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How To Grow Green Beans With Free Seeds from  Your Pantry

free green beans

What many people do not realize is that for years country gardeners who couldn't afford expensive  seeds would plant ordinary dry pinto beans in their gardens for delicious fresh green beans in only a few weeks.  These free garden seeds will grow just as well as any others.

The only reason they are dry beans is because they were once green beans and simply left to dry on the vine before being harvested by a machine. The pinto bean plant produces delicious flat green beans when they are picked at about 3 to 4 inches long. They are grown in Northern New Mexico and Colorado in the high desert usually without irrigation so they are tough plants. Most dry bean seeds are still genetically viable and have not been hybridized to the point that the plant''s offspring are vastly different from the original plant. These almost free vegetable seeds can provide delicious green beans your family for weeks as the bean plants mature and begin to produce.

Starting A Garden With Free Vegetable Seeds

You are going to need an area that gets at least half a day's sunlight. After the last frost, till up the soil in a 3 foot by 10 foot area with a garden hoe or shovel and rake out the grass roots. Place a border of paving stones or edging to keep grass from creeping into the bed and place plastic weed barrier under the stones. Add 3 or 4 bags of rich organic compost and mix into the soil. Pour out a cup of bean seeds from the bag.  With your finger poke holes every 5 inches in the soil in a straight line. You should be able to fit 2 rows of beans in a 3 by 10 foot bed. water very generously for the first few days.

You may see sprouts start to come up in as few as three days. In about a week you will have three inch plants and by 3 weeks you will see blooms and possibly green beans. Check the plants frequently once they start to bloom, brushing back the heavy leaves. You will be surprised how fast they will develop. If you let the beans get too long they will be tough and stringy.

You will have to string the longer green beans, by pulling off the ends and pulling the strings down each side of the pod and discarding them, otherwise these will be tough when eaten. If you can plant the beans up against a piece of net wire stretched down the row, about 36 inches tall, the beans will crawl up the wire and therefore produce more beans. If there is something for the vines to crawl up they can reach heights of up to 15 feet or more so be careful when planting around overhead lines or neighbor's yard fences.

I cook them until just barely tender but not mushy, with butter and salt. You will find these "free beans" from your pantry to be just as delicious as fresh ones from the grocery. Other "free" seeds that can germinate into healthy plants include coriander seeds which can be harvested for fresh cilantro for Mexican dishes, and whole red pepper seed, which can grow into pepper plants.

Almost Free Vegetable Seeds

A small bag of pinto beans sells for around a buck compared to a dollar for a very small packet of green bean seeds from the garden store and in my experience grow healthier, more disease and insect resistant plants than fancy varieties.

Note: Be sure and pick your beans when they are still flat and tender, when the seeds begin to bulge outward beans can become tough and stringy.

Good luck and enjoy!






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