Question: I have poor soil conditions that I am trying to improve upon. My question is, if you are able to drill annual rye into existing beans later in the summer/early fall without doing a lot of harm to the bean plants? Obviously, would then plant the following year into the rye and terminate that.
There are lots of variables that determine the amount of damage to the beans. The primary variable is the maturity and conditions of the beans. If the beans are in the late flowering stage or have set seed, they are stressed and are more likely to be damaged by the drill. If they haven’t flowered yet and appear very healthy, drilling through them will do minimal damage. Many of the beans that are ran over by tractor tires will likely be damaged.
Some of the beans need to terminated so there will be enough sunlight reaching the soil for the seedlings to photosynthesize and thrive. If the beans in your plots mature early, then the fall crop can be planted using the broadcast method as enough sun will reach the soil for the seedlings to photosynthesize.