and dying for bush beans.