Garden Supplies

Growing Legume Vegetables

The legume vegetables comprise beans and peas which are among our oldest and most important garden plants. Because they thrive in most soils and climates, they are also some of the most popular.

Green beans cover both the snap and lima varieties which prefer a well drained and reasonably fertile soil. The seeds are planted into the ground once the soil is thoroughly warm. If the soil is liable to forming a hard crust, cover with mulch to ensure that there is nothing to hinder the emerging seedlings.

For bush bean varieties, plant the seed about 1 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart in the row. The rows should be 2 1/2 to 3 feet apart. After the beans are up, thin the plants to 3 to 4 inches apart. For pole beans the rows should be 3 to 4 feet apart and 5 to 6 foot poles will be needed to support the vines. When harvesting your crop, pick the beans as soon as are ready and the plants will continue producing for several weeks.

English peas are a cool weather crop and should be planted early. For best results make successive sowings at ten day intevals. Peas can be grown in single rows, but double or even triple rows 4 to 5 inches apart are preferable since these will require less support. Another method is to plant the seeds 2 to 3 inches apart over a wide row which should be about the width of a rake. Sugar peas, the ones with the edible pods, can be grown in the same way. As with green beans, peas should be picked as soon as they are ready. In particular sugar peas need to be harvested while young and tender before pods become stringy and tough. Peas begin to lose their flavor within hours of harvest, so pick them just before you prepare your meal or otherwise pop them straight into your freezer.



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