I decided to give a fall crop of beans a shot since I missed the mark this spring. With the unreliable weather patterns here in the Sierra Nevada mountains, I’m possibly starting a couple weeks too soon. I’m doing succession planting in case I’m too far off with start dates. Plus, if all goes well we’ll have many weeks of yummy bean harvesting come fall.

pole-bean-seeds

These are the 2 varieties I’m planting: Roma II (bush) and Blue Lake (pole). I’ve planted the 2 together before in the spring and the bush bean climbed just as well as the pole bean.

We’ve got a little more than half of a raised garden bed empty and ready to plant. I prepped the space by digging in some tall bamboo to be used as a trellis for the 3 rows of beans.
The plan is to plant seeds 2 weeks apart starting July 18th for 6 weeks total. This should give us a harvest starting mid September through mid November.

bean-trellis
I dug in 3 bamboo shoots per row. Of course, the paracord I have planned to string up across the rows was no where to be seen today.

growing-beans-in-the-fall

I sowed the Blue Lake pole beans behind the bamboo and the Roma II bush beans in front. I’ll plant the next row in the same fashion in 2 weeks. If nothing else, this succession planting will give me a good idea over a 6 week time frame of when the ideal time is for next year. It is tricky for our area trying to pinpoint the optimum sowing time, as anyone who has spent some time in the mountains can likely relate, because mountain weather can be very unpredictable. Because of this I’ve concluded that it is better to try and be less than successful, than to not try at all in the garden.

late-crop-beans

The beans are in, watered well , but gently and covered lightly with straw. Now, we wait.
The beans should germinate in about one week which will still be hotter than preferable weather. If the beans struggle in the heat, I’ll make sure the soil stays moist and the straw on top of the soil will help keep the soil cool. I’m hoping this will be enough to get them through the hot days.