Which bush bean is the best?

tatton95(5)March 4, 2010

I am trying to decide which of the two following bush beans would be the best to grow: Greencrop, Derby, Bush Blue Lake 274, Contender, or Topcrop. Any suggestions from those that have grown these varieties would be much appreciated.



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It depends primarily on your individual taste. I have grown all of them except Derby. My favorite under my conditions is Contender.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 2:23PM
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I grew Fortex last year and really liked the flavor and would like to find a bush bean that is close to the flavor of Fortex. I know that pole beans taste better than bush beans, but I would like to find one as close to that flavor as I can. I plant my pole beans late in the season so that they aren't coming on until our 100+ temps have passed, so I want a good bush bean so that I can have beans while I am waiting for my pole beans to come on. I grew Strike last year and while I got a lot of beans, they just didn't taste very good.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 4:07PM
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Derby is one of my favorites. Reliable, productive and good tasting. Same goes for Bush Blue Lakes. I tried Contenders in the past and had germination troubles. It could have been wet weather or critters and not the bean's fault.

I know it's not on your list, but another to consider is Burpee's Stringless. It's right up there in my opinion and most box stores carry it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:22PM
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I'll second the motion on Burpee's Stringless Greenpod. The beans are juicy and crisp fresh, and good cooked and frozen. I can think of two drawbacks: the variety is susceptible to Rust, and the beans aren't uniform in shape and length (probably only a concern if you can or freeze whole beans). It's as early as Contender.

I'll be trying Top Crop myself for the first time this year.

I tried Blue Lake 274 last year, but hungry critters did a number on them causing poor results.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:54PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

This question could have more than one "right" answer. As Farmerdilla already mentioned, we all have different preferences, so the taste/texture that is great for one might be less so for another.

Personally, I like the flavor of "Kentucky Wonder", so of the choices offered, I would prefer "Greencrop", which also closely resembles it in pod size & shape. It also shows a strong ability to bounce back after the first picking (see the current thread on cutting back bush beans) and produces a good second crop.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 2:43PM
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Out of your list I have tried "Contender", which is a good bean, but personally I like "Empress" better. Cherokee Wax is a very good wax bean.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 6:11PM
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Not on your list plus my comment is 2 years's late - but I really enjoyed Black Valentine last year. Contender seemed a bit tough. That may have been because 2011 got hot early and stayed hot until September.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Fowler Bush Bean has been a favorite of mine.

Tahlequah, OK

Here is a link that might be useful: Fowler Bush Bean

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 12:07PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Contender was my early bean for many years. Last year I grew Speedy, it was very fast and is a tender round bean. But I really like Romano bush beans, and last year I grew 3- an old heirloom, Yer Fasulaysi, green with brown seeds; Marconi nano, green with black seeds, and Capitano, yellow with white seeds, and found them very productive, nice beany flavor, thick and meaty, and tender. They also kept going right up until frost.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 8:01PM
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Royalty Purple is the first bean seed i put into ground every year. I absolutely love the beans it produces. Purple queen is also good. Surprisingly, my second favorite is a yellow wax which is just amazingly wonderful. It's called " Beurre de Rocquencourt". It's simply delicious.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 11:25PM
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I like to grow both bush and pole (snap) beans. 2011 was a fabulous year for veggies here in Germany. I hit 100 kg for the first time (138 in '11 after 98.7 in '10 and 91.3 in '09). My favorites are: Amethyst - a blue bush. (Purple teepee and Bluevetta were good too). The other one I love is Rocdor, an improved version of the aforementioned Rocquencourt. Tasty, tender and yields getting close to 3 kg per square meter. Planted Speedy and Contender and had good results as well. But Amethyst and Rocdor are my top picks.

For Pole beans I use Blauhilde, easy to spot, good yields. My trellis can be seen here http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/577794424xxqfpv . 2 metal frames, wooden beam and tent pegs + clothing line.

Here is a link that might be useful: my bean trellis

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Also not on your list, but for many years my favorite has been Dragon Tongue, an old Dutch heirloom. Lovely pods, delicious flavor, stringless even when large, and reliable in all kinds of weather.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 5:19PM
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3rd vote for burpee's stingless greenpod. Great production and flavorful. I have tried contenders and found the flavor lacking. Same with top crop. However with that said, Fortex is a thinner bean so you may want to look into haricot verts.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 9:01AM
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My favorite is Derby. It does very well as a cool weather crop here in west central Florida and is tasty. I also like jade, which also does well and tastes very good. I have put floating row covers on young Derbys and they have survived down to 28 degrees.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 3:47PM
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