Make a beautiful arch of pole snap beans

You can make a beautiful arch of pole snap beans. A bean arch is not only practical but beautiful.

Green beans, string beans or snap beans are the very same beans with different names. Those green/string/snap beans come in yellow and purple too. All of them are low in calories, saturated fat and sodium but high in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Snap beans are either bush or pole beans, based on how they grow. Pole beans need support to grow whereas bush beans do not. According to a Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh fact sheet on snap beans, the recommended bush varieties for Michigan are Kentucky Wonder bush, Blue Lake bush, Royalty Purple Pod, Spartan Arrow, Tender Crop, Royal Burgundy and Gold Crop. The recommended pole beans include Dragon’s Tongue, Blue Lake and Painted Lady. An arch for the pole bean plants to climb makes a beautiful addition to your garden and also saves garden space. We always make sure we purchase stringless pole beans for our arch. All you need to make a pole bean arch is: • Two light duty fence posts for each arch. • 4’ x 16’ livestock panels or 3’ x 16’ pig panels (livestock and pig panels and posts can be purchased at farm stores). • Set one post in the ground where you want one side of the arch to be. • Put one end of the panel against that post and lift it up in the center to make an arch. • Set the other post where you want the other side of the panel to be. The closer you put the posts the higher the arch will be. • Use electrical tape to fasten the panels to the post. • Once the arch is in place plant a row of beans on the inside or the outside of the panels. • If you want longer rows simply put two or three panels together. Another added benefit to an arch of pole beans is that you don’t have to bend over anymore to pick your beans! Pick snap beans when they are very young or when they are longer but still smooth with no bulges from the beans inside or when you can see the beans begin to bulge. It is really a personal preference as to how you like your beans but regardless fresh snap beans will snap when broken into pieces. You can preserve snap beans by freezing, canning or drying them. Always follow directions carefully when preserving all your food by using research-based recipes found in updated Ball Blue Books, So Easy to Preserve, the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving and updated Extension information sheets.

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