Lovin' legumes

caroleella(6 SE MA)December 23, 2006

I'm a newbie gardener (had a container garden two years ago, and set up a couple square foot gardens for this past summer), and the only thing I've been able to grow really well are peas! I keep growing them, even though no one in my house likes them, because I love looking at those vines climbing up the trellis and bearing pods. I ended up giving them away to one of my friends, who loved them.

But the real reason I'm posting here is beans. I love beans! I grew some Dragon Tongue beans I found at Walmart last summer that I thought hadn't grown at all, but ended up growing a bit after all and giving me about 10 pods that I harvested when I discovered them at the end of the summer. The beans I planted were basic brown, but the ones I got back were white and purple, which was honestly pretty exciting (even though I knew that's how they'd be since that's what the picture on the package was.)

So now I'm looking for more cool beans to grow. I'm especially interested in cool colored beans (striped, spotted, interesting colors, etc.) If there's any you can suggest, I'd appreciate it!

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gardenlad(6b KY)

Are you primarily interested in bush or pole types? Or doesn't it matter?

You could almost pick varieties at random and get a nice cross section of colors and patterns, there are so many.

Given your small space, I would consider one of the multi-color varieites, such as Cherokee Cornfield, Sacks, and Faulkner's Cornfield. These are all pole beans which have as many as 20 different colors and patterns.
One of the prettiest beans I grow, also a pole type, is Rose. This is a largish bean. About 1/3 or so of it is a gorgeous plum color, which breaks up to speckle and frost the balance of the bean, with is an ivory color.

Snowcap and Mostoler's Wild Goose are both large beans with orange and white markings. Very pretty.

Anasazi, Thousand-Year Cave, and Trout are almost indistinguishable, with maroon and white patterns.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 7:47AM
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If you can grow beans on a trellis, and color is the main criteria, you might consider Christmas Pole Lima. It produces very large red and white mottled seed; very striking. Take a look at the Seed Savers Exchange online catalog. You can see some pictures there. I agree heartily with Gardenlad about the Trout bean. There's no end to the possibilities.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Savers Exchange Catalog

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 7:43AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

I was thinking about limas and runners, but figured my post was running kind of long.

People often don't realize the diversity of colors and patterns found in the "other" beans. Take Hopi Yellow, for instance, a lima with yellow and black markings. Or some of the butterbeans, whose markings can be spectacular. Despite its bare two-tone coloring, for instance, I think Flossie Powell is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 10:44AM
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caroleella(6 SE MA)

Thanks for the responses, guys. I have tons of beans to look into now!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 8:28PM
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