Wide Rows for bush legumes
Friday June 06, 2003
Long ago I grew tired of setting all the poles for pole beans and peas. Iím told the French have rocky soil and use a method called French Intensive Gardening in an effort to maximize each square foot of productive soil.
Consider planting your bush peas and beans in a efficient wide row. There are other advantages to this method beyond space saving. The wide row method creates a hedge that blocks out most of the weeds and helps conserve water.
How wide? The width of a garden rake. After tilling the soil rake some of the soil to both sides of the planting bed. The bed is next smoothed level. Broadcast the seeds onto the bed like you would sow grass seed. Try to get a seed every 4 square inches or so. Next drag the soil from the sides onto the seed bed. Donít cover these seeds with more than 3/4 inch of soil. Experts say 4 times any seedís diameter is normal soil coverage. Smooth the surface and tamp it down firmly with the end of the rake. Take the handle of the rake and push down any stragglers that refuse to be covered by soil.
For peas I run a length of chicken wire down the center of the bed. This gives the pea plants something to attach their tentacles onto, helping the hedge stand upright during those spring thunderstorms. Bush beans donít have tentacles so I donít fence them.