Best vining green bean

nckvilledudes(7a NC)February 15, 2009

Hi all. Haven't grown green beans since I was kid living at home, but last summer the ones at the farmer's market were so expensive that I have decided to grow them once again. I prefer those green beans that vine and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for ones that will do well in hot and humid central NC? I will have to irrigate them somewhat if either of the past two years have been any indication of how much rain we will get or not get, I guess I should say. Thanks in advance for any varieties you can suggest.

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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Also since my area seems to be overrun with japanese beetles, are there any varieties to avoid or plant due to the beetles proclivities to infest a specific variety?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 6:18PM
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justaguy2(5)

fortex. At 6-7" they are a fillet bean. At 10-11" they are a 'normal' bean. Never stringy.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 6:18PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

are there any varieties to avoid or plant due to the beetles proclivities to infest a specific variety?

No. All you can do is join the rest of us and treat the beetle infestation.

I'll ditto Fortex as 1st choice but there are several other varieties of pole beans commonly grown - Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake are probably the most common. All will do well in your area.

But if you haven't grown any in many years you may want to consider some of the many bush bean varieties instead. They have their advantages over pole beans.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 6:35PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I grew Fortex last summer and it was outstanding.

Jim

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:19PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone.

Dave, what advantages do the bush beans have over the pole beans? I thought pole beans first since I already have something set up for them to climb on.

I thought Blue Lake were bush beans from what I have been reading. Am I mistaken about that????

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 4:22AM
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pepperdude

Bush beans may have advantages, but they also have disadvantages. Pole beans are more productive and produce over a longer period; they're generally easier to pick and the beans tend to be straight without rotten tips as often occurs on bush beans that touch the ground.

Bush beans don't need supports and are quicker to crop. Overall, I prefer pole beans (but grow both).

FYI, I really love Rattlesnake pole bean and Violet-podded Stringless. Here, near Seattle, we don't have any summer heat to speak of though, so not sure how much they like that. One catalog I saw said Rattlesnake "may not like northern areas" but they grew beautifully here last year.

Blue Lake occurs in both bush and pole form.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:35PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah, Blue Lake comes both ways. Advantages of bush is earlier production - quite a bit earlier - and more production all at the same time. Handy if you can or freeze. They require less water too. If you stagger the planting times you can harvest almost continually.

But they do take up more room than pole beans so if your room is limited stick with pole varieties. When you get the time, check out all the varieties of both types offered by Vermont Bean & Seed Company online.

Dave

PS: and they don't get big wasp nests built in them like my pole bean tepees do. ;)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:03PM
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justaguy2(5)

In the bush bean category I was impressed with Strike. Nice, long, thin beans, no strings even when picked late. Another nice thing about them is that they bear over a long period of time compared to other bush beans I have tried.

I believe I harvested more from my Strike bush beans than I did from Fortex in 2007 and 2008, but it may not be a fair comparison. My Fortex take up 1/3 of a bed and the Strike take up 2/3rd of another. Still, a very good bush bean variety in my opinion.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 10:54PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Thanks for the continuing information all. I had been doing some research and remembered hearing about Blue Lake from some local folks. I guess I only came across the bush variety hence my question. Good to know that they come in both bush and vining varieties. Will take all the recommendations and then check out the local farm and feed store to see what they have and to see if they have any additional suggestions.

Once again, thanks for everyone's input.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 4:46AM
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opal52(z7b GA)

I started growing bush beans because the pole beans were a magnet for Japanese Beetles. My veg. garden is near flower gardens. I found Japanese Beetles love Anemones about as much as they do pole beans. They destroyed the foliage on our Anemones before I could stop them. The plants survived (perennials), but were awfully ragged for the year. With bush beans, no Japanese Beetles show up. There may be other plants/shrubs around the JP's love as well. Just something to think about especially if you have Anemones and are fond of them.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:17PM
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justaguy2(5)

Opal,

I have not noticed a difference in preference between Bush and Pole beans in terms of their attractiveness to Japanese Beetles, cucumber beetles or the odd (in my area) Mexican Bean beetle.

I have noticed that densely planted bush beans tend to hide them better than the pole beans since the pole beans grow to eye level or higher, but other than that no difference I can see.

Certainly I am not at all disputing your experience, it never ceases to amaze me how gardeners can experience completely different things with the same plants in the same year. Rather I am saying that I don't think there is any -widespread- difference in pest resistance between pole and bush beans.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:03PM
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opal52(z7b GA)

Hi Justaguy,

It's totally possible that the disappearance of Japanese Beetles when I changed over to bush beans was an aberration and I just attributed it to bush beans. (Thought I may have read something about the JB advantage somewhere, but not sure.) What confounds me is how the Japanese Beetles found my rather small garden (none of the our neighbors have vegetable gardens). They showed up just as the pole beans started producing. They apparently fly from place to place looking for pole beans to devour. They zoomed right in. Anyway, bush beans have worked for me without a battle with JP's for the past few seasons. Knock on wood...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:22PM
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justaguy2(5)

Anyway, bush beans have worked for me without a battle with JP's for the past few seasons. Knock on wood...

I agree 100%. If switching from pole to Bush has kept the JB away then stick with bush beans. If this switch kept the evil critters out of my garden I would certainly do the same.

If it works, keep on doing it until it doesn't work. :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:58PM
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october17(5chgo)

The only seeds for pole beans I could find anywhere are Kentucky Wonder and asparagus beans. There are several bush varieties available everywhere. Guess they are the most popular now. Think it has anything to do with japanese beetles? I'll be growing the pole beans right next to our plum tree, jap beetle smorgasboard I guess.

It could be a good thing that I could only find one variety. Now I'll know which I'm eating. Usually I grow a few varieties and then don't know which I'm eating anyway!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 12:59PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

If you REALLY like beans, there is a GardenWeb forum just for you! See the link below. All kinds of beans are discussed, growing them, eating them, their taste, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beans, Peas, Legumes

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 2:15PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

So far, my favorite pole bean is a true french fillet type, Emerite. Seeds are a little pricey. This year I'm growing Rattlesnake & may still add Emerite.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 7:37PM
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