- Light: Full sun
- Pod size: 5 to 6 inches
- Matures: 48 days
- Plant spacing: 8 inches apart
- Plant size: 2 feet tall
Heirloom. This stringless snap bean matures early and offers superior flavor, color, texture and ease of picking. A bush variety, it does not need staking. The beans are long and straight. Excellent steamed or used in salads. Originally developed as a canning bean, but it soon grew to be a fresh favorite, too. Its predecessor, Blue Lake pole bean, is also an heirloom and has been around since the early 1900s. Blue Lake Bush was developed from Blue Lake pole bean in 1961. Very productive. Resists bean mosaic virus. Produces most of its harvest within a few weeks, leaving time for a second crop or a vacation!
Light requirements: Full sun.
Planting: Space 8 to 12 inches apart, depending on variety. (See listing above or check stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.)
Soil requirements: Beans thrive in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Work 3 inches of organic matter into planting beds.
Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Typically, established beans can get by on half-an-inch of water per week—supplied through rainfall or irrigation.
Frost-fighting plan: Beans are not frost-tolerant. Even a light frost can damage plants. If you’re still harvesting and frost threatens, cover plants with a frost blanket. Use the same strategy to protect seedlings from late spring frosts.
Common issues: Bean blossoms are finicky. Temperatures below 55ºF or above 90 ºF can cause flowers to drop. Soil that’s too rich in nitrogen can cause plants to produce leaves but no blooms. Drought-stressed beans will drop blooms, decreasing harvest. Keep an eye out for slugs, cutworms, Mexican bean beetles, Japanese beetles, and flea beetles.
Harvesting: Harvest pods while they’re young and tender, before beans bulge inside pods. Use two hands to pick pods from stems. Handle plants carefully, as stems break easily. Avoid picking when leaves are wet to prevent disease spread.
Storage: Refrigerate unwashed bush beans in a loosely closed plastic bag. Beans typically store 3 to 5 days, but can last as long as 10.
Green beans are a good source of carbohydrates, weighing in at around 10 grams in a cup of simply cooked beans. These carbs come in a healthy package that includes high percentages of your daily value of vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and manganese. These nutrients and the numerous others found in green beans offer cardiovascular protection, promote colon health, and have very strong anti-inflammatory effects. Warning: green beans are among a small number of foods containing oxalates, which may interfere with absorption of calcium, a concern to people with kidney or gallbladder problems or those needing to build their calcium stores.
1 cup cooked beans:
- Calories: 44
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Dietary fiber: 4g
- Protein: 2g
- Vitamin A: 17% DV
- Vitamin C: 20%
- Vitamin K: 25%
- Folate: 10%
- Manganese: 18%