Potatoes and Beans: A Love Story

Some people may know about this love story, others may not.  We all want that perfect relationship and they have it!  It has been going on hundreds of years.  It’s about the potato and bean.  It is also called companion planting which has been around even longer.  Companion planting is when two plants (herbs, veggies and even flowers) like each other and help each other to be better.  I have been planting this way for about 5 years now and find I have a more maintenance free veggie garden because of companion planting.  I am starting a bed renewal in the front of my house and I am going to try to implement this there too, but that will be another day.

So, it has been proven for 100’s of years that this system works.  Farmers tend to use it and well, if they use it, it’s probably reliable.  I like a more natural gardening style.  I try really hard not to put pesticide on my veggie garden because I need the bees to pollinate my stuff.  If you use pesticide, you will likely kill things you NEED in your garden.  I also like to use birds to eat the bugs, which is why I encourage them by putting out my PB PineCone Bird Feeders.  And you thought that was a random post?  No way.  Whether we like animals or not, we are part of a big ecosystem which relies on all of these things to work together.  Anyway…back to potatoes and beans.

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Planting Potatoes

  1. Dig a 12 in deep row keeping it 3 foot apart from other potato rows.  Stand on a board so you don’t compact the soil, if needed.  Cut your seed potatoes into 1/4’s and place them 12 in apart in the rows.
  2. Once the potatoes break the soil surface, plant your beans on one side of your row where the soil is not piled up.  (On your board side).   *Push the beans into the soil 1/2  inch at most and about 4 in apart.  You can add more or less depending on your food need and area.
  3. When the potatoes grow about 4 more inches, it is time to push the soil heap over your potatoes plants.  This will now leave you more space to have a second sowing of beans.  Repeat #2.
  4. When your first crop of beans finishes, you will have a small amount of time before your next crop happens.  This is an excellent opener to my Dilly Bean Post which will come later.  After your second crop of beans finishes, your potatoes should be ready.  The bean plants will be withered, dying or dead by then.

I will be starting on mine this weekend because I am running late!  I must say that I use Rodale Books a lot for help with planting my garden in a safe and happy way.  Thank you to Sally Jean Cunningham who wrote Great Garden Companions which got me started on this companion planting craze.

If you have any questions, I am here.  Have fun out there!