Snap beans can be one of the first warm season veggies to go out into the garden. They prefer soil temperatures over 60 degrees, and can be killed with a frost, but since they germinate so quickly, it is worth the gamble to get some in the ground as early as possible. If it does get cold again, and we lose them, we can plant more, and they will quickly catch up. Beans grow best in temperatures between 60 and 75, so they love our early springtime weather, and tend to struggle once it gets hot. The earlier we can get them in the ground, the better.

It is very important to know what type of bean you are growing and give it the proper space in your garden. If you are limited in space, bush variety beans are great, since they do not get very big, and are predictable in how large they grow. Pole beans are fun to grow since they grow so quickly, but you must have the room for them, and give them something to climb up. If you plant pole beans by accident, they will quickly take over and choke out surrounding plants.

We started our beans indoors two weeks ago, and they are already very tall. Sadly, I do not know what type of beans we have. The variety pack of seeds we bought had beans that were labeled simply “green beans”. Because of how quickly these seedlings have grown in just two weeks, I am guessing that we have pole beans, so we have built a trellis for the vine to grow up. If we end up with bush beans, I’ll use this trellis for cucumbers.

Keep in mind that if we have another cold snap, these plants will need to be protected. It is probably safe to put these in the ground in our coastal counties, but in the Pee Dee, outdoor bean planting should probably wait a couple more weeks until April.

This week we are also inspecting our garden for damage from last weekend’s freeze. Our peas got some damage, but they grow so quickly that this will not hinder the plant. The radishes and turnips also lost a few leaves, but none of the plants died. Our beets were still small enough that we did lose some of the seedlings, but we had not thinned them yet, so no harm done. We will thin the beets this week to one plant every two inches.