Before you grow beans at home, you need to be familiar with the different types that are available. Choose those that will grow even in a limited space, such as in containers. Opt for varieties that will not be too demanding in terms of care and maintenance, especially if you do not have a green thumb. Most of the beans are edible, with many of them eaten fresh. Others, meanwhile, can be dried. Take note, however, that there are some varieties of beans that contain lectin phytohaemagglutinin, a tasteless toxin that can lead to poisoning.
There are some species of beans that can be too large for a container. For instance, in the case of pole beans, they are climbing and they will need a trellis to climb, which may make it quite challenging to have as an indoor plant. If you want a more compact alternative, on the other hand, look for bush beans. They are short and easy to maintain, making it a great pick for an indoor plant. Another way to categorize beans is on the basis of how to eat them. If you want one that can be eaten raw, choose to plant snap beans. Shell beans, on the other hand, have a cover that opens up to the seeds, which you can also eat raw but you have to throw the pods away.
Planting and Growing Conditions
When planting, the first thing that you have to do is to prepare the beans that you will plant. You do not need to plant a seedling since the germination will not take a long time, especially given the right conditions in the external environment. Again, it is better to choose bush bean variety since they will not grow as a vine, and hence, no need for poles or supports.
Once the bean is ready, it is now time to prepare for planting. Start searching for the right pot. In the case of bush beans, a depth of six to seven inches will be more than enough. If you are planting pole beans, on the other hand, the depth should be eight to nine inches. As much as possible, choose pots with no glaze. This will provide better breathability and will improve evaporation so that water will not remain on the surface. It is also essential to have drainage holes.
Now that the pot is ready, soil preparation is next. Your soil needs to be rich in nutrients that will be instrumental for the overall health of the beans. With this, you might want to consider adding organic matter, compost, or manure. Perlite, vermiculite, and sphagnum moss will also help to make the soil nutrient-rich. The pH level of the soil should be anywhere from 6 to 6.8. You should also refrain from using soil with high nitrogen content.
When the plant is ready, find the perfect location. Place it on the windowsill or in any other area where it will receive at least eight hours of sunlight in a day. When it comes to temperature, on the other hand, it will thrive best in an environment that is 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you do not eat beans, below are some of its health benefits that can possibly convince you to make it a part of your diet:
- Aids in Weight Loss: Beans are amongst the best vegetables for anyone who is trying to lose weight. It is rich in fiber, which will make you feel full. Half cup of cooked beans can already provide you with 10 grams of fiber.
- Improves Digestion: This is another reason why beans are ideal for weight loss. It prevents constipation and other digestive problems. It also improves the quality of stool and prevents excessive flatulence.
- Regulates Blood Sugar: If you have diabetes, or if it runs in the family, you have another good reason to eat more beans. The protein and fiber aids in the absorption of carbohydrates and will keep the blood level in check.
- Prevents Cancer: Several studies in the past suggest the consumption of at least three cups of beans in a week. It has antioxidants that will help to lessen the likelihood of suffering from cancer, among other chronic diseases.
- Improves Heart Health: A healthier heart is another benefit that you will enjoy from eating beans. Its rich fiber content is one of the reasons why it can be effective in the reduction of cholesterol and the likelihood of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
- Treats Anemia: This is basically because of the high iron content in beans. To be more effective in providing the iron that the body needs, it is best to eat it with foods rich in Vitamin C, such as broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Pests and Diseases
Beans can experience a variety of health problems, most of which will affect the leaves and the bean itself. Some of the most common problems include pea wilt, leaf and pod spot, rust, and downy mildew. Pest infestation, on the other hand, can be due to the high population of pea weevil, black bean aphid, nematodes, and beans beetle.
Care and Maintenance
To take care of your indoor beans, below are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
- Mulching is important to retain moisture in the soil, which will also keep the plant healthy. Lightly mulch the surface about a week after planting, which should also be the start of the germination.
- Like mulch, water is necessary for the beans to survive, especially during the summer months. In the case of most beans, they will need at least ½ inch of water in a week. Water only when the soil is dry. If you water too frequently, there is a high likelihood that the plant will suffer from root rot.
- If you plant pole beans, take note that they are crawling plants. Hence, you will need a trellis or support to keep the plant stable as it grows.
- It will also help to fertilize your beans at least once in a month when the seeds begin to sprout. This will help to make the beans grow larger and will also increase the yield. Look for fertilizers with low nitrogen.
If you are looking for delicious and healthy vegetables that you can grow indoors, beans should be on the top of the list. It is easy to propagate even for novices. You also do not need to wait for a long time before the beans will sprout. All you have to do is make sure that you choose the right variety, preferably bush beans, since they are more compact.