Grow beans

Beans belong to the papilionaceae family. All the species in cultivation grow wild in tropical countries while in Europe two types that can grow spontaneously are introduced from America: the phaseolus vulgaris and the phaseolus coccineus. The most cultivated is the phaseolus vulgaris, a polymorphic species of which there are thousands of varieties. It has a root system rich in tubercles, an angular stem and long-stemmed leaves. There are many varieties on the market which, for convenience, can be distinguished in seven groups: nano mangiatutto (string bean), dwarf to shell, creeper to shell, green, yellow, creeper eating, yellow and dolico (climbing). Obviously those to be shelled are the real beans that are known to all, of which the seeds are consumed more or less large and reniform, of various colors; they are instead called green beans or beans those varieties that give as edible product the tender and young legumes (and sometimes also contain some soft seeds). The real phaseoolus vulgaris is actually constituted by the seed contained in the elongated pod that originates from the flower. In addition to the legumes that are tender and edible, they can be cultivated as decorative climbing plants to cover pergolas and trellises. Some like the dolico is a species of which some varieties are known, with the flowers variously colored of purplish pink color. The leaves are broad, deep green and wavy with slight bulges on the flat part.

Seed beans

The sowing of the beans is carried out in spring on a sunny exposure. Flowering takes place in the summer; the flowers are papilionaceous collected in elongated racemes and the legumes are large and compressed, 5-6 centimeters long, pendulous and of a very bright purple-purple color. In spring they are planted from March onwards, according to the climate of the region; sowing can be repeated at a distance of three weeks, to have continuity of harvest and always tender and young pods. The varieties to be shucked in their variety are sown only once, in March or April, in parallel furrows about 5-6 centimeters deep. For the dwarf varieties we observe a distance of 40 centimeters between plant and plant and 60 centimeters between each row. The same system is adopted for the sowing of the dolico. Germination of beans requires quite a long time; in order for this to happen more quickly, it is good to place the seeds in warm water, leaving them to soak for about 2 or 3 days; at that point they should present the development of a small root, indicating that the time has come to plant them. It is good to remember that in order to sow these legumes the moment in which late frosts are no longer expected is to be expected; therefore in northern Italy it is good to wait for the month of May, a period in which the temperatures are more pleasant. In the southern regions, on the other hand, given the milder temperatures, it is possible to proceed with the sowing of legumes starting, usually, from the middle of March. Sowing can be repeated until the first days of August, so as to have a scaled collection capable of giving a good quantity of legumes. It must be remembered that these plants, in order to grow at their best, need a mild temperature, as the harsh climate, with temperatures close to zero, can quickly lead to the death of plants of this type. The ideal climate for their growth has temperatures between 15 and 27 ° C.

Growing beans

Growing beans does not require the use of calcareous soils because otherwise hard and difficult-to-cook seeds are obtained. Soils worked in depth are preferred, enriched with fertilizers based on phosphorus and potassium and in particularly hot and dry climate regions. In fact, the bean fears winter frosts especially late ones and prolonged rains. The best soil is therefore preferable to enrich it with mixtures of chopped peat, make sure that the PH is practically neutral and avoid the stagnation of water that can cause the roots to ripple. During the cultivation phase it is good practice to build near each row of supports with small wooden rods as the plant is used to climbing, it develops better and produces more if it finds the opportunity to stretch with its roots and pods . Watering should be carried out regularly during the flowering period, to allow a good development of the plant, however checking that there is no formation of dangerous water stagnations as they can cause the development of root rot.

Fertilizing beans

Beans require good fertilization to give the best results, starting with the size of the pods and above all the seeds that must and can be tender if well cared for. Fertilization is carried out with lethal products and medium soil. This manure must be buried in depth. The treatments are based on the elimination of weeds, hoeing to aerate the soil and maintain the right balance from the water point of view. The waterings are necessary immediately after sowing to allow the seed to germinate, and are repeated continuously, however carefully observing the soil to ascertain its actual necessity or, if necessary, to reduce its quantity or frequency. Beans are easily attacked by insects and parasites that tend to eat the tender shoots as in the case of aphids. The best method to combat them is the use of pyrethrum, available in specialized centers or with soap-based solutions or more specifically with more aggressive but certainly more effective chemical treatments. As for standard fertilization, that is the one that allows us to regulate plant development, the use of natural fertilizers is advisable. Today it is easier to find non-toxic products thanks to the wide dissemination of organic farming techniques. These fertilizers obviously have a cost of their own, but if the beans we cultivate are for personal consumption, the expense incurred for the purchase of these products guarantees us the development and growth of a highly biological food without chemical agents. Finally, a note should be dedicated to the use of beans for food. It contains so many nutrients and provides a very high calorie intake just think that 100 grams of beans contain as many as 350 calories. The nutrients are endless like mineral salts including potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus etc. It is considered a valid food in balanced diets and in this case, the best way is to consume it boiled or boiled and can worthily replace a meat dish. In fact, during periods of famine the bean was named "flesh of the poor".

Beans variety

After having seen what are the methods and precautions to be observed in order to have a good harvest of legumes, it is good to say that there are different varieties of beans that can be grown, which have different organoleptic characteristics. It must be said that in nature there are hundreds of varieties of different beans, although the most known and cultivated are many less. Among those recommended for their taste and for simple cultivation we can include borlotti beans, the most cultivated type in Italy. These legumes are also known as dwarf beans and originate from South America. They are among the most sold also as fresh legumes, still in pods, characteristic for their rosy color with darker spots. They are very tasty and have excellent resistance to preservation. They are successfully used for the preparation of soups and soups. Another very well known variety is represented by the white beans of Spain, legumes that are recognized for their large size and their color and for their rather flat shape. They are used for salads, thanks to their delicate taste and rather firm but pasty consistency. Of the same color, but with a cylindrical shape and small dimensions, are the cannellini beans. They are used in numerous culinary preparations. A very tasty type of bean, but particular and not always known is the so-called eye bean, a name deriving from the fact that its light-colored skin has a dark spot near the point where the seed attaches to the pod. They are small in size and have a very delicate taste, perfect for salads, but also soups and soups. They have few calories and have a large dose of vitamins and minerals.

Pests and diseases

Like all plants, even those of the bean can face problems related to the presence of pests or diseases that can seriously undermine their health and the consequent production. For this reason it is good to identify them in time and intervene with timeliness to avoid reaching even the death of the plant. Among the parasites, the most common ones that can occur are aphids, especially the black ones of the broad bean, which are particularly resistant. They must be identified and contrasted with special products when their diffusion is not yet endemic, otherwise it will be necessary to eliminate the whole plant. Another insect that can cause damage to these plants is the Tonchio, a beetle that causes damage with its larvae that develop from the eggs left in the pods. It is an insect that reproduces very quickly and, if not contrasted in time, can ruin large crops. Then there are pathologies of bacterial origin, such as Pseudomonas and xantomonas which do not lead to the death of the plant, but which reduce its productivity. They occur with spots on pods and foliage. Rizzonia, on the other hand, is a problem that occurs when the climatic conditions foresee low temperatures and a rather high level of humidity in the air. This pathology causes, first of all, rot to then bring the plant to dry.
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