Productive dry beans for Zone 4b/5a

vtguitargirl(Z4b VT)February 19, 2010

Last summer I had pretty good luck with Fedco's "King of the Early" dry beans grown fairly close together in a raised bed.

Now I have the beanie bug! Can anyone recommend dry bean varieties that:

1. will do well in Zone 4a/5b ?

2. are fairly productive ?

3. would have more flavor than "King of the Early" ?


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I haven't grown them for a long time. But I recall Jacob's Cattle as a very beautiful bean which produced a lot of nice large, easy to shell, beans; and that, in a pretty short time.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 7:56AM
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George, Jacob's Cattle is a bush bean, right? What did you think of the taste?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 8:28AM
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vtguitargirl(Z4b VT)

Jacob's Cattle was the first bean I tried to grow several years ago when I was first getting into gardening. I had a difficult time with them. At first I thought they weren't germinating, later, I figured out that something was coming along and eating the sprouts! Thanks for the suggestion, I may give them another try.

Looking at my Fedco catalog, I see several dry bean varieties under 100 days. Does anyone have any experience with these?

-Kenearly (selection of Yellow Eye)
-Black Coco
-Vermont Cranberry

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Hutterite and Black Coco are adapted to your climate. Both of them are in the medium production group. Expect about 20% less production from them than from Jacob's Cattle and about 40% less than a really good pinto variety. I like the flavor of Hutterite more than Black Coco.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 11:39PM
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Andy, it's been so long. I can't remember how Jacob's Cattle tasted. But I don't remember them in any negative manner. I do remember how surprised I was with their production and ease of shelling.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 7:01AM
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George, I have seed, maybe I'll try Jacob's Cattle this year.

Vtguitargirl, rabbits love bean sprouts. You can make little cages from 1x1 or 1x2 wire mesh to keep them out, or just fence the entire bean area with 12" to 18" chicken wire stapled to sticks that you press into the ground. Rabbits won't bother to tunnel underneath unless they are really hungry and there's nothing else outside to eat, so let some clover grow.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 9:08AM
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Yea. Either rabbits or rats or squirrels or all three of them love sprouts commingfrom grains with protein and oil.
That includes sunflowers too.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:13AM
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I had pretty good luck with Hutterite, Vermont Cranberry and Jacob's cattle from Fedco last season.

  • The Hutterite Soup beans, I agree make a very good Ham, Bacon & bean soup.
  • The Jacob's Cattle are very pretty beans. I have not yet had a chance to cook them, but they might be made into chili con carne this coming weekend
  • The Vermont Cranberry are a nice dark red baking bean and they make very good baked beans in my smoker.

The Vermont Cranberry bean out produced the Hutterite Soup and Jacob's Cattle beans by double in my garden. Note all of these beans were sitting in very, very, very wet soil all season and that might have affected their results.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 10:24AM
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