Butter bean seed recommendation needed - pole variety

dancinglemons(7B VA)August 11, 2011

Hello all,

I am in Central Virginia. I grow yardlong beans mostly because they give me huge harvest for no work. I recently read a post about pole butter beans being prolific. I need a recommendation for butter bean variety that can really take the heat.

Are pole butter bean plants prolific? If so, which one has best yield?

Which butter bean variety would do best in Virginia Zone 7++ ?? It must be pole variety.

Thanks,

DL

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happyday(WI4a)

Search for Flintknappers thread on Black Jungle Butter beans, he might do a trade with you if he still has seed. If I were you and had the longer season and more heat, I'd grow King of the Garden. It's sold in stores, makes a big good tasting bean.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 6:48PM
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farmerdill

Most pole butterbeans do well in eastern Virginia. Choice depends on what type you prefer. Colored limas are usually more prolific under adverse conditions. Baby lima type; Florida Speckled Butterbean, Giant Lima; Christmas (Calico)
White baby lima; Sieva (Carolina), Willow Leaf, Alabama Black Eye. Big white Lima; King of the Garden. Ther are lots of more exotic varieties out that members of this group grow. I can only recommend the ones I have grown.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 6:48PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi DL

I can send you some black jungle butterbeans that are very prolific in my garden and tasty. Send me your address to my email.

butterbeans in the garden this week

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 7:49PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Thanks everyone for the help. I am looking forward to trying butter beans along with my yard longs. Silvia, I sent you an email.

DL

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 2:46AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Silvia,
Thanks!!! I received the bean seeds and sent a Thank You email. I will post photos in 2012 when they are planted and begin to produce.
Cheers,
DL

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 3:35AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi DL

I was in Monticello, that was the reason I did not see your email. I hope the seeds do well for you and looking forward to your pictures.
And when I was at Monticello, I met Rodger from this forum and hope to grow in the future his seeds.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 3:45PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Silvia,

The BJBB are up -- not running yet but they look good. I did pre-sprout them in wet paper towels. I will post pictures when they get up and running. Thanks again for the seed.

Cheers,
DL

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 2:26AM
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tedposey

The best flavored butter bean I've eaten is the Speckled "Christmas" Variety, though they're not as prolific for me as other varieties. It takes a long time for them to mature and then the end of the season hits.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:42PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

My favorite lima is "Hopi Pole", a small-seeded variety sent to me by Will Weaver. Multi-colored beans are orange, red, black, and many shades & combinations of those... really pretty. The flavor is rich, and while the beans lose some of their color when cooked, they keep their patterns. The pods form in very large clusters - sometimes packed so tightly that they are difficult to count - and the yield can be phenomenal. In the photo below, I cut off all growth above 24", pulled the vine, and stripped the leaves. Keep in mind, this is only about half of the plant, and I had already been harvesting for several weeks before this plant was pulled. Everything you see (except for my granddaughter) is pods:

Unfortunately, "Hopi Pole" also has the longest DTM of any of my limas. I need to start it several weeks early in pots, if I am to have any hope of harvesting in quantity. Even then, although I get some dry seed & a fairly decent harvest, roughly half of the immature pods are still hanging when frost kills the vines. Such a waste. :-( I heartily recommend the variety (and the other Hopi strains that are out there) for those with longer seasons.

In contrast, "Sieva" is the earliest pole lima that I grow. If I am able to plant early, it is the only one that will usually succeed direct-seeded. It has small white seeds, a very heavy yield, and tolerates cool weather. There are also all-red, and mottled red & white versions... I am growing the mottled version this year.

My favorite large-seeded lima is "King of the Garden". It is sweet & tender as a butterbean. I grew it every year when I lived in SoCal, and it is still what comes to mind when I hear "butterbean". While it is one of the earliest large limas, it is still a stretch for my climate. They would only succeed 1-2 years out of 10 if I direct seeded them... as transplants, I am guaranteed to get at least something (and some dry seed).

Looking back over all the previous posters, probably not many here would understand the need to use transplants for limas. Only Happyday is in that (icebound) boat with me. ;-)

"There are lots of more exotic varieties out that members of this group grow."

There is one more heirloom that I would recommend. "1880's Butterbean" is a little larger than "Sieva", with flat seeds that have light reddish-purple mottling, as opposed to the dark maroon mottling of "Christmas" and "Madagascar". It had a fairly heavy yield for me & is very attractive when cooked, but it has a milder flavor than most.

In my first cycle of lima growouts, I usually grew only 10-15 plants or so, often on plots of fairly low fertility. This meant that I seldom had enough after seed saving to do a serious evaluation. Beginning with this year, I am growing larger quantities (about 40 plants of "Mottled Sieva" this year) and look forward to some serious evaluations of yield. That, and (hopefully) filling my freezer.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 4:47PM
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hementia8(8 MS)

This is my second year growing Hopi Pole
Thanks Zeedman
Also doing good are Florida Speckled,Carolina Red,Alabama Black.Lynch Collection and Alston Collection

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 5:01PM
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