Green beans are one of our staple crops throughout the fall-winter-spring growing season here in South Florida. We usually (if we’re lucky) have our first harvest at Thanksgiving time, and our last in late April to mid-May, depending on how soon the heat of summer begins to roll in.
There are many advantages/benefits to growing green beans in South Florida:
The preference among our gardeners is pretty much bush beans over pole beans (though we do plant both). There is a variety of purple bush beans that we’ve been enjoying in addition to our typical green ones. But here’s a warning: the purple ones turn a vibrant green color when cooked. I only found this out on Thanksgiving one year. I was so excited as this was our first harvest ever of purple beans, just in time for the holiday! – and I thought I was going to have a beautiful mixed colored dish of fresh green and purple beans. Until, that is, I lifted the lid off the pot of steaming beans. They were a beautiful green color, much to my amazement and disappointment!
We use the direct seeding method and straight rows for growing green beans. (They are not suited for starting in flats and transplanting.) We sometimes use an organic inoculant that boosts the nitrogen-fixing capacity of the plants.
It’s such a pleasure to plant beans as the seeds are quite big (easy and fast to plant), they germinate so reliably here, and it’s very exciting to see them sprouting in just a few days – and then really take off, heading for a fairly quick harvest time – about five or six weeks from planting to eating!
Green beans are delicious steamed to a slightly crispy perfection and dressed with a little butter, salt and pepper – and maybe some dill. There are many delicious recipes using green beans; you can find one we’ve posted here: http://www.soflagardening.com/green-beans-tarragon/
Growing green beans in South Florida is so effortless and rewarding; if you’ve never tried it, we hope you will!