|Last year's Contender beans.|
The Contender beans are also planted. Well, the first round, anyway. I'm hoping to plant more in about two weeks, which should space the heaviest harvests nicely. I prefer the bush variety, which require no staking and very little maintenance. I do suggest planting two or three seeds in each hole, as the bush stalks can break fairly easily. You don't really have to worry about overcrowding these guys, either. They seem pretty happy all bunched in, shoulder to shoulder. (I'm so glad I'm not a bean!)
I also prefer the Contender variety because they keep producing all summer, as long as you keep the mature beans picked. This is an heirloom variety, which means I can use the seed that I save. I let the last growth of beans dry on the bush, then I pick, shell, and bag them up to be used the following year. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!! (Did I really just say that?? *shrugs* It's early, and I'm only on my first cup of coffee.)
Now you are probably wondering just how, with all of the rain, muck, and mud, I can get into my garden? Black plastic, baby! Woot!!
Our garden is strictly No Till. I prefer the Chicken Tractor method, whenever possible. What, you never heard of it?? You just pen up your chickens in the area you want cleared for garden, and in no time flat, the weeds are gone, the grass is gone, and the whole area is fertilized! Then, lay down the heaviest black plastic you can find (I use the construction kind from Lowe's), cut holes for the plants (holes are generally about six inches wide), and voila! a weed free, low maintenance garden, without the compacted subsoil you get from tilling. If you don't have chickens, you can still use the plastic. Just put down the plastic and give it time to cook out the weeds before you cut holes. Or you can put down the plastic, cut the holes, and dig out sod in only the places you have holes. Still much easier than tilling, and mud won't even slow you down!!