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Favorite Bean cultivars?

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Favorite Bean cultivars?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/25/2015, 7:10 pm

OK, I have to confess, I am a pole bean aficianado, I grew bush beans once, and they were nice, a yellow filet type, but I just like having beans right in front of my face. I have always grown Kentucky Wonder, but it gets stringy, and bulbous with big seeds if you don't get them early....

I liked the purple pole variety better, I think because, you could see them easier and therefore harvest them more timely.

I have 3 trellises, planted them all with KY Wonder, will diversify next year...experiences?

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Re: Favorite Bean cultivars?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/25/2015, 7:34 pm

I found the same thing with KW beans, scorpio.

I've been a huge fan of royal burgundy beans in the past, but mine this year, after a first flush that was large and tender and juicy, have for the most part stayed small, grown slowly, and had mealy seeds. Unpleasant to eat. They've been beset by bacterial wilt, so I think I will pull them and plant something else. Too bad; normally I would recommend them highly. Just a bad year I guess. So spectacular looking on the plate though!

I've also tried yellow wax beans for the last two years. Last year the sun scorched all the bean plants, killing most of them in a single day, so no success there. However, this year is bad too. Even though they are surrounded by other types of bean plants doing much better(Speedy, Royal Burgundy), they are getting tiny, dry pods. Same thing in full sun and in partial shade. I had literally one or two decent sized pods, and they were very good, but the productivity is so bad I doubt I'll plant any next year. Too bad, because I really like wax beans.

Speedy, a snap bean from Territorial, who does not offer them this year, were fantastic last year. Very productive, nice taste. This year they are doing a bunch of nothing. I didn't save seed, so I guess I won't be planting them next year. I would like at least one snap bean in next year's planting that gives green beans, for color's sake on the plate.

Dragon Tongue beans -- tried them for the first time last year since a number of people on these forums raved about them.Loved them! Love them better still this year, as I've had good productivity and the beans are surprisingly tender even when they're six inches long or longer. If I don't catch them young, they're still great older. And they look amazing on the plate, with those darker or lighter purple stripes on a yellow background. These are too good to cook,I think. They're perfect raw. By far my favorite bean.

Scarlet emperor runner beans -- the flowers are few and far between, but they're okay as far as productivity goes. There would be no point growing them for the flowers, though, as some do. At least in my mind -- all greenery and the occasional fragile flower that only lasts about a day. The cooked beans though, are excellent. I cooked the pods too, with some sausage. Great stuff.

I like how tall they get. You really feel like you're growing something when you've got a vigorous vining bean plant. Unfortunately, they've been the first to get hit hard by bacterial wilt, and they're what I see with cucumber beetles on them the most. I've got quite a lot of beans growing, but the others haven't been hit near as hard. This makes me wonder if I should bother growing them again next year. Or at least, in this particular garden, which is overrun by cucumber beetles.

Cow peas(black-eyed beans) are a nice tasty cooked bean, but not terrifically productive. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I think I'd need to plant a lot of them to get much return. There's a good chance it's just me, though, or that the bacterial wilt is just too much for them.

All the beans but the scarlet runner beans and the cow peas I'm growing are snap beans that I eat raw. They're also bush beans. Considering I'm growing up against a chain link fence now, I want to grow a climbing bean next year, in good quantity. I love my bush beans, but there's only so much you can produce on a bush rather than a nice long vine.
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Re: Favorite Bean cultivars?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/25/2015, 10:57 pm

I have to say that the ?Japanese beetles were TERRIBLE this year, decimated the beans, hollyhocks and even messed with my perennial geraniums.

I have Got to figure out a strategy for next year!
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Re: Favorite Bean cultivars?

Post  Kelejan on 8/25/2015, 11:58 pm

I enjoyed your journey through yard-long beans, Cappy. Will try them next year, I have put them on my list of maybes.
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