First Fall Crop to Plant in the Vegetable Garden
First Fall Crop of the Season
On this week's episode, Travis explains the first fall crop he prefers to plant for the upcoming growing season. When preparing for the Fall garden, Travis recommends going ahead and planting a few crops right before the weather conditions start to break so we can get an early start on preparation for the season. The first fall crop he likes to plant is pole beans. When it comes to pole beans we offer a couple of different heirloom varieties such as Rattlesnake, Christmas Lima Beans, and Kentucky Wonder. The Rattlesnake Pole Bean is an older heirloom variety that has plants growing up to 10 inches when trellised which allows them to produce around 6 to 7-inch pods that can be harvested frequently during the growing season. Then, the Christmas Lima Beans are a heat-tolerant variety that contains a nuttier flavor profile than traditional lima beans. This lima bean variety has a dark red and white exterior appearance. While the Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans are an open-pollinated variety that produces long green pods. The Kentucky Wonder variety has heavy yields of 9 inch straight pods that have a climbing growth habit in the vegetable garden. Pole beans do not like hot temperatures, so we go like to go ahead and plant them during late August in order to allow 50 days of maturity which will leave them ready to harvest during early October when temperatures are cooler. Planting pole beans for early preparation of the fall growing season allows us to harvest when we know weather conditions are going to be just right.
Growing & Harvesting Pole Beans
Since pole beans are climbing plants we will need to add a trellising system in order to provide support for growth in the vegetable garden. Travis currently has a 60-foot long plot with T-post every 10 feet along the garden row. This allows him to establish a Hortonova trellis for his pole beans to grow on in the garden. When setting up the Hortonova trellis, we cut it to the length of the garden row then tie it to the T-post and secure it with zip ties. Then, Travis takes the end of his garden rake handle and simply punches a hole in the soil every 3 to 4 inches underneath the trellis for planting pole bean seeds. Since we are growing pole beans on a trellis vertically we can plant them pretty close together in the vegetable garden. When direct seeding you can use our garden seeder with the #6 seed plate to accurately plant in the garden. This is a versatile garden planter tool that has modified seed plates that allow you to plant a variety of different seed size variations in the garden. We recommend planting pole beans on either side of the trellis to maximum the amount of production and save space when you are harvesting in the garden area. After adding the trellising system and the holes in the soil we can drop one seed per hole. Once the seeds are in the holes we can use our garden rake to cover the seeds and pack the area with soil. Starting in early October, we should start to see pole beans producing all along the trellis system until the end of November when we experience our first frost. Pole beans are ready to harvest after one or two weeks of flowering. They need frequent harvesting in order to continue production of pole beans throughout the growing season. In order to avoid disease and pest pressures having good crop rotation and insecticides can help these reduce these issues from developing in the vegetable garden.