Bean reprieve

I’m still grasping firmly to summer as if it will never go away, but the fact of the matter is the seasons are changing. It’s a lot more comfortable to hang out in my apartment than it was a month ago, and there’s a tree on my street that persists in changing its leaves to yellow. Football season is underway (Go Hawkeyes!) and there’s actually a night this week where the temperatures are forecast to get down to 34 degrees.

In the garden, I’m trying to make a bunch of educated decisions, but I have a hard time ruthlessly ripping up plants. It just seems unfair not to give them another chance. And another. And another. Usually it requires full-on, total plant death to prod me to actually make a final call. I guess I just like to let the plants decide instead of me.

Bean flowersI had, however, decided to rip up the bean plants. They’re all raggedy and chewed-upon, some by bugs, some by animals, and while I did get at least two lovely harvests off them, and still occasionally get a bean or two to snack on, I had pretty much decided they were done.

And then I went out expressly to yank them, and found several plants with bean flowers on them. Now, logically, I know that there is no way these bean plants are going to make it from flower to bean before it starts to get too cold for them. But I have a soft spot in my heart for plants that are still flowering, and therefore, I caved.

The bean plants get to stay. For now. But if the flowers drop off or disappear, that’s it for the season.

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12 Responses to “Bean reprieve”


  1. 1 steven September 11, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Don’t be too hasty there. I’ve planted Kentucky Wonder beans in late August and picked beans almost to Thanksgiving. Last year I was picking the last of them in a snow fall.

  2. 2 Libby September 11, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    I’m ready to be ruthless with what I have left. How quickly I tire of something… I’m ready to start planning my raised beds and plantings for next year. I should really stop and enjoy what’s left of this season first.

  3. 3 inadvertentgardener September 11, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Steven, I’m not relishing picking things in snowfalls, but I’ll do it, if need be…

    Libby, yeah, I’m not quite ready to dump the season yet!

  4. 4 Michelle September 11, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    I think your beans have been talking to my tomatoes!

  5. 5 Chigiy September 11, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    You remind me of me. I don’t pull out or throw out plants as often as I should.

  6. 6 Heather September 11, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Of all the veggies that I’ve been growing this year, I think that the beans are the quickest from bloom to harvest. But maybe that’s because there are so many blooms I don’t seem to notice the beans until they’re almost too big! I know, nice problem to have.

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener September 12, 2007 at 6:17 am

    Michelle, are your tomatoes blooming again?

    Chigiy, it’s hard to make the call, isn’t it?

    Heather, that’s definitely a nice problem to have!

  8. 8 Wayne September 12, 2007 at 11:31 am

    good luck with the green beans.. I have had students refuse to pull them out of the ground. I am amazed by my cucumbers. I don’t remember plants being productive into September????

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener September 12, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Wayne, you still have cukes? That’s amazing!

  10. 10 jenjen September 13, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    I was heartbroken a couple weeks ago. I went to mow off my cantaloupe vines since I couldnt find anymore cantaloupes. I mowed over 2 nearly ripe melons! arggh. And this is the first year I have ever managed to grow melons.

  11. 11 inadvertentgardener September 14, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Jenjen, oh no! That’s tragic!


  1. 1 Them’s some powerful beans « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on September 25, 2007 at 10:57 pm

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