A pole snap bean for next year

dvdgzmn(Sunset 17 SF CA)November 7, 2008

As far as taste goes, Rattlesnake is my favorite snap bean, but I'd like to try another one or two next year. I've tried Kentucky Wonder (very good, but Rattlesnake is better) and Scarlet Runner (not so good). A friend suggested Trail of Tears. Anyone agree or disagree?

This is strictly about tasty snap beans, not production or shelly/dried bean quality, although if there's a black pole bean that tastes as good dried as Black Valentine, I'd like to try that one for sure. And it's got to be a pole bean. Bush beans just don't do well in my garden.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Trail of Tears is a very good bean and certainly can be used as green pods (delicious picked as tiny pods) and shelled out too. Very tasty. The only problem are the strings. None on the tiniest pods, but very pronounced on full-sized pods. If you don't mind removing them, go for ToT. Their yield is high and they are a robust bean that can take weather and difficult growing conditions.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:23AM
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For taste, I rate Rattlesnake as average, Kentucky Wonder as below average, and Scarlet Runner as poor. I have not tried Trail of Tears.

Highly rated ones for me, are Garrafal Oro, Jeminez, and Supermarconi Cuneo.

Your mileage may vary. :)


    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 12:39PM
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There are many preferences when it comes to green beans. For me, strings are not a negative at all, as long as the pods are tender hulled and remain that way a good while. In fact, my favorite green beans all have strings. Here's a link a thread on the Oklahoma Gardening forum. I'm going to post it here because in it, there are links to a discussion on the beans Gary mentioned just above, plus in that thread I gave a link to Bill Best's article on what makes a great green bean. That's in the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture web site.

Hope this helps!

Tahlequah, OK

Here is a link that might be useful: Bill Best on Beans

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 1:35PM
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That's a great link. But it isn't what I said I was going to post! Here's the link to the Oklahoma Gardening thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beans for Oklahoma

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 1:37PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I planted Fortex this year on Zeedman's recommendation and it's generally good reputation. I was very happy with it. The pods were 9" long, narrow, tender and good tasting. It was very productive. Hard to ask more of a bean.

Fortex is a French bean. I want to grow more American beans because of historical interest and because of the favorable reports I get on so many of them. There are several under consideration for next year, including Cherokee Trail of Tears and some less well known varieties.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:13AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

My best recommendations would be "Fortex" and "Garafal Oro", both pole varieties. Not only for flavor (both are very good), but for their disease resistance.

I lived in the Bay area for several years in the 80's, and gardened within sight of the water in Palo Alto, next to a creek (Steven's Creek?). The mornings can be very cool & foggy... and not all beans like having cool, wet leaves. These two are rust resistant.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 1:26AM
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Cool? Wet? Why didn't you say so! I have a family heirloom, yellow podded pole bean, called Barksdale, which does famously in those conditions! It germinates better than other beans I know, in cool conditions, and, though it grows well in heat, it only really produces well when temps are a bit cool. In 2003, in NJ, we had an unusually damp cool summer, and this bean produced BUCKETS of nice 8"X1" flat yellow pods. Pods remain tender for A LONG TIME.

Incidentally, I went through the Seed Savers Exchange 2008 yearbook descriptions of the Cherokee Trail of Tears bean, and most are very favorable about it as a snap. Perhaps Galina might comment on this. But I seem to recall reading that this bean does exceptionally well in the cooler climate of England.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 12:02PM
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dvdgzmn(Sunset 17 SF CA)

Thanks all, especially Zeedman for your Bay area results. I've tried 5 or 6 pole varieties and they all have done really well as far as productivity goes. Bushes, no success at all. Maybe it's the layout of my garden (bush beans not being high enough to get lots of sun), or maybe the pole beans I've tried just like the climate better. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 10:34PM
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lillieinal(z7 al)

i have been growing rattlesnake beans for years but this year i want to grow another kind.i have all so grown several kinds of purple beans that i didn't care for. if fusion_power or anyone has the family heirloom purple pod i would really like some. i live in northern al so they should do well here.i will be happy to pay postage.
thanks to everyone for all the good info on beans.i was happy with rattlesnake before i started reading.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 1:00PM
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