I have roughly 80-90 days of mostly reliable growing time left. is there a good bean I can put in the ground now and be able to harvest before the cold weather comes in?
Sandhill has "Red Peanut: 50 days. Super early and productive, old-fashioned string-type bean, small pinkish seeded, pods turn red at maturity. 1 oz. Pkt. - 1 Pkt./$1.75; 2 Pkts./$3.25"
It's an enthusiastic climber and yields much better when given a trellis.
In advance of planting seeds, I'd prepare the ground thoroughly: dig deeply to cut out all competing roots, compost and fertilize approporately, and water, so when you plant seeds, the soil is well hydrated one foot down. Also have mulch on hand, plus build a fence against the usual suspects: rabbits and woodchucks, if they are around where you garden.
For other suggestions vis-Ã -vis beans to grow, you could ask your question of Bill Best, Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center (SMAC), Berea, KY. In their large collection of old family heirlooms, you may find an interesting bean that fits the bill.
Best of luck, and let us know which bean(s) you choose and how the project pans out.
Yes. We'd love to hear what you choose and how it works out.
The answer depends upon the way the beans will be used. For bush snaps, which typically take 50-60 days, virtually any variety should make it. Some of the earlier Romano-type pole beans, such as "Early Riser" & "Goldmarie", also have a DTM around 50 days.
The earliest large shellies I've grown were the pole varieties "Goose" (a.k.a. "Ma Williams") and "Chester" (a.k.a. "Flagg"), and a bush variety that I obtained from the USDA. These produced shellies in 75-80 days. There are bush varieties offered commercially which I have not grown, such as "Coco Rubico" and "Vermont Cranberry" (both offered by Vermont Bean) that have listed DTMs of 60-70 days in the shell stage. Provided that you can get the seed quickly, you have a good chance of getting shellies from these.
Dry beans typically take 85-90 days, so they would be a real stretch this late in the season. "Calypso" is one of the earliest I've grown, it might make it.