The life cycle of the bean plant is important for those who are interested in sprouting or harvesting beans for consumption. As beans are a low-cost food source, many people who are interested in healthy living have invested time and effort in the growing of beans.
The best way to get a full view of the life cycle of the bean plant is through a diagram showing all stages of life. For those who are interested in sprouting, you will already possess the seeds, so the germination and seedling stage is what you should focus on. For those who are harvesting fully grown beans for food, the entire cycle is important. When you harvest beans, you will be seeing the plant through to almost the end of its life cycle.
The life cycle of the bean plant begins with the seed. The seed is generated after the successful reproduction of the plant. If your plant has successfully bred, the seed will be viable and sprout upon introduction to water. The time between exposure to water and sprouting is dependant on the type of bean. However, many beans sprout within three or four days. There is a short period of time where the sprouts can be eaten in salads. Bean sprouts are commonly used in salads, as well chinese dishes such as chow mein.
Sprouting a bean in order to eat it as a sprout is done differently than growing beans for consumption after they have turned to proper beans. Bean sprouting is usually done in tubs or containers specifically assigned to that process. As you do not want dirt on your sprouts, and sprouts do not require dirt for survival, this is a much more sanitary method of growing your sprouts. This is why knowledge of the life cycle of the bean plant is so vital. Without it, you will not know when your sprouts will be ready. Once they have grown into proper seedlings, the sprouts are no longer desired for food, and your effort will have been wasted.
Growing beans for the full plant requires an indoor or outdoor garden, space, and consistent access to water. As bean plants can grow several feet tall, it is best suited for outdoors. Unlike sprouting which can be done year round indoors, you will be limited to the natural growing seasons of beans. This makes having access to the life cycle of the bean plant is invaluable, as a good cycle will also include at what times of years beans are best grown.