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Half row of beans did great, the other half did not

8 years ago


This year I planted a stand of Rattlesnake beans, supported on bamboo poles. The stand was two parallel rows running east-west, with good sunlight from the south.

I live in Seattle, and despite the reputation for rain there are often very dry spells during the summer. This year we went like 3-4 weeks with very little rain, and extremely intense sunlight. I don't think temperatures got over 95 for most of this time, but it hovered in mid to high 90s for a long period IIRC.

Anyway, to the west side of the stand, stands my house. In the morning the west end of the stand gets full sunlight, but then this gets dark much earlier than the other half in the evening, because my house puts a shadow on half of this garden bed.

The east side of the bed/stand gets pretty much full-on sunlight all day. ALSO, bordering on to the east of the beans was my tomatoes; big, 6+ foot tall plants with strong root systems going in every direction.

So by the time the beans were up the poles, it was obvious that the east side of the bean stand was doing very badly. The vines were tall just like the west side, but the foliage was very small and sparse, and a bit yellow. The west side had luxurious foliage, and produced maybe 2 to 3 times as many beans as the east side.

I am wondering what accounts for this? Was the extra shade that the west side of the stand got what made those grow better? Or did the tomatoes interfere with the beans on the east side? Perhaps a combination of both? I am thinking that the east side beans probably got too much sun or not enough water... supposedly the interaction between beans and tomatoes is not enough to make such as dramatic difference. But maybe the tomatoes were sucking up all of their water?

Thanks for the advice!

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