Every year the people at Grow It Eat It select a statewide gardening theme. This year’s theme is Beans and Peas and More.
I encourage gardeners to try growing some new varieties of beans. Consider trying yellow or purple as well as fresh green beans. They’re not only delicious but the colors make them easier to find among the leaves. Lima beans, mung beans, black eyed peas, and Chinese long beans also grow well in the state. Dry beans grow well too, but it can be difficult to keep them on the vine long enough for them to dry without insect damage.
Snap peas and snow peas do well and can be eaten at any size. Sometimes it is a challenge to get regular peas to full size due to heat in the spring or frost in the fall.
Both beans and peas come in pole and bush varieties. Pole varieties tend to produce more over a longer period of time. Bush beans produce a larger crop at once which can be a benefit for canning.
To double your fun, grow some mung bean plants and then save the dry seed to grow bean sprouts indoors in the winter. As a bonus the mung bean plants have attractive yellow flowers.
For basic information about growing beans you can visit their GIEI profile. A list of beans that do well in Maryland is here.
More info will be posted on the GIEI blog throughout the year – keep checking back!
To see some of the hundreds of other varieties check out these seed companies (no endorsement intended, but it’s useful to see a wide selection). Please tell us in the comments about some of your favorite varieties of beans.