Beans 101: Greasy, Horticultural, Cornfield

booberry85(5)June 28, 2008

I feel like such a newbie asking. Can someone explain the diFferences between these beans.

All I know is that greasy beans look "greasy." Are they snap or shell? Bush or pole?

From what I've read Horticultural beans can be eaten as either snap or shell. Are they bush or pole? Do all of them look mottled or streaked?

I'm out in left field when it comes to cornfield beans. I take it they are a pole bean but meant to climb up corn stalks.

Any info on these varieties would be greatly appreciated.

~Sigh~ Seven years of gardening & there is still so much to learn.

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I can tell you what I know about cornfield beans, Boo. Have never tried the greasy or horticultural beans.

My research says cornfield beans are more shade tolerant than most (have to be, when shaded by the corn stalks).

They are also supposed to have shorter vines (not in my experience--they usually WAY overgrow the corn). I have heard that the best corn to grow them up is NOT sweet corn, but taller, sturdier varieties. Hopefully, someone else can chime in here.

Anyway, I am growing my cornfield beans up sunflower stalks for a change (they are always talelr and sturdier than my corn).

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 10:38PM
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Most beans are covered with short fuzzy hair-like structures that give them a textured feel and a matte look. Greasy beans do not have this 'fuzz'. All of the greasy beans I have grown are pole varieties, however, the genetics are easy to cross so there are a few greasy bush beans available.

Horticultural beans are a general category that is grown for the green mature bean, not for the shuck. I have a few varieties that are excellent for this purpose. Goose is a good example, as is Bird Egg #3. These beans typically have a very fibrous shuck and are not at all good if grown for snaps.

As noted above, cornfield beans are just a bit more shade tolerant and a bit more vigorous which allows them to mature a crop in severe root competition with corn.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:33AM
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As has been stated "Greasy" beans are named for the appearance of the pod. There are quite a few listed among "heirlooms" but none among among commercial cultivars.

Horticultural beans are as noted most favored for green shellies. Several of them are suitable for snaps (altho a bit mealy for my taste. Available commercially as either bush or pole. They are also good as dried beans, a little sweeter than other types. Horticulturals are generally considered multi-purpose beans. A popular cultivar is Dwarf Horticultural (Taylor Strain) . These are are sold in the dried bean section of the grocery store as either Horticltural or Cranberry beans. There are several pole types but the old Mammoth Horticultural is the only one that I have grown. It is not a good snap bean
Cornfield beans as noted are older vigorous pole beans. All are string beans ( you have to remove the strings to use them as snap beans)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 8:18AM
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