Saturday, July 9, 2016

Beans in the Garden.

Beans are something i grow every year. They are extremely easy to grow,  germinate quickly and can be planted every three weeks for a continuous harvest into the fall.  Bush bean varieties are ready for harvest in 45 to 60 days; pole bean varieties are ready for harvest in 60 to 85 days.  i like to freeze, can and eat my beans fresh.  When i first started growing beans, i grew green beans because that's what i grew up with. i had no idea there was such a variety of snap beans. Each year i try out a new variety, here are some of my favorites.

From left to right Red Swan (bush) Rattlesnake/preacher beans (pole), Purple pole (pole), Dragon tongue (bush) and Royal Burgundy (bush). These all cook up green except the Dragon tongue which is a flat yellow bean. Purple pole are my favorites, but the Red swan is a close second. i also have yellow wax beans, sunset runners and a few regular ol' green bean planted too, but they are not ready yet.

Red Swan Beans are a new favorite. The are a little shorter than other varieties i've grown, but the beans are a beautiful red, they have lovely white/cream/pink flowers, are very productive and cook up green.  Red Swan beans are a bush variety, so they don't require poles or trellising.

Rattlesnake/Preacher beans (pole  are green with purple streaking, they go by both Preacher beans- they give the preacher something to preach about and Rattlesnake beans because the dried beans resemble rattle snake coloring. This heirloom has unusual, dark-green pods streaked with purple.   An old timey favorite!  i find they grow well up garden fencing.

Purple Podded (Pole) are my  personal favorite. The pods are bright purple, stringless, and tender. Plants grow to 6’ and produce heavy yields.  Unlike bush beans which tend to have one big crop, these pole beans continue to produce heavily all summer long. The beans are a beautiful dark purple, they are slightly flat, very long and cook up green.

Dragon Tongue Beans (bush) is a fun unusual variety.  They are a compact bush bean with flat yellow pods with purple streaking.  i didn't feel the yield on these was a good as the other varieties, but i really like the unusual color, i like that they are a flat bean they cook up yellow and are very tender.  i'll definitely be growing these again.

Royalty Purple (Bush)  Tender, bright purple pods turn green when cooked. Very ornamental, beautiful and tasty.  They cook up green. They only take about 50 days till harvest, so i typically plant them again in July, and sometimes August.

i also plant Runner beans, more as ornamentals even though they are edible. These are Sunset runners, Scarlet runner look similar but are bright red. i used to grow both, but i think they crossed pollinated over the years and now i  just get the salmon colored ones.

i'm always excited to discover new varieties, and share about them here.  If you have any favorite varieties of snap beans, i'd love to hear about them!


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