Our Viva San Diego bean comes with a very local story! Our dear friend over at Rio Del Rey Beans gave us a highly prolific bean called “Viva” in hopes of us utilizing its great qualities to produce a bean that does really well in our region. The Viva bean had been a breeding project of bean breeders at the University of California Davis campus. We were delighted that he would share such a stunning bean with us! After taking it home to our certified organic farm and producing seeds we were in for a HUGE surprise! The all-black seeds that he gave us yielded a kaleidoscope of flavors, colors, and textures. Instead of being disappointed at the pollination mishaps we fell in love with the bean and did further field tests. After trialing them over and over we got feedback from our growers and gardeners and they all said the same thing! We LOVE IT! So, here it is for you to enjoy too! We love to cook it with herbs from the garden to make tasty bean soup.
Planting by Zones
- Bush beans are best sown directly into the soil after the soil has warmed to at least 70°F. This is typically in late April or May. Bush beans, like all plants in the legume family, fix nitrogen in the soil.
- Bush beans should be direct sown when the soil is at least 70 degrees.
Planting Viva San Diego Bush Bean Seeds
- Plant bush bean seeds 1” deep into well-worked and thoroughly watered garden soil. Beans should be planted in a full sun location.
- Fertilize regularly with an organic liquid fertilizer once the seedlings have germinated and have their first set of true leaves.
- Beans can be planted as close to 7” apart.
Growing Viva San Diego Bush Bean
- Bush beans are incredibly easy to grow and are great for gardens with little space. They do well in raised beds, in ground, and planted in containers.
- Keep weed-free by pulling any weeds that may compete with your bush bean crop.
Succession Planting Bush Bean
- If you enjoy large amounts of bush beans, succession planting is a good idea. Start a new round of seeds every 10 days.
Growing Viva San Diego Bush Bean in Containers
- Bush beans are an excellent container variety. If you are planting bush beans in containers, make sure your container is at least 10” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.
Harvesting Bush Bean
- The key to happy bush beans is to harvest often. The more you harvest, the more beans you will get. Make sure you harvest your beans at the optimal size for fresh eating. If you wish to grow the beans for dry beans, simply let the beans dry on the vine and harvest for dry bean use. Any bean can be used as a fresh bean when it is young, and a dry bean when it is dry.
Southern California Pro-tips
- In areas of Zones 9 and 10, bush bean is a very easy crop to grow.
- Mulch heavily around your bush bean plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.
- During our hottest months of August, September, and October, plants can suffer from the heat. During this time using shade cloth can help protect the plants from extreme heat.
- Do not overhead water as this promotes disease.
- Bush beans are small plants, so do not plant tall flowering plants or veggies in a direction that will shade your bush beans.
Additional Learning Resources