Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

Six season-extending veggies

By
Stephen Westcott-Gratton
Photography by
Stacey Van Berkel

Sow a second crop of cool-season favourites in mid to late summer for delicious fall crops


Bush beans
Bush (or “snap”) beans are the second most widely planted vegetable (after
tomatoes) in Canadian gardens, and with good reason: They’re compact and easy to grow, and seeds can be planted successively, virtually guaranteeing a steady supply of fresh, nutritious beans from early summer to autumn.

While most gardeners will have already harvested their first crop by now, beans can be planted as long as soil temperatures remain below 25°C at a depth of 5 centimetres (midsummer seed should be sown deeper than spring seed to take advantage of cooler, moister soil conditions). Adding an organic mulch (shredded leaves, straw) will further help to keep the soil cool and retain moisture.

Bush beans have a fairly short harvest period (two to three weeks) so plant fresh seed every 20 days, up until 50 days before your first expected autumn frost date. Beans (just like peas) are legumes, and enrich the soil as they grow by fixing atmospheric nitrogen through nodules on their roots. To discourage any pathogen buildup, avoid sowing midsummer seed in the same soil as spring-sown seed.

Disease-resistant bush beans for midsummer sowing (50 to 55 days)

Green:
  • 'Bowie'
  • 'Inspiration'
  • 'Lewis'
  • 'Valentino'

Yellow or "wax":
  • 'Carson'
  • 'Gold Mine'
  • 'Rocdor'

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