I planted Kentucky Wonder climbing green beans this year (again). We are happy with the tremendous harvest but they do not have the tender taste of bush beans. Can anyone recommend a less productive, tastier climber?
Jeminez is my benchmark for tenderness. It is more prductive than KW, for me. I can't imagine NOT wanting a productive bean. It is green with red streaks, and cooks to all green.
Blue Lake has been my go-to pole bean for years. In another forum someone mentioned good results with Monte Cristo, an improved Blue Lake type.
Fortex. No strings, sweet, long, problem-free. My favorite.
Another vote for Fortex. For me in zone 2, Fortex produces beans that are not only stringless, sweet and three times as long as any bush bean I've ever grown, but they also stand up to freezing much better. I'm done growing bush beans; they just can't compare to Fortex and Emerite now that I've had them. (In my own opinion with my growing conditions... Emerite is superior to Fortex only in quality from frozen. The flavour of Fortex is still superior. Texture from frozen is the same with both, it's only that Fortex occasionally does that sloughing of the outer skin thing while Emerite does not, for me anyway.) With both Fortex and Emerite, there's a longer window for picking because you can pick them young or older and they're still tender, even when fat and round (but not bumpy yet). That's handy!
Runners do very well for me, too, and I find them sweet like the Fortex beans when the summer isn't too hot. If you don't have the climate for them, though, they're not good at all. This particular season wasn't good for mine. I still plant a few for fresh eating (they don't hold up in the freezer as well as the varieties above) every year, though, because when they're good, they're GOOD! :)
Emerite has been my pole bean of choice for many years. We did try Fortex one year. Didn't care for them. Went back to Emerite the next. I do make a pole bean teepee for my little visitors each year. I plant a variety of pole beans of varying types colors and origins on a wigwam made of bamboo poles. , The kids love it and it makes a very nice tasting medley for a change of pace at mealtime. Pole Beans are a fun crop.
Thanks to all for the suggestions.
I planted Fortex, Gold of Bacau and Musica. All tasted great. Fortex wins overall for productivity and good taste. Gold of Bacau very tender and delicate and buttery, but was the least productive. Musica was in the middle. I'd plant each one of them again if I had space, but if I had to limit myself to one it would be Fortex. Looks like I might have to try Emerite, tho.