Beans are part of the legume family, along with peas, peanuts and lentils. They are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, which helps to fill you up and leave you feeling full longer, and that’s great for maintaining a healthy weight. They’re also a great source of Potassium, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc.
I think we’ve all heard that beans are good for your heart at one point or another, and that’s because studies have shown that they can lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol. The American Diabetes Association also advises people with diabetes to add beans to their diet to help manage blood sugar levels.
But staying healthy isn’t the only reason to grow beans. They can produce attractive, bushy plants with attractive flowers that grow well indoors, and in hydroponics.
Beans grow quickly and are not difficult to grow from seed. Starting them directly in the iHarvest® or µHarvest® is fine. If you want to have a higher success rate, you can also use our Seedling Starter Kit, or the paper towel method for even better results. You can make your own seedling starter kit by using Tupperware covered with plastic wrap that you poke a few holes in.
16 hours of artificial light is best for beans and most of your other plants. With this, your beans will flower frequently, and produce lots of bean pods.
Beans do best with slightly higher EC ranges similar to other fruiting plants like bell peppers, squash and tomatoes. Keep your EC range between 1.8 and 2.4 for optimal growth. Here are some other plants that grow well in these EC ranges.
Your iHarvest® comes with a pH tester. Adjusting your pH allows your plants to absorb the nutrients they need, as efficiently as possible. Keep your pH between 5.8-6.5 for optimal growth.
Most beans are self-fertile, so not much work is required. You can shake/tap the branches, tap on the flowers, or place a fan in front of the iHarvest to pollinate them quite well. We have a whole article dedicated to pollinating your plants here, if you’d like to review in more detail.
Topping your beans when they are young will encourage them to branch out and grow more densely, vs growing more tall and lanky. You can start this when the plant is only 6-8 inches long by removing the top 3 or so inches. It will slow growth temporarily, but you will end up with a much bushier and more productive plant in a few weeks. Remove any leaves that turn brown and continue to train your plant by trimming branches that grow too long for your little garden.
Beans can be ready to harvest in as little as 65 days. Most beans that you are not planning to dry and store should be picked while they are still young and tender, and before the beans seeds inside the pod become abundantly visible. The pod should snap well when bent in half. If you wait to long to harvest, your beans will become tough and stingy.
Time to Harvest:
Beans grow, fruit and flower relatively quickly. You can expect flowers in less than 2 months, and pods in just over 2 months.
Remember, you don’t require a green thumb to grow in the iHarvest®. In fact, it’s easier than growing in soil. The more closely you follow the directions, the more beans you will have. And don’t forget, IGWorks® and the Indoor Garden Works Group on Facebook are always here to help.
Let's grow together!