Answer: There are several things you can do to help beans stay healthy. One is to enrich the soil with ample organic matter and to run some basic soil tests to make sure the soil is in good shape. The next thing is to mulch around the plants to hold down weeds and help conserve soil moisture. When you water, avoid wetting the foliage and water deeply to encourage deeper roots that reach to where the soil stays moister longer. Stay out of the bean patch when the foliage is wet either from rain or dew. Pick the beans as soon as they are ready, do not let them linger on the vines. Remove the vines promptly after the final harvest and be sure to rotate your planting area on at least a three year cycle. Finally, use inoculant when you plant the seeds. Your county extension should be able to help you with the soil tests and interpreting the results; they may also be able to suggest particular varieties known to do well in your local area.
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