This follow up post to how many beans per square foot was over a year in the making. The results for the 2012 dry bean harvest are in. In addition to three square feet of Painted Pony Beans, I also grew three square feet Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg Beans.
These are both bush varieties of beans that I selected for dry beans in order to make soup. I was excited to try the Bird Egg Beans because of their beautiful appearance.
2012 Dry Bean Yields
||Square Feet Planted||Yield Per Foot|
Why were the yields lower this year? I am not entirely sure but I observed a few differences out in the garden this year. First of all, I had an infestation of cucumber beetles that decimated my cucumber vines. I also observed these beetles eating the leaves of my beans. Secondly, there was a major drought this year and I had to irrigate my garden every other day. Third, I did not use Alpaca manure in my compost this year although I did use chicken manure. Perhaps the difference in yield was due to seasonal variation, only more time and record keeping will tell.
Why did the Bird Egg Beans yield less? I attribute this to where I planted the beans. I built a welded wire fence around my garden to keep the chickens out. The Bird Egg Beans were planted up against the fence. This allowed the chickens to eat the leaves of the bean plants and stunted the plants.
Why Do Dry Beans Split?
I had a problem with my Painted Pony Beans splitting. I am not sure why this happened and haven’t found much good information about this in my searching. This affected 2.5 ounces of my Painted Pony Bean harvest. The splitting may be related to my method of drying the beans. I leave the plants in the garden until the end of the season when the pods are visibly dried out. This is the same technique I used last year without a problem.
Plans For Next Year
Next year I plan to dedicate more space to the Painted Pony Beans. I would like to be able to grow over a pound. This would make a large pot of soup and leave some for planting the next season.
I have already made a pot of Bird Egg Bean soup, using my basic soup recipe. The beans were bland. I will not be growing this variety again next year.
If you know why dry beans split, please let me know in the comments below.