An “old-timey” traditional favorite, Blue Lake Bush 274 Beans, are perfect to add to any food plot mix or kitchen table! Most commonly grown for over 40 years as a staple in farm-to-table cuisine. You will no doubt enjoy this flavorful “stringless” bean. This is THE bean known for canning, pickling and freezing. Dependable, plump, tender and dark green pods grow on 16 in. bushes. While these beans do have a firm texture, they develop slowly so the 6-6.5 in. pods stay smooth. Many prefer to pick them young and tender. On the farm we have been known to eat them right off the vine! This variety produces a heavy crop over a long season grown in full sun.
Bush beans are a good choice if you want your crop to be ready almost all at once for canning or freezing. A succession of bush beans plantings will give you a higher yield continuously through the season.
Planting and Spacing
Sow beans 1 to 1.5 in. deep. Plant bush beans 3 to 4 in. apart; set rows 18 to 24 in. Thin strong seedlings from 4 to 6 in. apart. Remove weaker seedlings by cutting them off at soil level with a scissors, being careful not to disturb the roots of other seedlings. Bean can be crowded; they will use each other for support.
Watering and Fertilizing
Grow beans in soil that is evenly moist. Bean seeds may crack and germinate poorly if the soil moisture is too high at sowing. Do not soak seeds in advance of planting and do not over-water after sowing. Keep the soil evenly moist during flowering and pod formation. Rain or overhead irrigation during flowering can cause flowers and small pods to fall off. Once the soil temperature averages greater than 60°F, mulch to conserve moisture. Germination occurs in 10-12 days.
Beans are best fertilized with aged garden compost; they do not require extra nitrogen. Beans set up a mutual exchange with soil microorganisms called nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which produces the soil nitrogen beans require. Avoid using green manures or nitrogen-rich fertilizers in advance of planting beans.
Bush beans will be ready for harvest 55 to 60 days after sowing. Pick green or snap beans when pods are still immature, about 3 in. long, or just before they begin to bulge and grow plump. Continue to pick pods before they become mature so that the plant will continue flowering and producing new pods. When seeds mature, the plant will die.