Edible bean growers in Ontario experienced a little bit of everything in 2021 — from excellent soil conditions, to frost and hard-to-find moisture.

On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Edible Bean School, host Bernard Tobin and Hensall Co-op agronomist Josh Moffatt explore four different Oxford County fields, and share lessons learned from the spring planting rollercoaster.

Moffatt kicks off the video in a field of evenly emerged kidney beans where the grower did everything right, including waiting for rain before planting at the right depth in late May.

The next stop is an adzuki bean field planted after cereal rye was harvested for forage. Moffatt says planting edibles after forage can be tricky. Soil moisture can be a concern and tillage and fertility need to be fine-tuned for success. Here, seeding depth is critical, and rolling may be required to ensure ease of harvest and help conserve soil moisture.

The tour stops next at a field that received a pounding, two-inch rain just after harvest. In this case, crusting is a concern, but plants in this field continue to push out of the ground. The population will likely be adequate but there is a lesson to be learned, says Moffatt: “Never race a rain” when you’re planting edible beans.

Moffatt wraps up the video in a white bean field that’s set up for success. The grower planted into moisture, avoided pounding rains immediately after planting, achieved even emergence and heads into summer with a 100,000 plant/ac population that should deliver a high-yielding crop.

Click here for more Edible Bean School episodes.

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