This was our first year growing black beans. I planted two rows about 12 feet long and gave us about 5 cups of dried black beans. They were easy to grow and you harvest them when the pods are dying up and starting to crinkle and get crunchy. I pulled up the plants about 2 weeks ago. I allowed them to dry on our covered patio for about a week to allow more drying. Then I pulled or cut the pods from each plant and allowed about another 5 days in a drying in a dry box/container (of your choice) until the black beans rattle inside their pods or start to pop open. You can place all the black bean pods in a bucket and crush the pods from the beans and then sift them to remove all the chaffing pieces or since I didn’t have very many I just opened them one by one into a bowl.
When beans have dried you can store them in mason jars with lid and add a moisture packet. They can be stored for 8-10 years at 70 degrees. If stored longer than this the dried beans can become too hard.
I found the following videos very helpful Here and Here.
For amending soil see our Garden Soil Prep and Lawn
I planted the black bean seeds about 1-2 inches deep and about 1 1/2 inches apart. I like to plant my seeds close together and the rows about 22 inches apart.
Note: I was later planting my seeds this year. It was the end of May.
*The white sprinkled around plants is a product called “kill-a-bug-two” , powder. We always get grasshoppers and black beetles that like to eat my leaves and this seems to help a lot. I try not together to get too much of powder on the leaves because it causes the leaves to dry and attract spider mites.
I water my garden 1-3 times a week during the summer depending on the hot weather, using soaker hoses.
I also used a water all-purpose fertilizer a couple of times during the growing season.