It has been a tough year for us green beans wise. We had a very cold and wet spring and our new second garden was not quite ready, delaying our first planting. And, since our new garden was not fenced in like our first garden, the rabbits and deer decided to eat our young sprouts for breakfast. For our second row we placed 2 x 8 boards along the sides of the row and covered them with screen. Once the plants were tall enough we figured we should be fine — but no apparently deer and rabbits will eat the tops of bean plants of any size. So for row number three we left the boards, added tall row covers and covered the rows permanently with bird screen. By now unfortunately it was late June meaning we did not have fresh green beans to eat this year until mid-August.
Oh but were they worth it. The beans (Maxibel) were all longer than normal this year — many reaching 8 inches. We have been growing Maxibel beans (a french style bean) for about 3 years now and while they are always straight and narrow we have never grown any that were quite this long. I wonder if the taller plants, which had to reach beyond the 2 x 8 inch boards for sunlight, contributed to the longer beans?
This fall we plan on fencing in our second garden. Deer graze on what’s convenient and we have never found that they climbed our first garden fence which was three feet high. We find 3 feet tall enough to keep the rabbits, skunks and raccoons out. However perhaps, despite the fence, we will still try the 2 x 8 in boards to see if they continue to encourage longer beans.