Holy bean leaves, Batman!

Bean flowerIt’s probably too early—far too early—to declare the Great Bean Experiment of 2007 a success.

But, at least temporarily, there seem to be good things happening. There are flowers on the bean plants. Lots of flowers. And as I’ve learned, flowers beget vegetables. As much as I love flowers for flowers’ sake, I sure do adore the ones that start as purty flowers and end up as purty dinner.

Holey leafPerhaps I’m growing Swiss beans, however? I’m not noticing any actual bugs that could perform the damage, but every single bean leaf has been stricken with an unnatural holey-ness. I am not pleased. Not pleased at all.

I am thankful, though. The beans are now probably a foot tall, and that means they survived the critical part of the life cycle where the rabbits probably should have just eaten them. So if I can just keep the leaves from completely disappearing off the plants, I might actually eat a homegrown bean.

Yeah, that’s right. One bean. Because I’m setting my sights low in the legume category.

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16 Responses to “Holy bean leaves, Batman!”


  1. 1 Lydia August 2, 2007 at 5:36 am

    I’ve learned to set low expectations for my garden, too — easier to take the disappointment when the rabbits have eaten the chives, the rust claimed the strawberry plants, and the Japanese beetles beat me to much of my basil. May the beans be with you!!!

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener August 2, 2007 at 6:15 am

    Lydia, thanks so much! And yes…low expectations are the way to happiness, I think. At least…it’s true for gardening!

  3. 3 Ottawa Gardener August 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    My beans look the same. However they have also produced lots of beans. I find medium expectations are good with beans. I don’t know what’s causing it – slugs, cuke beetles, flea beetles, something else without a backbone. I try not to stress about pests.

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener August 2, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Ottawa Gardener, it’s good to know the holes don’t hurt production!

  5. 5 Wayne August 2, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    my plants and my students I expect amazing things of, then persevere.

    wish I could tell you about the holes, but I can tell you I have had the tops of healthy bean plants eaten by deer and I still got lots of beans. actually, it was easier to find the beans!!!

  6. 6 Tiya August 2, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Halloa from San Fransisco! I’m starting my own indoor cherry tomato jungle (foolish was I in sowing so many seeds) and in my relentless search for more info, happened across your blog and cheerfully read through pretty much all of it.

    Glad you’re fond of Northern California, cause for me, there is no where else I call home. I find it a little amusing, as well as saddening you have so many trials with your plants, as my tomatoes are sprawling all over my tiny apartment. As of right now, I have to find something to do with all of them before I run out of space to live. I’ve never tried it before, so there is as much hope for me bunking it all up at the last minute. Keep at it, I look forward to reading more.

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener August 3, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Wayne, I love your philosophy–about students, plants, and the deer-aid to harvesting those beans!

    Tiya, so glad you found me! Do you have a ton of sunlight in your apartment? My apartment, sadly, just doesn’t get enough light to foster so many indoor tomatoes, but that sounds pretty heavenly to me…having that whole tomato smell goodness around me would be fabulous!

  8. 8 Tiya August 3, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    During the summer at least, from between 2pm to sundown I get some direct sunlight through my window, but it’s always pretty bright in here, which, although it makes it impossible to sleep in, is good for tomatoes.

    I’ve heard that with our mild weather, tomatoes might become perennial, but if that’s the case, I might need to invest in growlights to keep them healthy during the colder months, as SF is very frequently overcast all day. What are your thoughts? Though I think I already know your opinion on grow lights. :)

    I’m personally trying to think of how you can have your hanging tomatoes, and eat them, too. I’ve heard a thing or two about growing them upside down hydroponically, because according to all I’ve read, plants do not need to form such an extensive root system when they don’t live in soil. I’m no expert, but you might want to ask around, and see if you’d like to experiment with it next year.

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener August 3, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Tiya, I haven’t done a lot of exploring of hydroponics, but it does interest me, actually — the idea of having less root structure but the same amount of production is pretty fascinating. As for grow lights, I’m definitely not opposed to them! I just have never had the urge to really get them bought and set up…too much work, and on that front, I’m fundamentally lazy. But I’m interested to hear more as you experiment with perennial tomatoes, because hey…if they can taste as good as summer all year ’round, that’s quite intriguing.

  10. 10 kate August 4, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I have a hunch that you’ll have lots of beans this year.

  11. 11 Katie August 4, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Maybe the holes are bird beak sized? I can’t verify in my garden, but my pumpkins and broccoli harbor the same tell-tale holes, which stopped once I hung shiny CDs in the tree above them….A hypothesis perhaps?

  12. 12 jen August 4, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    The holes are from bean beetles which are small brownish hard shelled beetles, kind of like a big ladybug thats brown with black spots. They will kill small just sprouted bean plants but not big plants.
    Sometimes they bite the beans and leave marks on them. If you pick the beans promptly and dont leave them on the plants until they are so huge they dont taste good anyway you shouldnt have a problem.
    I love my beans almost as much as my tomatoes!

  13. 13 inadvertentgardener August 5, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Kate, I hope so. Some are starting to appear, but they’re very tiny yet…we’ll see how it goes.

    Katie, that’s an interesting theory. They’re only, in my case, on the bean plants, though, so I don’t think that’s what it is.

    Jen, I haven’t actually seen any of those beetles, but I’m sure you’re right — they’re probably there. Thanks for the tip about them eating the beans — I didn’t realize they would do that, too!

  14. 14 superled March 3, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Our indoor garden doesn’t have rabbits!


  1. 1 Bean reprieve « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on September 11, 2007 at 11:09 am

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