Plating Beans and Corns

biradarcm(7b)March 23, 2012

I have many types of the beans to start this year. I bought them from Vermouth Beans, SESE, WM, TM and couple of them from Indian heirlooms;


1. Derby

2. Duke

3. Festina

4. Cherokee

5. Golden Rod

6. Contender

7. Top Crop

8. Blue Lake 274

9. Royal Burgundy

10.Super wax

11.Roma II (Romano)


13.Golden Wax Improved


15.Buff Valentine

  1. Green Yellow Blend


17.Blue Lake (from Paula)

18.Purple Hyacinth


20.Dolichos SFB3




23.Half Runner



25.Fordhook no. 242


  1. Maxibel








31.Black Eye

32.Purple hull



1. Early Extra Sweet F1

2. VB Experimental Hybrid Sweet (free gift from VB)

3. Early Sunglow

4. Chires Baby Corn (great success last year, a baby corn cob for each leaf)

I may not able to plant all of them or limit to few plants per variety due to space limitation or move some of them to onion/potato beds when are harvested. How many plants/variety are just enough to produce for couple of fresh cooking and some for freezing?

Are yo growing any of above variety or what is you best variety in terms of the flavor and production? That will help me to sort out some.

regards -Chandra

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owiebrain(5 MO)

I've not grown any of your varieties, other than Blue Lake, Top Crop, and Contender. They were okay, nothing special, in my opinion. Very adequate in production, but just average in taste for me.

My two standouts from last year were Cooper's Running Snap and Cherokee Trail of Tears pole beans. I'll be planting Cooper's RS again this year. I somehow forgot to buy/save Cherokee Trail of Tears for this year but that's okay since I've got plenty of other things to play with. I'm trying my hand at a couple of runner beans this year -- first time I've grown them. Same for sword beans and winged beans.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 2:33AM
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Chandra, I think most Americans plant Purple Hyacinths as an ornamental only. I know they eat them in some countries, but I think they require a special cooking method.

Blue Lake is a rather common bean, but I especially like the pole type. I have never planted the bush Blue Lake, but have some on my desk to plant this year.

I have planted a small amount of Cherokee Trail of Tears, and Purple Pole plus a greasy bean from George. Then I am also planting runner beans from TM which I have never tried before.

I had a few Dragon Tongue last year and I guess I didn't pick them all at the end of the season because I have a few coming up where those grew last year.

I also want to plant Roma II bush beans as soon as I can find a place. I can't do much more until I plant tomatoes and see if I have any room left. Well, there is always containers I guess.

Between the heat and Japanese Beetles last year, I didn't have a lot of beans.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 2:55AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Chandra, I have found bean production to be highly variable from year to year, and it seems to be linked much more to weather than to a specific bean variety. So, it is hard to say how many of each variety to plant. I normally don't plant less than 40 seeds of any given bush bean, but I like to have huge quantities of beans for freezing as well as for fresh eating. Of the bush beans on your list, the ones I like best are Royalty Purple Pod (it is exceptionally lovely and produces beans in colder weather than most other varieties, so it is a great early bean) and Roma II, which is a very heavy producer of romano-type beans. I've grown Derby, Top Crop and Contender and there's nothing wrong with them. They have average bean flavor and average bean production. There's just a lot of others that I like more. I don't grow any of the pole beans you listed regularly, except I do grow purple hyacinth bean on the fence that surrounds the dogs' yard. I grow it as an ornamental and not as an edible. I get much better production from pole beans like Rattlesnake, Musica and Garrafal Oro than from the ones on your list that I've tried. I haven't grown Blue Lake so cannot comment on it.

Almost all runner beans produce poorly in our climate because they don't like the heat. I like to plant scarlet runner bean for the hummingbirds, but the last few years the weather has heated up before the scarlet runner beans could even develop many blooms. Insuk's Wang Kong is probably the most heat-tolerant runner bean I've ever grown. It is available from Sand Hill Preservation Center. For me it produced better in fall than in spring/summer. It may be daylength-sensitive. George can tell you more about Insuk's than I can because he has grown it for years. I've only grown it twice.

Purple hull pink eye is my favorite southern pea and I really, really like them, so usually plant 100 or more of them. To me, no other southern pea can match its flavor. Taste is subjective though.

There's nothing wrong with Fordhook 242 lima but I don't grow it because there are a lot of heirloom types that have better flavor.

With the corn, I haven't grown the first two you listed. I grow between 60 and 80 Early Sunglow plants every year so we can start harvesting corn in May, but it isn't my main crop. For a main crop I grow heirloom types that get pretty big and need a lot of space and I don't think you'd have adequate space for them in your garden without sacrificing something else that you like to grow. Baby Chires is a great producer and I don't think you can go wrong with it.

I had good bean production early last year, but the heat just killed production by July so I am planting a huge number of beans in a few days, hoping we'll be able to fill up the freezer (and eat plenty fresh) before the heat shuts down production this year. I do not like having the temperature in the 80s this early in the year, and it seems like a bad omen to me.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:28AM
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I have the past 2 years grown the blue lake bush beans and it did well when nothing else did. This is the first year I will be trying to grow both pole beans and corn. I sectioned off another part of my yard and bought banthum corn to plant for a three sisters garden. Banthum is suppose to be more compact and will use the corn for pinto bean support. So I will see how that goes. I have Kentucky Wonder pole beans I will start today, so I will see how that goes. I am interested in how your varieties do, please keep us posted!

Dawn - scarlet runner was one of the beans I was going to grow, glad I didn't now...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:22AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Ezzirah, I love scarlet runner beans as ornamentals, but they just don't like our heat. They might do well in fall, but I haven't tried them specifically as a fall plant. My garden usually is too full by late summer to have any space to devote to an ornamental bean that may or may not flower depending on what the soil temps are doing.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:05PM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

George, I'd love to hear your input on Insuk's. I have Insuk's Wang Kong and Sunset runner beans to try this year. I never even attempted to grow them down in OK but am hopeful they'll do decently up here.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 5:51PM
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I grew Insuk one year for the red bloom, but it was one of those things that had to suffer death because of construction. Mine didn't live long enough to have beans, but they make a really pretty plant.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Dawn, I somehow doubt your hummers are suffering for lack of Scarlet Runner Bean food, lol! I've tried growing it several times (ornamental), and it never does as well as the photos in the catalogs reflect, now I know why. OTOH, Hyacinth Bean does almost too well.

I am looking forward to the few pole beans I am going to try. Not a huge bean fan, in that a couple good pots of those with potatoes and a ham bone, are enough to satisfy my hunger for beans.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, Well, you know, I guess I do have a few other plants for the hummers, but I do love the look of Scarlet Runner and the other hybrid scarlet runner bean types and I wish we had the kind of climate they like.

I agree Hyacinth Bean grows almost too well, but if you need something to cover a fence or to grow up a trellis beside a shed or other outbuilding to shade that building from the sun, then Purple Hyacinth Bean is great for that. I actually haven't planted it near the fence surrounding the dog yard in several years because it reseeds itself every year.

We have a dog named Mrs. Jeeves who is a black lab/terrier mix who considers her the Alpha Male of the world. She not only rules the dog yard (which includes 3 male dogs who'd like to think maybe each of them actually is the Alpha Male) with an iron fist but also barks her head off at anything that moves...people, birds, cats, frogs, etc. She drives me crazy with her barking. So, with the fence covered with the hyacinth bean vines, she can't see as many living creatures to bark at and that keeps her a little bit quieter. She's a great dog except for that barking. She'll put a stranger on the ground if they come near her, so she's a great watchdog, but that incessant barking all day long drives me up the wall. I swear, Susan, I really think she even barks at the butterflies, bees and dragonflies.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:24AM
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I grew 10 scarlet runner beans last year and did'nt get a bean. Thank God Dawn said it was the heat and not my skill as a gardener!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:02PM
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I may not get runner beans either although my chances might be better than some of you because of my location. I sometimes just plant things as an experiment, and I had 2 packages of runner beans that came in a grab bag from Thompson and Morgan, so I thought I would give them a try. I was surprised to see how big the bean was. Of course, not as big as Insuk's.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:09PM
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I may not get runner beans either although my chances might be better than some of you because of my location. I sometimes just plant things as an experiment, and I had 2 packages of runner beans that came in a grab bag from Thompson and Morgan, so I thought I would give them a try. I was surprised to see how big the bean was. Of course, not as big as Insuk's.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Thank you all. I was busy planting as much as I can last two days, Now I am in airport heading to India for next 10days. After looking 10days forecast, I have planted Beans, few peppers, couple of eggplants, tomatillo, okra, all type of beans, few early cucumbers etc. As I am gone for next days, not want to miss good weather for summer crops. As per the regular planting time from OSU and Dawn's planting schedules, I planted bit early, but I have plenty of seeds to replace them or inter-plant when I back.

I have planted 9 types of bush beans, each of 12ft row, at 3in (seed to seed) and 8in (row to row), plant density is much higher then recommended but I need to accommodate as much as I can.

We liked Purple hull pink eye last year, had great success with all southern types last year even when snaps bean are just flowering and shedding their flowers, but these southern peas keep setting pods. I not have good harvest of snap beans last until Sep. Got only few pods from Fordhook 242 Lima last year, and same experience with all runner beans and ornamental sweet peas, they staled and produced few flower then died. hoping for good this time. Somehow I forget to buy Early Sunglow, will miss this year. I not planted any ornamental sweet peas this time and sown only few runners just for trial. We grow purple hyacinth for ornamental as well for cooking, but taste is not that good as compared to wax types.

Have a great time in garden! see you in April. -Chandra

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:00AM
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