Pole beans: Great Vines, No Beans

jeff_in_ncJuly 14, 2010

I am starting to wonder what is going on....

Last year I planted a Kentucky heirloom pole bean and another purple variety. Both grew great vines. No visible insect problems. The purple one produced an OK crop of beans. The green gave up like 1 or 2 beans per vine.

This year I planted another variety of green pole beans (don't recall the variety, but I got it from a reputable local place). Once again, great plants but no beans. Unfortunately, I did not do the purple ones.

One friend said the purple ones are just easier to find. Trust me, I went over them with a fine tooth comb.

I have not noticed undue bird or squirrel activity. There is no apparent damage to the vines...I just do not have any beans. Does anyone have a suggestion?

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What day did you plant them? If they were planted after the first of May, then you could have a problem with too much heat which reduces pollination and curtails bean production.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:26PM
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There are several factors that can cause this Jeff. It's possible that the variety you're growing simply blooms later. I have one in my garden, which is lush and green now, but won't flower for a while.

DarJones mentions heat. Are they blooming?

I've never heard anyone else mention this. But I have several years experience (bad experience) planting beans through a leaf mulch, laid down the fall or winter before. So far, in every case, when I plant beans through such a mulch, they simply refuse to flower. If they flower at all, it's only at the end of the season, and then, they only set a couple of pods. I do not understand why. But I've experienced this with several varieties over the course of four years.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 6:19AM
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They were planted in late April, but I'm not sure if this variety can read a calendar. We've had a real hot June here.

I just noticed today that at the ends of the vines (they've topped the arbor and are coming back down) there were some new, tiny little buds. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

By the way, they did have some blooms several weeks ago..on the way up...but few grew into beans.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 5:41PM
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One of the reasons why legumes go into vegetative growth is too much N (Nitrogen) in the soil.This happens many a times by planting the legumes (cow peas .pole beans, bush beans etc.) at the same area of the soil.This is so because legumes produce their own N in form of nodules in their roots by absorbing Atmospheric N thru leaves.This will enrich the soil in N content in the garden soil.It helps planting Corn where legumes were planted during last season since Corn is heavy consumer of Nitrogen it will reduce the N in the soil.This is known as rotation of crops to avoid vegetative growth.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 6:25PM
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Happen so come across this great site. I also have nice string bean plants with no beans. It's been a hot and wet summer here in SE PA and suspect that's probably why no beans. Our spring was extremely wet and was a result of getting the garden in late. I tested the garden and it is ok. The other plants are doing just great but wish we had beans to freeze for winter. Thanks for all the input.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 5:24PM
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I planted Ky Wonders and Florida Butter Beans in early May of this year. The Ky wonders have produced nice vines and a few blooms but not enough beans for a hobo meal. The Florida Butter Beans have just started blooming and from all appearances they will produce a bumper crop if we don't have an early cold spell. This is my first time for Florida butter Beans and I can't believe the mass of vines produced. They are thick and leafy with runners over 12 feet long.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 8:08PM
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Would fertilizing with heavy P and K and low N number do the same trick? I can't grow corn in my little raised beds. Thanks much.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 5:08PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Exact same thing happened to me, and I think it was the high heat this summer and the lack of rain. I watered every few days, but they definitely know the difference between ground water and rain.
The week that it cooled off, I started seeing blossoms, then 90's hit again and they stopped. The vines were tall and lush.......but no blossoms or beans. What few beans they are now making, are being attacked by bugs. This year is definitely a loser as far as the beans go. Its a real disappointment. My cucs have done great, but you can't keep them for Winter.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 8:50PM
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I had the same problem of many vines and flowers, but few beans. Then we got some night temps in the low to mid 70s and I upped the watering a lot. In a week - 5 pounds of pole beans. :) Be patient!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 1:33PM
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I planted KW pole beans in May and STILL have not found ONE bean. The only thing I can think of is planting with chicken fertilizer and putting too much in the soil? The plants are lush and beautiful and it even has blooms all over the place. Yes, we had temps over 100 for over 40 days here in Oklahoma, but would that cause them to not produce? I'm sooo disappointed!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Just in the past week I have FINALLY seen green beans! The more I look, the more I see... the weather has had a drastic change here.. SO much cooler! It's been since May to now~ 4 months of watering and waiting. I'm hoping to get enough to freeze. But, even if I get a small potfull for one supper, I'll be happy. Next year I think I'm trying Rattlesnakes!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Only now do I have blooms on the surviving vines--ones planted in partial shade. Other ones all fried despite being covered in the middle of the day. These were supposed to be bush beans and are not except for one. Not sure just what I have so I'm hoping for enough to find out and save seeds if the weather will cooperate.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:47PM
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I planted I believe around mid May. I did not receive one bean until LATE September. I have now picked several pounds of beans and will have more until frost. Next year I will plant in April just as soon as I'm able so that I get a crop BEFORE hot weather and then again after in the fall.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Sunflower, next year go with Rattlesnake or a lima bean of some kind, they like hot weather. Your KW probably could not set beans in very hot weather. Yes, 100 is too hot for most beans.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 10:28PM
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