TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Garden q&A: veggies don't like fluctuations

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Jessica Walliser
A green bean plant

Daily Photo Galleries

Home & Garden,
Real Estate Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, May 11, 2013, 7:17 p.m.
 

Q: We grew green beans in our garden last year and had a problem that we'd like to avoid this season. The plants grew lots of beans, but each pod was curled up at the bottom and the leaves had yellow markings on them. What happened, and how can we produce a better bean crop this year?

A: To ensure optimum health and adequate production from all your veggies, start your season by getting a soil test. Improper soil pH and fertility issues can lead to deformed or dwarfed vegetables. Contact your county's office of the Penn State Extension Service to purchase a test, and when the test results are returned, adjust your fertilization program accordingly. Most vegetables, green beans included, prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5.

That being said, I suspect there may be a few other factors at play in regards to your deformed beans. During pod-set, fluctuations in soil moisture and excessive heat can lead to pod curling. While you can't control the temperature, be sure your bean plants are well mulched and water them regularly throughout the growing season if necessary. Most veggies require 1 inch of water per week. Set an empty tuna can in the garden and measure the amount of rainfall collected in it each week. If you need to water the garden, put the can under the path of your sprinkler and run it until the can is full. That's about 1 inch of water.

It's also possible that your beans were infected with common bean mosaic virus. Mosaic virus creates a yellow and green mosaic pattern on infected plants, stunts growth and causes the bean pods to curl. It arrives in the garden via infected seeds and can be transferred from plant to plant by aphids.

Be sure to purchase your bean seeds from a quality source and dispose of any infected plants. Rotate this year's bean crop to a new area of the garden. Because mosaic virus is a viral disease, there are no products available to control it. Plant only varieties with a noted resistance to the virus. Some of my favorites are Venture, Renegade, Blue Lake, Maxibel and Contender.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. Her website is www.jessicawalliser.com.

Send your gardening or landscaping questions to tribliving@tribweb.com or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  2. Reds send right-hander Leake to Giants for 2 prospects
  3. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  4. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  5. 44th Folk Festival off to bustling start in Kittanning
  6. Paradise Park Rib Fest reviving legendary stage in Cowansville
  7. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  8. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  9. Southmoreland School director named
  10. Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions