I grow rattlesnake pole beans every year. They can get stringy but they are tough plants that pump out beans all summer long and part of the fall as well. We also are messing with using them as dry beans. Red Swan hasn’t been impressive this year but are beautiful, Yellow Wax has been better than Red Swan. Striker was better than Blue Lake last year but neither were worth writing home about.
One of my projects this year is to grow out seed from a cross I made a few years ago between Fortex and a highly heat and disease resistant small black bean. My hope is that I will eventually be able to combine the heat and disease resistance traits with the excellent culinary traits of Fortex. The problem so far is that the beans are almost all 4 to 5 inches long as compared with Fortex that averages 10 inches. I may have to do another cross to Fortex to stabilize the genetics. If you want to read about the disease resistant parent, look up PI 207373 bean. You may find other references as “Oaxaca 5-1” which is the same bean from ARS-GRIN.
Red Swan is a very mediocre bean. It certainly does not live up to the hype from a few years ago when it was released.
Blue lake does the best of the 4 i planted this year however it is the clear favorite of the japanese beetles and has gotten hit hard. Gold rush was the only one that only had a little more than half sprout but has done well since. Tavera has been my slowest grower. Royal burgundy has done pretty well but climbs slowly comparatively. The only ones of these i have grown before was blue lake which in general i like but grow because of my climate.
I grew Blue Lake and maybe another variety a few years ago,after going to a Mother Earth News fair in my area.The speaker talked about easy plants to grow,that produced well and bush beans was one of them.They were right and were good tasting too.
The ones planted now are Blue Lake,Royalty Purple Pod,Kentucky Wonder and Early Bountiful,all in the same grow bag.bb
I’m still experimenting with what works in my lovely Mid-Atlantic heat and humidity. Cowpeas and yardlong beans do great, I just picked a handful earlier today.
I have some Scarlet Runner beans growing, but only three pods have set. I’m saving those for seed, just in case its slightly more heat-tolerant than normal.
It just gets hot so fast that only the hardiest beans survive. I’ve had slightly better results growing them in the shade of other plants. Planting an early maturing green bean in early fall would probably work better than spring planting.
I meant to add. If i was just growing crops to eat. Blue Lake is a staple, along with Silver queen corn
… hard misses… but ive never seen a bean crop fail…even in floods & droughts
I always used to trial another variety of bean besides Jade. Never liked any of them as well. This year, with the failure of Jade, I just have the new variety I’m trying, a yellow bean named Goldilocks. It should start bearing next week
So blue lake and Rattlesnake are the best in terms of heat tolerance and drought? I tried landreth stringless this year but it burned up due to spider mites (before it got hot). My royal burgundy lasted a long time, but now it’s starting to fizzle out (I guess it’s technically not a “green bean”). My yardlongs do well, but I’d like something with better flavor.
i’ve tried italian pole beans twice.
tried a bush bean.
the problem is swarms of locusts love them.
I grew French beans, Fagiolo Rampicante Marconi a grano Bianca, from a pack I brought from local grocery store rack. This is successful as I harvested flat and long beans.
I tried to grow Asian yard long beans in the past 3 years and failed. I saw in YouTube, “Asian garden 2 table” on how To them. May be I will try again next year.
My favorite bush bean to grow here is Contender. It holds up to the heat pretty well and I really like the flavor fresh or canned. Cucumber beetles also like it, so that is a drawback.
My favorite pole bean is Monte Gusto, a yellow. It usually grows without problems and produces long, fairly straight beans. It works great for fresh eating or canned.
I have also grown Blue Cocoa and Fortex pole beans. Blue grew great but I did not like the taste and I thought the pods were too fat. Also when canned, the beautiful dark purple color fades to kind of gross army green. Fortex did not tolerate our heat and humidty and was a complete failure. Chinese Red Noodle grew prolifically for me last year. I grew them just for the novelty of their size. I did not like the taste at all and fed them to the livestock. Of the ones I canned, they all ended up in the compost.
I had a bad time this year with mine - planted when it was too cold and wet and the seeds rotted. I planted a second time a month later and they sprung up fast. The late frost in May was a doozy.
You have now witnessed an assault against blue lake!
Gold(rush?) very tasty! and small tavera filet
I haven’t grown Blue Lake green beans but it is my favorite that is sold in cans. I would think they would be even better fresh from the garden.
Two popular green beans grown in my area is Rattlesnake and White Mccaslan. The most popular is Rattlesnake but my favorite is White Mccaslan.
Call me a snob. I like blue lake beans too. But I DON’T like bush blue lake beans. I grow the old black seeded blue lake pole bean which is superb flavored but can get too large very fast. They have to be picked about 2/3 of full size to make really good beans. I started with 3 seed of this variety 10 years ago and multiplied them. I am growing a 20 ft section of a row this year to have fresh seed.
Of the beans I’ve grown, there are a few that really stand out. Blue Marbutt is exceptional for a snap bean. Blue Marbutt has strings but if picked young before the strings have developed they can be snapped and canned easily.
Maybe this winter I’ll take time to post about various beans and their advantages and disadvantages.
Ive had really good luck with goldrush yellow bush beans. They cant be planted mid summer here but do really well march-june. Ive tried all the well known bush beans and these have been my favorite and at least as productive as any other. Very straight beans and they take a long time to get tough unlike some of the others. The color makes them easier to spot when picking
I am growing Blue Lake pole beans this year in two new 4’x4’ square foot garden beds. This is the first year I’ve ever grown pole beans, but I usually plant a row of Blue Lake bush and whatever wax beans I can find in the store.
I used the Mel’s mix from the SFG book, and apparently whatever compost I bought was not very good. Everything in my plots had a bad case of “all of the above” nutrient deficiency. Even the beans! They languished for a good while until I wised up and added fertilizer.
If I had to do it again I would have incorporated a good amount of 10-10-10 when I mixed up the bed mix.
That’s right. The pole variety is superior.
I’ve not grown either in years, but just like the canned ones, you have to pick them before the seeds inside are very large…or the hulls become tough and woody. Since I like large beans inside my green bean hulls, this isn’t the bean to grow. They do make nice beans picked early.
I like Turkey Craw for making large bean seed. I recently picked about 2 gallons of Turkey Craw at the shellie stage and shelled them out to put in soup. If I were pressed to pick one single bean to grow, Turkey Craw would have to be near the top.
I read through some of the above posts and decided to recommend a couple of varieties for specific conditions.
Musica is a wide flat romano type pole bean with excellent production and very fast maturity. It is the only bean I’ve grown that hit all the buttons for a wide flat pod snap bean. Flavor is excellent, production is high, and canning traits are very good. Seed available from reneesgarden.com
Emerite is a superb black seeded snap bean that makes a good crop with little care and is outstanding for fresh or canned snap beans. Flavor is not as intense as for example pole Blue Lake, but it is still a good general purpose snap bean. Emerite is widely available but can also be sourced from reneesgarden.com