Tarbais pole bean

marquetteAugust 15, 2007

Is the Tarbais pole bean an extremely late-season bean?

It has produced no flowers (or beans) yet. Our first frost date is two months from now.

I planted about 25 Tarbais seeds on May 31 (using fresh inoculant). For some time now, they have bundled over the top of a ten-foot trellis. Most leaves are healthy-looking, but one third of the lower leaves have yellowed and are not healthy looking anymore.

They get strong midday/afternoon sun for 4-5 hours daily.

I planted edaname in front of the Tarbais: three rows Tarbais next to the lattice, and three rows Gardensoy in front of the Tarbais. The Gardensoy is now four feet high and shades the feet of the Tarbais. All the soy plants are healthy-looking and are producing pods.

Three years ago, Meraviglia Venezia pole (with very large yellow Roma pods) produced abundantly in the same location.

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I had to look up Tarbais beans. But it appears that they are a p. vulgaris variety (related to most common beans). I wish I could help you!

I've found wide variation between different bean varieties and their reaction to day length. The fact that these only receive 4-5 hours of strong sunlight might have something to do with it. It's also possible that they will suddenly start blooming, as did my Black Greasy Beans last September.

I have a garden between two out buildings. In this garden, if I plant beans all the way at the back, or all the way up front, they behave normally and flower right on time. But if I plant pole beans in the middle of the garden, whether it be where they receive plenty of sunlight, or if they are on the North side of one shed, they don't flower until very late. I've found this, so far with two varieties. I can't explain it!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 10:49AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I grew Tarbais last year and got a good yield. Unfortunately, I don't keep good notes and cannot remember the date of harvest. This will encourage me to make notes.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 10:06PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Marquette, it sounds like the garden location is mostly shade. The soybeans should not be that high... depending upon which Gardensoy you are growing, all but Gardensoy 2 should be no higher than 30". The shade (from both above & below) may be taking its toll on your beans.

I can't speak for the Tarbais, since I have not yet grown them... but I have grown both pole beans & soybeans in half-shade, and they performed poorly. Fortunately, I was only growing them for seed; had I been expecting snap beans or edamame, the yield would have been disappointing.

I ended up pruning some branches, to get 8 hours of full sun, give or take an hour. You might need to make a similar choice.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 10:54PM
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I was beginning to think that Tarbais was day-length sensitive, but if Jimster grew it sucessfully in Mass, that theory goes out the window. So the failure to bloom is probably the location and lack of sun. I also have a theory that it could be a soil deficiency (never did a soil test). Yes, I know. Roll out the Guillotine.

Zeedman: Gardensoy 12 grows in front (it has purple flowers, so I may have mixed up my notes and planted Gardensoy 02). Those two were the only edaname I planted (in two different locations). Neither are impressively prolific. The soy covercrop I planted last year was more prolific and produced tasty treats.

Thanks Macmex, Jimster, and Zeedman for your comments and suggestions...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 9:33PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

FWIW, my Tarbais was grown in FULL sun. FULL.

I like this bean. It's worth finding a way to accomodate it.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 11:52PM
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Today I saw the first Tarbais flowers - white. Will there be time for mature shellies if frost comes on October 10?

Unfortunately I don't have a ful-sun location, but the spots that are the sunniest are now in veggies with, at the most, 8 hours/day.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 11:21PM
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Marquette, if you are still around, did you get beans in time?

I have two Tarbais from two sources, and they are only now setting tiny beans. I also wonder if there will be time to get mature beans before frost.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 9:53PM
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Last year I grew a 14 foot row of Tarbais in the Seattle area. They had full sun.

The vines were unusual in that they spread about 5 feet wide before they began to climb much.

Dry seed was harvested in early October.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 12:51AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

While researching another question elsewhere, it led me back to this thread. I see great similarity in the descriptions for "Tarbais" and another pole bean I grow, "Tetovac". The appearance (flat, white, like small limas) and the width of the plants at the base mentioned by Drloyd match my observations of "Tetovac".

The base width,though, might depend upon the spacing & available sunlight. Some beans I have described as "half runner" at wide spacing have performed as "pole" for others.

It would be interesting to grow them both for comparison... hopefully I'll be able to get a real garden in next year & find out.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 3:40PM
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Zeedman, last year I grew two sources of Tarbais and two sources of Tetovac. They are a different bean. The most obvious difference is that Tetovac is bigger.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 5:50PM
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Zeedman, all my trellises have been spaced at 4 feet in recent years following what I thought was your lead. I think I read on another thread that you now sometimes go as close as 3 feet?

I grew Tarbais in 2009 which was the nicest summer here in years. They were spaced at 4 feet and they used it all! It might be hard to save seed here in a cooler summer. - Dick

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 6:21PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Drloyd, after a discussion with Gardenlad several years back, I increased my default row spacing for pole beans from 36" then, to 42-48" now. The range reflects adjustments for variety; less vigorous climbers & those with more open foliage get the closer spacing.

With rows at 36", I still got a good yield... but due to shading, the foliage & pods in the inner rows were concentrated in the upper half by late summer. At the wider row spacing, the pods are borne from top to bottom.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 2:06AM
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Thank you Zeedman for the update. The wider spacing is probably even more important here. - Dick

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:00AM
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