Beans, beans & more beans - getting ready for the new GreenStalk

We'll be expanding our GreenStalk vertical garden with one more tower this year, and I thought I'd get a head start on the bush beans and Swiss chard we're going to grow in it while anxiously awaiting it's arrival.

The new tower will be a 5-Tier Original size GreenStalk, planted with four levels bush beans and one level Swiss chard, and today I'll get the seeds started in plug trays with six cells per tray. I find this size very convenient when starting plants for GreenStalks, as one tray = one level of a GreenStalk vertical planter.

Bush beans can be planted three plants per growing pocket in a GreenStalk. That's 3 x 6 pockets/level x 4 levels = 72 bush bean plants 😅 In ¼ square meter.

In the interest of saving space I'll be planting three bean seeds in each plug, and carefully separate the seedlings when transplanting. Beans sprout quickly and grow quickly, and I plan to transplant these within max three weeks - had I intended to let them grow longer in the plugs I would not sow so many in each plug!

I've made it a little easier on myself by preparing my labels and sorting the seed packets for each tray beforehand.

We grow a lot of beans in our garden. They are such an excellent staple food - filling and nutritious with a mild flavour, they are very versatile in the kitchen. Beans give a high yield per plant and are so easy to freeze for winter use.

When growing beans vertically it is important to choose bush beans rather than pole beans, or those with a vining growth habit.

Almost all of the varieties I've chosen for this tower are only 40 cm tall. I did make exception for one sort bush bean and for the borlotti beans at 60-65cm tall, as that was the lowest I could find.

The varieties being planted for this tower are:

  • Anellino di Trento
  • Cropper Teepee
  • Flajoly
  • Mascotte
  • Maxi
  • Nassau
  • Nautica
  • Purple Teepee
  • Serpidor
  • Tintoretto

Is it necessary to have so many kinds? Absolutely not. I just like to experiment to find our favorite flavours and what grows best where we live - and this year my experiment happens to be beans. After this season I'll choose our favourites to continue with in coming years.

Why only four plug trays for a five tier tower, you ask? Because I will sow one level of beans directly in the GreenStalk planter later, just to compare results. Like I said, I like to experiment 😁

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