Bean recommendations

roper2008 (7b)(7b)November 3, 2013

I would like to concentrate on growing beans for 2014.
Would appreciate recommendations for a good snap
bean, shelly bean and a dry bean for soup, but I don't
like the one's that melt to a cream. I live in Virginia
Beach, and it gets very hot and humid here, so need
one's that like the heat�.Thank you


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There are literally hundreds of possible varieties that are worth growing.

Emerite - pole bean with good sweet flavor and production. Broadly adapted.

Goose - An old standard pole variety that makes huge beans best used as shellies.

Jacobs Cattle - widely available bush bean with decent production and good flavor.

It would help to know if you are an experienced gardener or just getting started. There are tons of other varieties I would suggest if you know beans about beans.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:50PM
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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

Are you interested in bush beans or trellis beans...or a little bit of both?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:51PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Well, I've been gardening since 2008, so I consider
myself an experienced gardener, somewhat. I have
grown a few beans before with success. I don't need
a giant list, just some that are favorites that grow well
in my area.

I am mainly interested in pole, but would consider a bush.

Thank you

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:29PM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

Linda, the Fortex green bean is the best tasteing one I grew this year. The Emerite is on my list for next year. Your best bet is to find someone in your area that has had success growing the different varieties. As mentioned in previous post, there are tons of good ones.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:21AM
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To me, the "insurance policy" is having Rattlesnake in the mix. When others fail in the heat, Rattlesnake usually produces.

An early bush bean, perhaps a variety like Provider, is a welcome while you're waiting for the likely more flavorful, but later, pole beans to mature.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 1:44PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Thank you for the replies. I had fortex seedlings
growing this spring, but the rabbit ate them all. I
have yet to taste them..Next year I will plant them on
the other side of the yard that the rabbit leaves alone.

Hi Gary, rattlesnake is a good one that I have grown
and it is really tasty. Have not tried provider bush.
I'll check into that one. I'm still going to send the
tomato seeds for your swap.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Aunt Jean's has been grown in various parts of North America. It is a very early snap that is tender and string free even as the pods start to dry. It is also a fine dry bean.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:48AM
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hementia8(8 MS)

I am in zone 8 and my best producers were:
The bush beans were a complete disaster due to the monsoon rains
The flat romano poles did not do as well as the dark seeded var.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:03AM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

Linda, I also grew the Helda Romano Pole Beans and they are one of my favorite. Have some extra seed, if you would like to give them a try send me your mailing address. Have been growing them for several years and they do real good for me. Also can use them for a shelly if so desire.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:18AM
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hementia8(8 MS)

I forgot to mention:
They also did great for me
Luther,what is your secret for growing the white seeded romano types
They just do not produce for me despite the tal vigorousl healthy plants.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:24AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

For snaps, I will second the recommendation for "Grandma Roberts", a really good purple-podded pole bean. For a bush bean, you might want to try the heirloom "Woods Mountain Crazy Bean", which is grown by several members of this forum. Both are originally from Southern climates.

For a shelly bean, I would second the recommendation for "Goose". It is a pole variety with a high yield, and the shellies - while thin skinned - don't fall apart when cooked. But quite honestly, if I lived in your climate, I would grow limas for shellies, rather than beans. They take the heat better, and the yields can be massive, over a long season.

For a dry bean, my best recommendation would be "Dolloff", (pole). It is from New England, but showed a lot of heat tolerance in my garden during a very hot summer, and had a very large dry seed yield.

Quite a few warm-season gardeners have weighed in. You will probably find some useful information in the "Sieva/Carolina" thread also, since it gave info on beans which have (and have not) done well in hot, humid weather.

This post was edited by zeedman on Sat, Nov 9, 13 at 1:59

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:28AM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

Charlie, I guess the climate here is what the Romano beans love. I make a real good crop in the spring and fall.
Zeedman, I agree with the Lima Linda should grow. So I sent her some "King Of The Garden Pole Lima Seed". I think they will do good in her area.That is why I try different beans to find the ones that will do good in my area. Plus the good tasting ones.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 5:15AM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Looking forward to growing them Luther..
I'm going to put Grandma Roberts on my list too.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 12:06PM
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If your interested in fairly big green Lima beans, I recommend trying Dr. Martin variety. I have been growing them for a lot of years now and last summer they produced the best ever. I have several seeds I would like to sell for 25 cents each. Last year they were selling for 40 and 50 cents in garden shops around here and were hard to find at that.

I grow mine on horizontal wires stretched the length of the garden, with baler twine hanging vertically down to each plant. I've been spacing them at 5' for years, but this year they had so much vine growth, I'm going to space them at 6'. I know that sounds like a lot, but it's really needed.

I'm hoping to find some Fortex string beans for next year and would like to trade some seed if anyone is interested in some Dr. Martin seed.

If you're interested, I would send you some pictures of my garden and the beans if you'll send me an email. I have pictures on another computer and don't know how to attach pictures on this forum. I just registered a couple of days ago and can't get around very good on here.

My email address is

Jim Dunn
Harrington, Delaware

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Please disregard my previous post where I stated I wanted to sell some Dr. Martin pole bean seeds. Being new to the forum, I overlooked the fact that you can't advertise to sell here. I didn't mean to step out of bounds. No Dr. Martins for sale.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 6:24AM
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geosankie(5a NEPA)

An interesting note : This year I grew both Fortex and Emerite pole beans on one large trellis. Both were very good beans. The interesting thing was Japanese Beetles were constantly all over the Fortex but left the Emerite pretty much alone.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 11:34AM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

geosankie, can you give us a comparison in taste? I grew the Fortex for the 1st time this year and liked the taste. Plan on growing them both next year. Some folks sat the Emerite is a better tasting green bean.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Fortex is a tad bland. Emerite has a slightly beanier taste and is sweeter. Emerite has slightly wider adaptability. It is a bit more heat tolerant than Fortex. Fortex has larger and longer beans. Emerite beans are nearly round so they are straighter than Fortex.

Given my choice in the flavor department:
Rattlesnake - a bit of an off whang to flavor, excellent production, heat tolerant
Blue Lake pole black seeded - good flavor, medium production, medium heat tolerance.
Super Marconi - Very strong bean flavor, high production, good heat tolerance.
Blue Marbutt - Good production and flavor, good canned or fresh snap, medium heat tolerance.

My tri-color black beans from my grandmother are overall the best flavored and most productive beans in my climate. They are excellent snapped or canned. Of the other beans I've grown, only Turkey Craw is more adaptable though not quite as flavorful.

Make me an offer I can't refuse Luther, I have plenty of seed. I can send Emerite, Super Marconi, Blue Marbutt, and the tri-color black. What would you trade?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 3:14PM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

Dar, you probably already have all the bean seed that I have. Those grandmother beans sound like they have been handed down thru the family for several generations. I sure would like to give them a try. Are they pole or bush? I have the Helda pole Romano Bean I can trade with you. I tried the Super Marconi and I thought the Helda was better.
How about the Helda Romano beans for the Tri-color black beans.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Works for me Luther, email me an address. You can get my contact info from my website

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 4:49PM
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geosankie(5a NEPA)

Luther: Both Fortex and Emerite are very tasty and stringless. Both seem to be the same size and flavor. Very prolific and long productive season, at least here in the Northeast zone 5a. Try some of each and you can make your own "taste test". I like them both but will plant only Emerite next year to see if the Japanese Beetles still shy away from the Emerite. A little ham, new baby potatoes and fresh picked beans done up in milk...yum.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Blue Marbut took the high 90's and high humidity(76-77 dewpoints) during my drought last year. Nice tasting snap. It outperformed Rattlesnake!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 5:11PM
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