Rattlesnake green beans

Missouri_GreenwitchJuly 28, 2004

I've been harvesting them for about a month, and am excited with the taste/appearance/production. However, There are no more blooms or beans, and some of the leaves are starting to turn yellow. Does this mean it's time to pull out the vines? Thanks! GW

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A month is about all you can expect, even if you pick every day. I usually let them put out a few more beans to save for next year's seeds, since we can't get them here in PA (I took seeds up with me when we moved from AL).

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 10:43AM
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Rattlesnake is a very heat tolerant bean that will keep producing as long as the beans are picked regularly and they have plenty of water. I usually harvest beans from them for 2 to 3 months. The ones I am picking from now started bearing about the 10th of June. Though the production is not as high as it was, they still have plenty of beans today. The key is making sure they have enough water!

I found a single variant seed of Rattlesnake beans 2 years ago. Instead of being brown with purple stripes, it was gray with purple stripes. I planted it separate from my other beans and harvested about a cup of seed from that plant. This year I have a 20 foot row of them and have picked at least 30 gallons of beans just off of those. I also have about 60 other varieties of beans growing with about 10 feet of row for each variety.

Rattlesnake is a standout winner as a canning bean though there are 2 or 3 of the others that I like a bit better. The big advantage of Rattlesnake beans is their heat tolerance and long term production.

I've been really impressed with Musica for a big wide flat bean to cook fresh.

I also really like a brown canning bean that my Grandmother passed down to me.

Striped Hull Greasy Cutshort is arguably the best flavored bean I've ever grown. Unfortunately, its size is so small that they can't be grown economically. I can easily make a meal out of a pan of these beans!

Blue Marbutt is a bean that was given by to my MIL by a lady named Marbutt several years ago. Its been a good producing bean with exceptionally good flavor for canning.

There is a thread in the backpages where I discuss the beans characteristics and which of them are really standouts. I've had time to evaluate them better now and also to try out some of the shelley and dry varieties. Turkey Craw is phenomenally productive of very healthy dry beans. Goose is a heavy producer of incredibly large shelley beans. There are a couple of others worth talking about but this is enough for a Rattlesnake thread!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2004 at 11:49PM
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canadiantomato(z5 Ontario)

Fusion, I know that Rattlesnake is commercially available. Excepting your own heirlooms, how available are the others you've mentioned here and on the previous thread? You've quite piqued my interested in cutshorts and greasy types. I've seen only a few at Sandhill.

A question prompted by your comments on the prolificacy of Rattlesnake versus the more marginal yields of the Striped Hull Greasy Cutshort: how does one gauge the economy of growing these varieties? Or, at least, what is your personal measure given the extensive grow-outs you've undertaken?

Thanks for the fabulous information already, Fusion!

Jennifer, working towards self-sufficiency

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 10:28AM
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Fusion,thank you so much for that info.This is my first year for heirlooms and I need as much info. as I can get.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 12:20PM
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The Striped Hull Greasy Cut Short is from Bill Best at
The beans are about 4 to 5 inches long and the diameter of a pencil. There are plenty of them but they just don't add up enough in the pan to be profitably grown for sale or for canning. They taste terrific though which is why I have about a pound of seed saved for next year.

About half of the beans I grew this year are commercially available. Sandhill Preservation, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Seeds of Change, Johnny's, etc. are the sources. I also got about 10 varieties from Gardenlad on this forum as well as a dozen varieties from Bill Best.

The only way to find out if you like a bean is to grow and try it. For example, I grew Super Marconi (www.growitalian.com) but found the flavor to be too intense and not sweet enough for my liking. It makes a terrific dry black bean though.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 12:42PM
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I have a bean plant i got from one of those magic bean can things, and it just kept growing and it is huge now. I let it out in the summer and bring it in in the winter. It has not produced any beans yet. I has these little purple orchid like flowers, it is very viney, and leaves in groups of threes. I saw a picture online that kind of looked like it. I am very curious about it, does this sound like the rattlesnake bean plant, or do you know of what it might be?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 5:07PM
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Jessica g

I am a bit puzzled by your magic bean. You take it out in summer and take it in during winter? How old is this bean plant?

Most bean plants are fairly short lived. Runner beans (phaseolus coccineus) are perennial and can last a few years if kept frost free - but magic beans cannot be runnerbeans because their cotyledons (the seed leaves that show the message) are below ground.

Magic beans use many different kind of beans, there is no telling what your variety might be. A photograph would be very helpful if you want help identifying it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 11:42AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

My rattlesnakes have been producing for nearly two months and are loaded down...If I were you, I'd give them some fertilizer, and a good drink of water and I bet they keep on going....

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 4:27PM
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nightbloomincereus 7A noVA(7a Northern VA)

It sounds more like the butterfly pea, or one of the tropical varieties of legumes. Do you have a picture of the bloom, leaves?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 5:30PM
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Galina--sounds like a snell vine--post picture--Bill

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 9:08AM
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What kind of fertilizer is good for the beans?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 1:50PM
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I have been unable to find your Bean Characteristic thread. Could you point me in the right direction?

thanks a bunch.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 1:21AM
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I'm growing Rattlesnake beans for the first time this year. I usually experiment with new (to me) varieties to see if they can handle natural conditions - you know, survival of the fittest...

My Rattlesnake beans are doing better with little or no care than ANY other vegetable I've grown, let alone any other bean. I will grow them every year from now on. They also taste very good!

Mine are still producing to this day. The ones in the far corner have never even been watered by me, only the rare occasional rain.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 2:19AM
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Rattlesnake green beans are the best green beans I have ever canned. They are great when picked when young and batter dipped and fried.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:08PM
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I am growing Rattlesnakes this year but now want to try the 'greasys' this year. I live in SEATTLE WASHINGTON and Bill tells me that many greasy beans have come up here over the years. If you live in WA, OR, ID, etc. and have greasy beans please contact me. zeakrice@hotmail.com

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 11:57PM
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I'm growing Rattlesnake beans on cornstalks. They are doing so well the corn stalk is bending. They are fun to grow and watch and made a great addition to beef stew.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 6:38PM
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