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Growing Corn and Beans

Note:   Our focus has been on salsa crops, beans, and greens, so the information on corn is from extension services rather than our personal growing experience.  See Monthly Archives in Garden Tips for how to grow or Garden Links for sources.

June

Direct seed beans.

July

Last year, Japanese beetles almost put an end to our pole beans.   This year, the beetle patrol starts early.  Their favorite feeding time seems to be early afternoon, so this gardener has the bug brew pot ready.

A tip from Virginia Tech Extension for keeping raccoons out of vegetables, especially sweet corn. Construct a slippery fence  by stapling plastic sheeting (6 mil thickness) to stakes spaced every 10 feet so that the stakes are on the inside of the plastic, toward the corn. The plastic should be 30 to 36 inches wide, and the lowermost 3 to 6 inches should rest on the ground. If you already have a fence around your garden, try using spring-type clothespins to clip the plastic to it. Put the fence up shortly before the corn is ripe to give the animals less time to figure it out. Raccoons trying to climb the slippery plastic soon give up.

Yellow corn has more vitamin A than white corn. 

Don't harvest corn till you're ready to use it.   If it is stored under warm conditions, the sugar turns to starch, which affects taste and texture.

August

Harvest beans daily to encourage new growth.  When harvest is peaking, pickle some with dill.

September

* Store extra green beans wrapped in a towel in your vegetable bin if you plan to use them in in five days.  They are easy to freeze for later use, too. 

* Dried beans and peas are among the easiest crops to store. They will keep for many months in a cool, dry location.

* Control weevils before storage by placing the crop in a freezer at 0 degrees F or lower for four days or heat in an oven to 180 degrees F for at least 15 minutes.  Following this treatment, place the dry beans or peas in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.  (Va Tech Extension.