The green bean is indeed an ‘evergreen’ summer crop, and they are a common staple food across various cultures. They are grown across the year, and they can be easily found in groceries. Not only are green beans low in calories, but they have some beneficial antioxidants such as vitamin C, flavonols, kaemferol, etc. Some of the main health benefits of green beans include improving the heart’s health, protecting bone and gut health, and so on. Some important vitamins and minerals in green beans include Vitamins A, C, and K, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, etc. For preparation, they can be cooked by casserole, roasted in the oven, sauteed, or stir-fried.
Why Is Companion Planting With Green Beans?
Beans can mature fast and are relatively easy to grow. They can grow even in partial shade, and they have tiny hairs on their leaves, which trap aphids. Beans are not heavy feeders, unlike other vegetables such as cauliflowers. This is because they can fix nitrogen in the soil from the air. Their dense growth above and below the ground impedes the growth of weeds.
Companion planting with Pole Beans and Bush Beans.
In the case of pole beans, it makes sense to companion plant it with crops that would benefit from its shade. For instance, peas might be a good companion. The pole bean would be directly beneficial to crops such as cabbage and other cool-season crops when grown so that the beans protect the former from the midday sun.
Bush beans are best used as a cover for the ground to prevent the onset of weeds on plants that grow close to the ground. For instance, this can be done in the case of dill plants when planted in compact raised gardens. The additional benefit is that dill and beans are both used together in cooking as well.
The best companion for the bush bean is considered to be the potato. The beans need to be planted outside the row of potatoes after the latter have been weeded and hilled. Additionally, to protect the bush bean, it might be planted along with crops such as cilantro or garlic. They would confuse the insects or pests in search of the bean.
12 Companion plants for Green Bean
Green beans are a good option for companion planting because of the above reasons. Here is a list of some plants that would do well in your garden grown along with beans.
Catnip tends to repel flea beetles, a common affliction for green beans. Hence, they are a good companion plant for the latter.
Parsnips have good growth underground, while beans grow above the garden. Consequently, there is no issue of space if you decide to companion plant parsnips with green beans. The parsnips would also benefit from the nitrogen-fixing ability of the green bean crop.
Marigold is a good companion plant since it repels various pests. In the case of green beans, they are especially effective at resisting the Mexican bean beetle. They also keep nematodes in the soil in check and prevent them from attacking the roots.
Potato foliage covers the soil and acts as a living mulch. On the other hand, the beans provide the nitrogen the potatoes require for sustained growth.
5. Sweet Alyssum
Alyssum grows low on the ground in a dense, spreading manner, and thus it makes for good ground cover for the beans. It prevents weeds from invading the crop and helps protect against soil erosion.
Varieties of squash also make for good companions with beans. In the case of intercropping, it is reported that there is an increased yield of both crops.
Tomatoes reduce the presence of potato leafhoppers, which can potentially cause injuries to the bean crop in the form of burns. The tomato also benefits from the nitrogen-fixing quality of the bean—the bean act as a ground cover preventing organisms from infecting the tomato foliage.
Basil helps to reduce the pest population in the garden. The presence of basil can attract diverse insects, thus resulting in a lower population of spider mites. This apparently improves yield production. Basil repels the usual insects, such as aphids.
Usually, sunflowers are not recommended as companion plants since they emit allelopathic compounds which can be toxic to nearby plants. However, beans are an exception to this, and they can be grown successfully along with sunflowers. Since sunflowers grow up to be tall plants, they need to be grown a bit northwards in the garden to receive ample sunlight and do not end up as an obstruction for the beans.
Cabbage makes for a good companion plant with bush beans but does not grow well with pole beans since they put the cabbage in the shade.
Carrots are a good option when companion planting with beans. The growth of the carrots will be good near the beans, and they also keep the aphids away by attracting ladybugs. Of course, carrots are a good choice for interplanting.
Cilantro grows well around plants that add nitrogen to the soil. The nitrates add nutrients to the cilantro. Cilantro attracts beneficial insects, which keeps pests away from the bean crop. Although, the cilantro needs to be allowed to flower instead of cutting out the buds.
Companion Planting With Green Beans: What to Avoid?
Some of the which you should not grow along with beans are:
The cauliflower is a heavy feeder, and it depletes the soil of nutrients.
Beans should not be planted around members of the allium family – along with onions; they include leeks, garlic, etc. This is because they secrete a chemical that kills beneficial bacteria and prevents bean plants from fixing nitrogen in the soil.
Of course, the pepper and the bean can benefit the soil. However, the bean might be destructive to the pepper since it might spread out too aggressively among the pepper and choke the plant out.
In this article, we have discussed at length the various crops that would do well when planted with either bush bean or pole bean. We have also discussed some plants that would adversely affect when planted with them.