Gardening

How to plant beans

Phaseolus vulgaris

Common beans are grown for obtaining and consuming their seeds, which are very nutritious. Currently, there are a large number of cultivated varieties, which vary greatly in the color, shape and size of the seeds.

Beans have been grown on the American continent since antiquity, and are currently one of the most popular seeds used as food, being grown practically worldwide. There are currently thousands of cultivars, which can be grouped into types according to color, flavor, shape and size, such as black beans, carioca beans, white beans, jalo beans, bean sprouts , red beans and rose beans, among others.

Raw beans contain phytohemagglutinin, which is a toxic substance. Cooking the beans at high temperature destroys this lectin (slow cooking below the boiling temperature of the water does not eliminate this substance), so that the consumption of properly cooked beans is totally safe. The phytohemagglutinin concentration in the seeds varies widely from cultivar to cultivate. Raw beans should not be eaten.

Although its consumption is uncommon, the leaves of beans can also be consumed. The leaves can be eaten cooked or sautéed, while the younger leaves can also be eaten raw.

Climate

The temperature should be between 15 ° C and 30 ° C during the entire cultivation cycle of the plant, the ideal being temperatures between 18 ° C and 25 ° C. The beans cannot withstand frosts and low temperatures.

Brightness

It needs high luminosity, with direct sunlight. However, in regions with higher intensity of solar radiation, it may be partially shaded by taller plants grown in the same area, such as corn.

Ground

Cultivate preferably in well-drained, fertile soil and rich in organic matter, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

These plants can form a symbiotic association with bacteria known as rhizobia, capable of fixing the nitrogen in the air in the soil as ammonia or nitrate, thus being able to provide the nitrogen necessary for the plant and also enrich the soil with this element. Before planting, seeds can be inoculated with these bacteria, using specific inoculants found on the market.

Irrigation

Irrigate in order to keep the soil always moist, but without the soil becoming soaked.

Planting

Sow the seeds directly at the final location, at a depth of 3 cm to 7 cm (3 or 4 cm deep in heavy soils and greater depths in lighter soils). Germination normally occurs within two weeks.

The spacing can vary with the cultivated variety and the growing conditions, but in general a spacing of 40 to 60 cm between the planting lines and 7 to 10 cm between the plants is considered adequate.

Cultivation

Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients, especially in the first month of cultivation.

Harvest

Harvesting depends on the variety grown and growing conditions, and is usually done 80 to 100 days after germination. Pods that are dry can be harvested manually from very small plantations. In larger plantations, harvesting is carried out when about 90% of the pods are dry, cutting or pulling the plants, manually or with the use of specific machines for this. It is also possible to harvest in advance, when the pods are yellow, and then let the cut or plucked plants dry completely in the sun.

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