Growing Your Own Beans Inside vs. Outside Part 1

When I am looking for something tasty and full of protein and nutrients, I often turn to the almighty bean. I hope to help you learn the trade-offs of growing your own beans inside vs. outside. I will be learning right alongside you this summer as I post on the topic of growing various staple bi-weekly so please subscribe to learn more. Let’s get started!

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We enjoy making many of our vegan recipes with beans. Our vegan meatloaf is a prime example. Beans provide the earthy richness of that recipe. Also, we expect to use beans a lot more in the coming months, especially as we cut our number of trips to the grocery store down to as few as necessary. So, follow along if you’re inspired to grow your own pantry staples.

Growing your own beans means you will have a fresh healthy staple for your favorite meals for many months. Apart from that, I will be taking things a step further and seek to prove that it’s possible to enjoy fresh beans all year round. How you ask? With an entirely indoor aeroponic garden. Additionally, I will be sharing what is and is not working with my own aeroponic system. My hope is that this will inspire you to build your own indoor gardens and lighten your reliance on the supply chain of food.

Starting The Seed Varieties

This will be the first time I am growing beans inside. I hope to produce enough to support my family for several months during and after harvesting. To keep things simple, I am growing two varieties, Blue Lake 274 bush by Ferry Morse and another variety of French beans from Hart’s Seeds. For you Latin lovin’ nerds out there the official name for the common bean is Phaseolus vulgaris.

I’ve estimated I will need about 18 bean plants. That is based on our average consumption of beans and the amount of space I’m willing to dedicate in my gardens to them. I started all of my beans inside under my LED grow lights. It took a couple of weeks for them to develop strong enough roots for transplanting.

The packaging for the Ferry Morse Blue Lake 274 variety says they will be ready to harvest 55 days after planting. It’s been over a month since I moved two of the blue lake 274s to my indoor garden. Also, it’s been a little over a month since I moved several to my newly built raised bed garden.

Growing your own beans means you should have some decently deep soil. Beans do best in soil that is around 36 inches deep. With that in mind I planted six of the beans in my raised bed that is 24 inches tall. We’ll see if it’s deep enough to create some luscious legumes. I also planted two Blue Lake 274 beans beneath my tomatoes in the aeroponic garden to see how they turn out.

I moved several of the blue lake variety to my raised bed about three weeks ago. That way I would have gotten a jump on the season if the weather were to hold out. However, we had a bit of cold weather in Maine over the past few weeks and it even snowed recently. Most are now frost-burned. The ones that are alive are growing at a slower rate than they had been in the seed starter cells.

But I’m not sweating it, seeds are super cheap. And now that’s it’s warming up outside for real I’m going to move the seeds I started as a contingency plan to my raised bed this weekend!

Growing Beans Inside With an Aeroponic Garden

Meanwhile, in my indoor aeroponic system, the Blue Lake beans I moved there on April 14th are doing very well. They appear to be growing very densely and have begun flowering. As it’s been warming up outside, the basement where my aeroponic system is located is also heating up. The higher temperatures are really helping the two cherry tomato plants and Swiss chard in my aeroponic system as well.

Blue Lake 274 Beans Front Row Second and Fourth from left side.

Overall, I have to say the beans in my aeroponic system are doing far better than the ones I moved to my raised bed, but this is partially due to the fact that I planted the outdoor ones too early. Therefore, in order to maximize the all-season growing potential for those of you living in colder climates, aeroponics should be the best option. Time will tell if the beans I’m growing outside produce as much fruit as the ones growing inside.

Thank you for reading. I hope I have shed some light on aeroponics. I’ll be dropping seeds of knowledge on this topic steadily throughout the summer. Expect to see upcoming posts on topics such as the economics of personal hydroponic and aeroponic gardens, which plants do best outside and inside, and how to maximize indoor yields.