Summer Gardening Series: Growing Green Beans

Last week we outlined Twin Pines’ advice for growing delicious summer Zucchini. This week, we’ll walk you through the When, Where, and Care for Growing Green Beans in your summer garden!

Don’t forget: Check back weekly for gardening tips, guides, and even some favorite summer veggie recipes from the Twin Pines Team!


Green Beans – 

Green Beans are a delicious summer vegetable, and a fun summer plant to garden! There are a variety of types of Green Beans, including Pole Beans, Bush Beans, Runner Beans, Yardlong Beans, and more! In this article, we will focus on the two most popular variations: Pole Beans and Bush Beans.

When To Plant:

Green Beans of any type should be planted after soil has warmed up during the late spring months. There should be full sun available to the plants for many hours of the day, making post-summer solstice timing ideal.

Where To Plant:

These delicious veggies should be planted in fertile soil that is rich in nutrients. If you can find a way to include compost into the garden beds you plant them in, they will also thrive.

Growing Pole Beans:

Green Beans that are grown on a vertical pole are a popular option, as they not only grow into delicious vegetables, but save a lot of space in a garden as they grow towards the sun.

Before you begin, you must first build a tipi or trellis for the plant to grow around. Once this structure has been built, for the best results be sure to plant pole beans about 6-10 inches apart so they have plenty of distance to grow.

Keep in mind that these plants will climb upwards over time on a vine that may reach up to 15 feet tall. For that reason we recommend creating a structure that extends as far and that can last through the season, as Pole Beans also tend to produce over and over again through the first frost of fall. This is one of the biggest benefits of choosing Pole Beans over Bush Beans, which do not produce as continuously.

Growing Bush Beans

Unlike Pole Beans, Bush Beans grow horizontally on their own bushes rather than up towards the sky. The shorter height of these plants, which typically does not exceed two feet,  is often more conducive to a generic garden’s shape and size.

To grow these Bush Beans, plant seeds 3-6 inches apart with a 1-2 feet of space between the rows in soil that is drained but has a great exposure to sun. These plants should produce a crop in about two weeks, and will also continue to grow throughout the season. That being said, in order to grow the largest amount possible, replant a couple weeks apart for the best results.

Post-Planting Care

Although drained soil is ideal for planting purposes, it is incredibly important to keep soil moist during flowering and fruiting. For that reason, experts recommend using mulch along the base of plants to help lock in the moisture and keep the soil cool during hot months.

Gardeners should also be sure to water the beds evenly until the seedlings begin emerging from the ground, with about 1-1.5 inches of water per week. Green Beans will thrive best with a drip irrigation system as opposed to overhead or garden hose watering.

Harvesting The Green Beans

Unlike some other vegetable varieties, Green Beans should be harvested at an immature stage, before the seeds have fully developed.

To physically harvest the plant, locate a single pod that looks to be about mature in size and snap or cut it off from the vine without tearing the plant. If a bean is fresh and ready to be picked, it should snap off the vine without difficulty.

In order to keep the harvest going all summer long, its is recommended to sow beans every two or so weeks.

*Bonus: Twin Pines’ Favorite Green Bean Recipes*

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Green Beans with Bacon and Pecans via “Savory Sweet Life”
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Beer Battered Green Beans via “Lady Behind the Curtain”
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Asian Garlic Green Beans via “The Garden Grazer”
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Smothered Green Beans via “Plain Chicken”
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Roasted Green Beans with Pancetta, Red Onions, and Garlic via “Creative Culinary”
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Summer Gardening Series: Growing Zucchini

Many of Twin Pines’ customers use the warm months of summer to garden, and for years we have been helping not only create spaces in their landscapes to grow these fruits and vegetables, but in many cases, have actually helped maintain them as they grow. For that reason, throughout this season, we will be sharing tips from the Twin Pines gardening experts! With our help, hopefully you too can grow delicious produce right in your own backyard!

Check back weekly for gardening tips, guides, and even some favorite summer veggie recipes from the Twin Pines Team!


Zucchini – 

Zucchini is an incredibly popular summer vegetable to grow, mostly because, when cared for correctly, it can be harvested a mere 40-60 days after being planted. That means diligent gardeners may be able to get a full 2-3 crops of these veggies grown by the end of the summer! Check out these expert tips from Twin Pines for growing the best zucchini this season:

When To Plant

For the best results, Zucchini seeds should not be planted until after you are sure the last frost of winter has passed, as this vegetable does not tolerate cold temperatures. The ideal soil temperature for planting is between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit; at this warmth, the Zucchini plants will thrive.

Where To Plant

Zucchini seeds should be spread out when planted in order to grow properly. At minimum, they should be inserted into soil mounds 3-4 feet apart from one another. The benefit of planting in a soil mound is that it allows you to plant the seed about an inch below the surface of the soil, while still giving the roots excess room to grow downwards. For the best results, these hills should be between 6 and 12 inches high and about one to two feet wide.

Post-Planting Care

Zucchini is a thirsty plant, which requires roughly 2 inches of water per week to remain fully hydrated. For that reason, it is important that the soil around the plants remain consistently moist. This can be accomplished by hand-watering, or with the use of an installed irrigation system.

Gardeners may also want to consider mulching around the plants once the seeding has been established, as this helps keep the temperature of the soil below the mulch stable and the moisture from watering locked in.

*Bonus: Twin Pines’ Favorite Zucchini Recipes*

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Parmesan Zucchini Tots via “Kirbie’s Cravings”
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Zucchini-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies via “Cooking Classy”
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10-Minute Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp & Zoodles via “Eat Well 101”
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Zucchini Enchiladas via “Delish”
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Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats via “The Wholesome Dish”
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Caprese Zoodles via “Delish”

 

Twin Pines’ Thanksgiving Recipe Book 2017

recipes-sectionDuring Thanksgivings past, Twin Pines has collected some favorite Thanksgiving recipes, dissected them for popular fruit/vegetable choices, and then taught our readers how to grow those most popular fruits/veggies for the next Thanksgiving! Check out the latest crop of recipes contributed by Twin Pines customers, fans, and friends in the Twin Pines Thanksgiving Recipe Book 2017 below!

And if you’d like to check out our past Recipe Book, you can do so here!


Granola Stuffed Acorn Squash – Contributed by Instagram user cascadianfarm

Check out the full recipe from the website below:

Granola Crusted Acorn Squash

Note: This recipe was originally published on www.tablespoon.com and is not the intellectual property of Twin Pines Family of Companies.

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A Letter From Your Plants On Fourth of July Weekend

It’s that time of year again…

Twin Pines Family of Companies Blog

Dear Family,

Now, we’re not the type to complain, but there’s a problem we’ve been noticing about your “summer habits” that we think we need to address. It’s about… Fourth of July weekend, and the fun you tend to have without really giving your plants a second thought.

We get it, it’s a full weekend to celebrate summer! There are cookouts, and fireworks, and late-night partying; it’s no wonder you guys are off having a great time. Believe us, if we weren’t rooted to the spot, we’d leaf in a heartbeat and join the fun! But sadly we cannot. We are stuck standing idly by while you and your guests have a good time, right under our branches.

But it doesn’t have to be like this! There are lots of ways to help send the party our way this Fourth of July, and we’ve decided to let you in on the secret:

  1. It’s a holiday weekend…

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15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Yard This Spring

Adding a hardscape feature in your yard can go a long way! So, this season, why not try one that’s both fun and functional? Fire Pits offer the perfect blend of style and practicality, and make for a great outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy! Browse through these 15 Fabulous Fire Pits below and find the perfect one for your home this spring!

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1. This copper fire pit that’s basically a Moscow Mule glass for your yard.

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The “Red Ember Eden Copper Wood Burning Fire Pit” comes with the bowl and stand, a spark screen, a grate, and a poker! Get it from Hayneedle for $279.98.

2. A multi-angled, stand alone fire pit with its very own smoke stack.

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The “Cavo Custom Octo-Pit” is created to resemble an Archimedean Solid, and the attached smoke stack allows smoke to filter up and out of the way instead of back at you! Get it from Woodland Direct for $741.00.

3. This stylish square pit perfect for any sized patio. 

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The “Trent Steel Fire Pit” includes a slate ledge around the bowl for a buffer from the fire, and a pyramid-shaped guard to prevent sparks from flying! Get it from Wayfair for $378.99.

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Time To Deck The Halls With Twin Pines

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Interested in our holiday light hanging services? Call us today at (508) 358-4231!

Read in the Rhythm of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas”

Twitter Poll-Snow Storm Edition

At the end of last week, the Snow Removal Specialists at Twin Pines posed a question for our followers on Twitter, asking which of a handful of items would be most beneficial in protecting your home during snow . After the poll was cast out and our followers had time to choose which option they thought was right, these were the results:

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The majority of our voters chose “Hairdryer” as the ideal household item for dealing with snow. Unfortunately, this is not the correct answer; there are a lot of dangerous downsides to this option. Most importantly, you should not use a hairdryer to melt snow because it has the potential to electrocute you.  This is a caution that comes whenever electric machines mix with water-based substances, but there are also many other complications to keep in mind. Melting snow into water this quickly on metal, like cars, can cause rust. It can also allow snow to melt too quickly in one specific area, causing breakage and the falling of large chunks of ice or snow, especially if used on a high surface like the top of a car or a roof. This can be very dangerous!

Instead, the best household item for snow removal was actually answer D: “Tights/Pantyhose.” This is a trick that all great Snow Removal Experts stand by, and is especially useful for preventing ice dams on roofs!

What To Do:

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Photo Credit: champaignrose.com
  1. Take an old pair of pantyhose or tights and cut the legs off
  2. Fill the inside with Calcium Chloride
  3. Tie off the open end
  4. Place the pantyhose on your roof so they are perpendicular to your gutter (Note: The end of the pantyhose should extend over the side of the gutter)
  5. Shift pantyhose into place with a long stick or broom handle
  6. Continue to monitor/check

How It Works: Basically, Calcium Chloride is a snow melting chemical, which, if you place it directly onto your roof, can cause corrosion. Instead, having a controlled barrier made up of pantyhose materials, allows the chemical to seep through and do its job of breaking down the ice/melt on top of your roof without causing any lasting damage.

Pro Tip: Be on the lookout for chunks of melted snow falling off of your roof due to ice dam removal tactics; Never stand directly beneath the ice dam and keep all cars/outside items away from beneath this area, as well. Dealing with snow removal can be dangerous, and we recommend taking all the appropriate cautions before moving forward.


A big thank you to everyone who voted as part of our first “Twin Pines Poll!” Please check back with us for more fun & interactive posts on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and here on our blog! Still looking for plowing, shoveling, salting, and more for this winter? Give us a call at (508) 358-4231 to find out if you are in our service area, then book a free, no obligation estimate with Twin Pines!

Protecting Your Landscape From Snow

Twin Pines Family of Companies Blog

You put a lot of time and effort into making your landscape and home look great. Don’t let a snow storm ruin all your hard work! Follow Twin Pines’ expert tips for protecting your landscape from snow, and keep your yard looking great even after heavy snowfall!

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Because plants and shrubs are often the focal points of your yard, its important to take the steps to cover and protect them when snow is in the forecast. There are a couple of noteworthy risks your plants face during this season.

Winter Burn

Winter burn is known as the damage to living plants that occurs during extreme winter snow, frost, and ice. Caused by a combination of winter sunlight and depleted moisture in the soil, this condition is a very poor one for plants to live in.

The best way for you to protect your plants, shrubs, and even more delicate trees from Winter Frost…

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Being Great

Blog Post Contributed by Andy Hopkins, Co-Owner of Twin Pines Family of Companies

On a very rainy Friday Boston night, I went to Fenway for the final home stand of the year against Toronto.

The Red Sox have already clinched the playoffs, but the mood was different than the relaxed night that usually accompanies that position.

It was the first night of a tribute weekend to David Ortiz – famous # 34 – who for years has been part of the success of the Red Sox.

On this night, he did what he has done so many times; he was great, hitting the winning 2 run home run, a line drive shot to right field. This was his 38th of the season.

When most players are battling with injuries and the decline of statistics as the body tells them their career is ending, David defies logic and is having another fantastic season.

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David Ortiz; Photo Credit: Andy Hopkins

Why?  Because of his love for the game and his dedication to being great every day. Watching his warm up before hitting, you could see there was an intensity like it was his first opportunity to impress us.

I have always felt that to be great at something you need to love it – 100% completely. David shows us that if you have this love, you can continue to be great against all odds.

I still remember game 4 of one memorable series, sitting in right field and hearing that no team had ever come back from 3 games down. No one told David Ortiz. He helped carry the Red Sox to a win and one of the greatest turnarounds in Major League playoffs.

That night, everyone in Boston saw his love of the game and of the team. It continued for over a decade.

So everyone here at Twin Pines would like to send out a salute to one of Boston’s greatest baseball players. We can only hope to be as passionate and great at what we do as David has been for the Red Sox. We wish David and his family the best after baseball.  Thank you for all the great memories!