What is a sea bean: How to grow sea bean plants

Most people have probably already eaten canned pork and beans, some are practically living off them. What you may not know is that they are made from white beans. What exactly is a white bean and can the hobby gardener grow it himself? Read on to find out how to grow white beans and other useful information about white bean plants.

What is a Navy Bean?

It’s pretty obvious, but I’m going to mention it anyway – white beans are not white. In fact, they are small white beans. Why do you call them white beans? Navy beans were named because they were a staple food in the U.S. Navy during the 20th century. Navy beans and other dry beans are known as Phaseolus vulgaris and are called «common beans» because they all come from a common ancestor native to Peru.

Sea beans are the size of a pea, have a sweet taste and are one of the 13,000 species of the legume family. They are found canned and dried in bulk or pre-packaged. The U.S. Navy was certainly looking for a low-cost product,

The high-protein option to feed sailors and navy beans do the trick.

Sea beans are sometimes found under the name French Navy Beans or, more commonly, Michigan Pea Beans if you are trying to find seeds. Beans purchased from dry goods stores can also be used to grow sea beans. Simply choose the largest and healthiest seeds.

How to grow sea beans

Sea beans are harvested after the pods have dried on the plant. Sea bean plants can grow up to 2 feet high like bush beans. It takes between 85 and 100 days from planting to harvest.

Growing your own sea beans will provide you with a healthy, inexpensive, plant-based protein that will be stored long after harvest. Beans combined with grains, such as rice, become a complete protein. They are rich in vitamin B and folic acid, as well as many other minerals, and are high in fibre.

To grow your own sea beans, choose a sunny spot in the garden. Beans grow in fertile soil, but they can also grow in moderate soil because of their ability to fix nitrogen. Plant the seeds after the danger of frost has passed in your area. Soil temperature should be at least 50 F. (10 C.).

Plant 5-6 seeds in mounds spaced about 1 meter apart. Thin out the seedlings to 3-4 plants per mound when they are 3-4 cm high. Cut, do not pull, weak seedlings at ground level so as not to disturb the roots of the selected seedlings.

Form a teepee of 3-4 poles or posts around each mound. The stakes should be at least 1.5 m long. As the plants grow, train the vines to climb the poles by gently wrapping them around each one. Once the vine reaches the top, it should be cut to encourage branching.

Once the plants have bloomed and the pods are in place, an ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer is applied to them. Work the fertilizer into the plants and water well.

Keep the beans fed with one inch of water per week; water in the morning to prevent disease. To slow weed growth and help retain moisture, place organic mulch, such as aged straw or grass clippings, around the base of the plants.

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