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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Year of the Tomato, Not the Bean?


Did anyone have a good green bean harvest this summer? I read a lot of good posts about tomatoes, but don’t recall anyone really raving about green beans and having a big harvest of them. So, maybe it was a “tomato year”, not a “green bean year”?

My trials and tribulations with growing green beans this year are well documented here, and here, and here and probably a few other places, but that’s enough to get the idea that in spite of planting two varieties of bush beans and a nice, lush “teepee” of pole beans, I came up with:

- one handful of green beans,
- one mess of green beans to cook up,
- this bean pictured here from the pole beans.

The variety of bush beans that did produce the mess of beans was either “Contender” or “Tenderpick”. I know I planted both in the same raised bed, but didn’t keep good enough records to know which row was which. Bad and sloppy! Now I don’t know which one to try again next year and I need to know because one of those varieties produced virtually NO BEANS AT ALL!

Maybe I’ll just roll the dice next year and try a completely different bush bean variety? Anyone have any favorites? My only requirements are “bush beans”, heavy producer, available in the U.S.

And, did anyone have a good green bean year?

3 comments:

El said...

I had a fairly good bean year. I think it helps to succession plant all the bush bean varieties, as one of those sessions is bound to have the best of what the beans want. You must know, though, that I am a bit of a bean fanatic, so these are the varieties I planted that are doing well:

"Green" beans:
Kentucky Wonder/Old Homestead (both pole and bush, though pole has more green-beany flavor)
Henderson's Black Valentine (pole)
Blue Lake bush
Roma II bush (a romano type)
Golden Wax

Limas:
King of the Garden (pole)
Henderson's Bush

Dry beans:
Jacob's Cattle
Flagrano
One other kind that I forget

Oddballs:
Scarlet Runner
Red-Seeded Asparagus Long Bean

and if you want a good year for beans, Carol, you should grow cowpeas. You know, black-eyed peas. I have 4 varieties growing now: Cardinal, Black Crowder, Whipporwill, and Holstein. They like to grow up a trellis, but they can easily just spread all over the bed. They're great, weird beans, and are really good for your soil.

Most of my bean seed this year came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, www.rareseed.com

Good luck next year!

Kati said...

I had an up and down bean year, losing most of the beans I planted earlier in the year to "gasp" Thieving Critters! The beans that escaped are doing great, so great in fact, that I cant' keep up. I think they are Kentucky Wonder pole beans.(sometimes I get disorganized)

Carol said...

El, you are growing a lot of beans. Thanks for the list and encouragement.
Kati, I know all about them "thieving critters". I call them Rabbits!