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Author Topic: Pull, plow, or leave bean plants  (Read 1029 times)
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deeregator
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« on: May 08, 2012, 03:00:16 AM »


     My Blue Lake Beans have produced their little hearts out and are winding down their output. My question to all you pros out there is do you pull them, till them under, or do you leave them to fix nitrogen? Do they really provide much nitrogen anyway?
Roger
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LSU2001
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 03:44:18 AM »

Not a pro at all but I till all of  my spent plants (except Tomatoes) under.  I figure that you can incorporate whatever nitrogen that is locked up in the plants and add some organic matter to the soil.  After I till in my beans, I usually immediately hill up the row and plant something else.
Tim
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joeh20
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 03:49:09 AM »

You could leave them be, and plant some corn right next to them and when the corn gets tall enough it will block their sunlight and they will just fade away but with all thier leaves down there you won't have many weeds in your corn, sort of like a live mulch for awhile. You could get nitrogen, and mulch for free. Kind of like the two of the three sisters planting.
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Garden_Beast
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 04:49:56 AM »

Not a pro at all but I till all of  my spent plants (except Tomatoes) under.  I figure that you can incorporate whatever nitrogen that is locked up in the plants and add some organic matter to the soil.  After I till in my beans, I usually immediately hill up the row and plant something else.
Tim

I agree.... I till all of my plants under after they start to die off.... Nothing like composting right in your soil!!!

-Jacob
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deeregator
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 01:07:00 PM »

Tim,
     The nitrogen locked in the plant makes sense. Thank you.
Roger
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ashlogcreek
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 02:21:41 PM »

It depends on whether you want to plant something else in that spot immediately. If you want to plant something else there now, you could pull the plants up, and throw them in the compost pile. It needs nitrogen too.  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 02:28:38 PM »

What LSU said.  If you got enough time, 60 days, you could grow more rows.  Roy
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LonghornRancher
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 04:10:46 PM »

Whatever you do.... Leave the roots in the ground. 

Here is what I do...

I have been cutting my bush beans waaaayyyy back when they are done and getting a second crop.  Then cut the plants at the soil.  Loosen the soil with a fork and sow a leaf veggie.  Something like a lettuce, collard, or mustard. 
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Soilguy
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 06:14:25 PM »

deeregator; lots of alternatives for the bean residues, as our friends have suggested. Just wanted to add a couple of things about garden legumes, 1. by the time pods are filled, nitrogen fixation is virtually shut down, so you would gain very little additional nitrogen by leaving the plants growing for a while, 2. garden legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.) are not real strong nitrogen fixers anyway. Undecided. That's why I don't, and don't recommend, bothering to  inoculate the seeds before planting. Larry
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LSU2001
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 07:06:02 PM »

With beans and purple hull peas I have had no problem tilling in the residue and then immediately planting something else like more peas, squash, or even peppers.   I have had no problems with germination or anything else.  However, when I do replant right after tilling I always add triple 13 to the new row.  I figure that the decomposition needs nitrogen and the plants may not supply enough for the process. 

I don't know if that is the right thing to do but so far it has worked well for me.
Tim
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joeh20
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 11:46:56 PM »

Thanks Soilguy, It really is nice to have someone help me along with the scientific aspect of my gardening. I always knowed plant the corn where the beans were. Move the corn and beans and squash and tomatoes around as much as possible. No one never knows what will be where in my garden. I feel smarter about how the beans help the soil. And I didn't know to leave the roots, thanks LonghornRancher. We always just pulled it all up. My corn usually looks good if my beans looked good before it.  I feel so impowered. I always helped dad when I was a kid, but I didn't pay much attention to the details.
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MikeCHS
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2012, 04:11:42 AM »

1. by the time pods are filled, nitrogen fixation is virtually shut down, so you would gain very little additional nitrogen by leaving the plants growing for a while, 2. garden legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.) are not real strong nitrogen fixers anyway. Undecided. That's why I don't, and don't recommend, bothering to  inoculate the seeds before planting. Larry

Larry - is this another of those thousands of things that we tend to pass on as gospel because that's what we always heard?

I don't feel bad now for throwing away that inoculate that I forgot to use last year. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2012, 04:50:48 AM »

deeregator; lots of alternatives for the bean residues, as our friends have suggested. Just wanted to add a couple of things about garden legumes, 1. by the time pods are filled, nitrogen fixation is virtually shut down, so you would gain very little additional nitrogen by leaving the plants growing for a while, 2. garden legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.) are not real strong nitrogen fixers anyway. Undecided. That's why I don't, and don't recommend, bothering to  inoculate the seeds before planting. Larry

Larry it sure is handy having you here as our personnal on call soil expert.  You should move up north closer to me so I can utilize your expertise 24/7.  Mull it over. Grin
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LonghornRancher
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2012, 07:17:05 AM »

deeregator; lots of alternatives for the bean residues, as our friends have suggested. Just wanted to add a couple of things about garden legumes, 1. by the time pods are filled, nitrogen fixation is virtually shut down, so you would gain very little additional nitrogen by leaving the plants growing for a while, 2. garden legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.) are not real strong nitrogen fixers anyway. Undecided. That's why I don't, and don't recommend, bothering to  inoculate the seeds before planting. Larry

Larry it sure is handy having you here as our personnal on call soil expert.  You should move up north closer to me so I can utilize your expertise 24/7.  Mull it over. Grin

You would probably have to promise to sing to him.
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jwalk
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2012, 11:29:27 AM »

 Grin
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Soilguy
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2012, 12:37:07 PM »

Larry - is this another of those thousands of things that we tend to pass on as gospel because that's what we always heard?
Mike: Nitrogen fixation in legumes is important in many situations. It's just that most garden soils are so rich the legume doesn't need to fix nitrogen from the air...just not needed unless you're starting a new garden on a really poor spot. Glad I helped you ease your conscience about throwing away the old bag of inoculum.  Grin
Larry it sure is handy having you here as our personnal on call soil expert.  You should move up north closer to me so I can utilize your expertise 24/7.  Mull it over. Grin
Well jwalk, we lived in central Maine for 18 years and you didn't ask me a single question! Grin Grin Grin. We'll be in Bangor visiting the grandbaby (and her parents, too) at the end of June.
You would probably have to promise to sing to him.
Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Grin Grin I couldn't carry a tune in a 500 gal. tote!! Grin Grin
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Soil and dirt are different things!
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