Green beans and results

gardener_sandyAugust 15, 2013

I grew 3 varieties of bush beans this year. Blue Lake, (my old standby), Jade, and Provider were all good to great producers.

Provider came in first, the other two at about the same time a week or so later. Provider produced a lot of beans and were great when young and tender, but they went from tender to overly mature and stringy much quicker than the other two. Taste was the best of the three in the field but not any better than the others when cooked.

Jade was not as heavy a producer but taste was excellent both in the field and cooked. I found that they stayed tender even when past the normal picking stage and kept on producing longer than Provider.

Blue Lake is the standard I use to judge beans and it didn't disappoint this year. It gave me more beans than I knew what to do with (the family and friends appreciated that!) and they were tasty in the field and cooked. The beans did get a bit tough and tasteless when left on the vine too long.

Overall I'll stick with Blue Lake out of these three. Next year I'll plant a row of them and two more rows of something else. This is fun!

What varieties did you grow this year and what do you think of them?

Sandy

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shuffles_gw

After growing different varieties of bush green beans over the years, my standby is Derby. It is a good all around bush bean.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:13AM
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farmerdill

So much depends on both your growing conditions and personal taste. Most varieties are reasonable producers but many do have a tendency to get shucky rather fast. The various varities of Blue Lake are at the bottom of my list. Kentucky Dreamer is also not a favorite for the same reason. My standby is the Contender, Kentucky King, and Valentino have been very good. Many others have been satisfactory. Not as reliable a producer, but excellent at hold tenderness is the olf Giant Stringless Greenpod. If you want a bush bean that comes closer to the flavor of a pole bean, Junbo or Mountain Half Runner.
Contender
Giant Stringless Hialeah Kentucky King

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:37AM
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farmerdill

So much depends on both your growing conditions and personal taste. Most varieties are reasonable producers but many do have a tendency to get shucky rather fast. The various varities of Blue Lake are at the bottom of my list. Kentucky Dreamer is also not a favorite for the same reason. My standby is the Contender, Kentucky King, and Valentino have been very good. Many others have been satisfactory. Not as reliable a producer, but excellent at hold tenderness is the olf Giant Stringless Greenpod. If you want a bush bean that comes closer to the flavor of a pole bean, Junbo or Mountain Half Runner.
Contender
Giant Stringless Hialeah Kentucky King

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:40AM
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drloyd

Thank you Sandy for the report. If you would like to branch out to some snap beans that are eaten when mature with seeds, you might take a look at the link below. You could try a bean like Tobacco Worm and let it mature until it is fat with seeds. They are very fine even after they turn yellow and soften. They do require stringing but it is worth it.

Farmerdill thank you for the information and great photos. - Dick

Here is a link that might be useful: Full beans

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:57PM
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mallory28

I planted the equivalent of 2 30-foot rows, one of bush Blue Lake and the other of Golden Wax, with a couple old mystery seeds thrown in (probably Kentucky Wonder.) Since I'm a little weird, I've counted the harvest, and have picked more than 4,600 beans so far. :)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:48AM
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claydirt(5)

This was the first year I planted more than two types of bean. My old standby is blue lake bush and I did not grow any this year. This year was slenderette (bush) and fortex (pole) beans. Slenderette, IMO, was great fresh tasting. Fortex, was more nutty (?) flavored and productive. I liked slenderette's taste better but both were good. Both seemed to produce longer into the hot dry weather than I recall blue lake doing (but we had a wet June this year).

Jacob's Cattle (dry bean, 2nd year I grew it) seemed about twice as productive as last year. Looks like they are going to give me another small fall crop on the worn out plants.

And I have some Christmas pole beans (and a few yardlongs just for bragging rights). The Christmas beans are taking their time to produce, very slow. Don't know what they are like yet.

Rattlesnake and Jade are on my to do list. Can't wait for next year!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 7:42AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I planted two teepees of Rattlesnake pole beans in April. The base of the teepees was about 3 feet in diameter. Each and every week from mid June on I picked about 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of beans from those two teepees. This summer was cooler than any I can remember. We have had relatively few days over 90 and our hottest days never topped 93. Still, I have been thrilled with these Rattlesnakes. A few would need stringing each time, but not many. They are utterly delicious and have been totally carefree.

I planted a fresh teepee of Fortex and one of Emerite for fall. They have made their way to the top of the poles now, so I should be picking in about 3 weeks or so. I know we like Fortex for flavor and productivity. Looking forward to trying Emerite.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:33PM
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donna_in_sask

I grew Rattlesnake pole beans, Derby bush beans and a few yellow wax beans (I think the variety was called Roc d'Or). Also a few yardlongs, but I had them in a weird spot so they didn't produce much. Can't say that I liked the taste of them too much, so maybe it was a good thing I didn't have much of a crop. :)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 1:48AM
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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

One of the beans I put out this season was "Seminole" that I grew for my FSU alum sister. I swiped enough to try and they are GOOD! I'll plant them again next year for myself. Now I have to come up with a bean or potato for my Yellow Jacket brother. I'm open to suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 12:42PM
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macky77(2a)

I grew 11 varieties this year: Emerite, Fortex, Rattlesnake, Orca, Gold Mine, Black Valentine, Blue Jay, Purple Queen, Labrador, Improved Tendergreen and Scarlet Runner.

Emerite and Fortex (suggested to me on this forum because of our short season) have continued to do *SO* well for us here that I'm not planning on growing any green bush beans next year at all. No bush bean I've ever grown has compared to the quality of these two poles. I like Rattlesnake, but they have to be picked young and religiously because they don't hold on the vine at all. I can't comment on the flavour of Orca since this is only my second year growing them and I'm still building stock, replanting all the seed I collect. The young beans are nice green, but nothing to write home about. None of the bush beans I grew this year were really remarkable flavour-wise, in my opinion. Tendergreen and Gold Mine have been my tried-and-true standbys since I started gardening. Tendergreen freezes very well, but the flavour pales in comparison to Fortex. Gold Mine is really prolific for me and although it has a light flavour, it's the texture I appreciate as a break from the other beans. Purple Queen was really nice. It's the only purple bean I've grown (pole or bush) that holds as well on the plant as well as Royal Burgundy (but longer and straighter in shape). Blue Jay didn't do well enough for me to judge. I planted them in a spot that had them at a disadvantage. I'd like to try them again because I like their story and they were from a very local source. Labrador was really early and nice and plump. They held nicely on the plant for a couple of days, but the flavour wasn't anything special. I grew Black Valentine for dry beans; not enough are mature yet, so I can't comment on flavour. The seed is beautiful, though. Runner beans have always done well for me. I usually prefer Painted Lady, but I had some Scarlet Runner seed to use up this year. We eat them fresh only because I don't like their texture from frozen. Well, I think that's it!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:55PM
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SortaOrganic(7)

Our standard is Blue Lake bush, but this year the GF and I decided to try a pole variety since bending over to pick them is not quite as much fun as it used to be. Since last years bush plants had done so well, we decided to only use a 8x8 trellis we had, and plant both sides. They were planted on about 3" centers, for a total of 28 plants on each side. We chose the " Stringless Blue Lake S-7" from Burgess. The online catalog stated 7', well, they went over the top on both sides. My best guess would be 11'. We had to make an unscheduled trip out of town the weekend we should have started picking, so some of the first picking had gotten a little larger than ideal. We cooked some of the smaller ones (3/8" x 6") and some of the larger ones (1/2" x 7"). We were disappointed in the flavor compared to the bush type. Also, the larger ones were still tough after cooking longer. Since we had them picked and snapped, we decided to pressure can some of each size, to compare. The larger ones were just as good as the smaller ones! Our haul for the season from what amounts to 16' of row was 32 quarts! That was over twice what we averaged last year per foot. About the only strings we encountered were on the ones that had grown a bit too large. We would definitely recommend this variety for someone who pressure cans, but not for picking to cook and eat, or for freezing.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 5:07PM
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