Best non canning pole beans

tworivers1January 3, 2009

This will be my first year growing beans (well except for my parents garden some 40 years ago) and I was wondering if anyone could help me with some varieties that freeze well and taste great fresh. My trellis will be approximately 24' or so.

Thanks for any help,


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You will soon be deluged in suggestions!

Mark, I'd start out by asking do you like your green beans with a lot of bean (seed) in them, or do you like lots of tender pod with little seed? Most people tend to go with the latter. My folks used to raise Kentucky Wonder Pole beans, which were best used with the seeds barely developing in them. Kentucky Wonder is a great bean, and very prolific.

Many on this forum will recommend Fortex. Another name which I've heard, quite a bit is Blue Marbut. Jeminez gets rave reviews by some. I'm going to try it this year. Take a look at Sandhill Preservation Center for these two and some other good ones:

My favorites are those which can fill out quite a bit and stay tender. Most beans like this also have strings and and need to be strung when prepared. But they stay tender longer and they tend to have a more "beany" flavor. Below is a link to Sustainable Mountain Agriculture, which promotes such beans and sells seed.

Twenty-four feet is a very respectable planting. May you have a wonderful productive gardening year!

Tahlequah, OK

Here is a link that might be useful: Sustainable Mountain Agriculture

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:23AM
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Close, but no cigar George.


Neckargold is a good yellow pole bean. Some people really like Rattlesnake, but for my taste, it is a bit off flavorwise. I would add Emerite as an excellent bean for fresh eating.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:25PM
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Thanks guys. Well George I'm not sure what kind I like because it has been so long since I have had fresh green beans so I'm really open to different kinds right now. It would great to be able to use Sandhill since they are one of three companies I'm about to place orders for tomato seeds with.

I was leaning towards one of the Kentucky varieties along with Rattlesnake but I think I'll add in the Neckargold and Blue Marbut and maybe a few others to get a sampling.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:09AM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Hi Mark,

I gotta vote for another one George mentioned, Fortex. I grew it for the first time last year (at Zeedman's recommendation)and it was VERY impressive. Stringless, great taste, long producer, stays tender, excellent flavor, excellent storage life, freezes great. If you've got any room at all to spare, I definitely recommend Fortex.

Also, you mention a "Kentucky variety". I don't know if you have Japanese Beatles in Missouri, but we do in Virginia. In 2005 and 2006, I grew Kentucky Wonder. As George says, a great tasting bean, prolific, etc. But, when the JBs came out in late June/early July, they decimated the KWs -- BOTH years. I mean stripped the plants BARE of foliage, in short order. Because of that, I haven't grown KYs the last two years and, you guessed it, NO JBs to speak of, even though others in the area had bad attacks. Now I know this is not scientific proof or anything like that, but I won't be growing KW anymore LOL!

Good luck and happy growing.

P.S. - Don't forget about bush varieties - there's some great ones to choose from there as well.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:28PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

"...I haven't grown KYs the last two years..."

Make that KWs, as in Kentucky Wonder, not KYs. Geez, fat fingers i guess.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:33PM
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That is not very good news about the Japanese Beetle. Last year was the first year I had ever seen them around but it was also the first year I have ever grown blackberries.

Just a general question but has anyone else noticed that JBs attacks Kentucky Wonder more than any other variety?


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:46PM
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I couldn't say, as I haven't grown them for over 20 years now.

Japanese beetles arrived here in 2008 too. But they were no where near as bad as what I remember in Indiana in the early and mid 80s. I hope they don't get worse!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:34PM
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japanese beetles are not selective when it comes to beans and they will feed on ANY variety. They will establish a feeding pattern and once they mark a plant with pheromones, all the beetles in the area come to that plant to feed. For this reason, it is very important to stop the beetles before they start. The beetle traps sold in stores are more of a beetle attractor than a beetle killer. You could put out a thousand of them and every one of them would be full daily, but the beetles would still manage to feed on some plants in the garden including your beans. There are several good poisons that you can spray with that will stop them before they start. This includes several organic pesticides.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 6:48PM
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Does anyone still grow Missouri Wonder pole beans? We grew them for years, they were good fresh and excellent canned. We actually preferred them over KY Wonders, but it seems they're not so popular now. ....and they're stringy...but so tender and flavorful.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:28AM
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