What's the best green bean you've grown?

anney(Georgia 8)July 22, 2008

What green beans have you found to be the most productive and the best eating?

My beans have just begun producing, and this year I planted Kentucky Wonder pole beans and Smeraldo Roma pole beans.

The Smeraldos are 10 days earlier than the Kentucky Wonders, so they're the ones I've harvested so far, and I must say that they're absolutely delicious and productive beyond my wildest dreams! They make very wide long pods that are melt-in-your-mouth tender when cooked for 20 minutes, with not a single string anywhere. A large gathered handful serves two people generously. If you like the very beany taste of Roma beans, I can't encourage you enough to try them next year. I'll certainly grow them again for their productivity, texture, and taste.

I have Fortex pole beans on my list for next year, probably to replace the other standard pole beans but would like some other suggestions. What's done well for you?

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hmmmm... no strings on the Smeraldos you say? I've always grown bush beans 'cause I don't like the tough stringy things I remember my grandmother always growing on poles. The bush beans I grew last year were Festiva and Blue Lake. The Festivas were fantastic, the Blue Lakes were tougher, not near as tender. This year I have just harvested a basket of Earliserve, and they are very good. The Tenderpick will be ready in another day or so, but are looking good...
I also tried the Jade variety, had issues with germination, eight 15' rows and only SEVEN plants came up. Could've easy been something I did/didn't do though.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 8:41PM
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I have been growing Emerite pole beans for more years than I care to remember. They are good at any stage. If you keep them picked every day, or two at the most, they produce until frost. One eight foot row keeps us and half the neighborhood supplied with beans all summer. I have heard that Fortex is also an excellent variety and will try a few plants next season.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 8:59PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Burpee's Tenderpod bush bean is a good balance of tenderness and meatiness.

Funny how some like beans more green like Festina with little cooking. I like them to melt in your mouth and then an occasional batch of an extra meaty one like Stringless Green Pod.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 10:00PM
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Fortex for poles and Strike for bush. No strings in sight. Strike has a huge advantage over most bush green beans in that it bears over a long period and quite heavily. Most bush beans are good for 1-3 pickings and they give up. Not Strike.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 10:29PM
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appaloosa909(6b Central NJ)

Rattlesnake is my favorite. Delicious raw or cooked. I get more beans than 5 bean lovers can eat/freeze/give away off of 12 plants

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 11:24PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

I'm growing the dark violet Blauhilde from Gourmet Seeds, and today had the first bean, which had good, strong taste. Pods start out green, but turn dark violet as they mature. Stems and leaf veins are dark violet. Flowers are violet. Pretty. Planted the seeds in situ 6/2/08.

KY Wonder is late and about to begin flowering. Grew KY W last year; tender even with large seeds in pods, and good strong bean taste. Was also late last year, but was more insect resistant than the other beans. Planted 6/2/08.

Neckargold, Jeminez, and Rattlesnake from Sandhill Preservation are chugging along w/immature beans. Planted 6/2/08.

Everything's late this year, and many beans were killed by creeps, the second sowing (6/11, 6/25) faring no better than the first.

Some years back, I grew the beauty, Marvel of Venice, huge, vigorous, but pods were tough as burlap. I think she was a shellie, producing very broad, long pods w/lots of seeds. No good as a snap, though, but excellent as a shellie or dry, I assume. I grew it before I learned about shellies from all the good folks here.....

Cooking Ky Wonder: Cut them into 2-inch lengths and sautee them uncovered with garlic and sea salt for about 3-4 minutes till tender and brightly green. I find that adding liquid, like tomatoes, spoils the dish.

Am growing only pole beans.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 12:42AM
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sudzy(5b IL)

Ky Wonder Bush is what I've always planted. A good tasting bean. THIS year I brought Top Crop bush. I really don't care much for the flavor, although it's a good producer. I've them over three times now.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 12:55AM
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Ppod, you got creeps in your garden too? Gotta hate those bean killin creeps.

Meanwhile I am getting floods of black seeded asparagus beans. Last year Rattlesnake was the fastest to produce, this year it's the yardlongs. They are tender for a long time and tasty too, and apparently unmolested by the creeps.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 1:18AM
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moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

Triumph de Farcy Filet Bean. It's a bush bean that produces small tender filet beans that are great raw, cooked, frozen or canned. Produces early. Usually I get a first huge crop and about 10 days later I get a huge second crop then it continues producing until the frost.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Sorry for my ignorance here, but what are creeps? I thought perhaps they were insects. *shrugs shoulders*

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:41AM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

"what are creeps?"
I wondered the same thing.

I don't think I've eaten eonugh variety of green beans to have an opinion on which is the best. However....I'd like to ask Moosemac if the Triumph de Farcy Filet Bean is similiar to haricot verts. I had those recently and they were delicous steamed and sauteed in garlic and a little olive oil. So, I'm growing them this year but haven't eaten any yet.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 10:36AM
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joytwo1839(z6 TN)

I can't find seed but I bought some Malibu beans at a market a couple of years ago and they were the best! They were stringless and had a wounderful taste. Grown in Georgia.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:46AM
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How are those haricot verts vines growing? Are they a strong growing vine? Are they bush or pole? I've been thinking of those too. I had some last year and loved them but couldn't find the seed around here.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:55AM
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Trionfo Violettos, a purple bean that turns dark green when cooked. Produces long beans early and keeps on doing so for weeks. Vigorous climbers. Dark brown bean (seed) inside.

Last year, I planted a yellow wax bean on the same trellis; I got a green bean with purple splotches on that half of the trellis. Did they cross? I'm not sure but both tasted good.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 12:24PM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

I absolutely love Uncle Steve's Italian Pole Bean. They produce well and all season long. They have a buttery taste and great texture. Plus, they're pretty:

Sandhill Preservation Center sells the seeds.

Unfortunately, the woodchucks and voles in my garden also love Uncle Steve's Pole beans. After relocating 11 woodchucks, I am now on my 4th planting. Hopefully, I'll have beans soon.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sandhill Preservation Center

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 12:38PM
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wvtomatoman(z6 WV)

Fortex. This is the first year I've grown it. My first reaction from the first bite was that I think I've found a new favorite green bean. It is tasty and tender. It kind of melts in your mouth. I highly recommend it.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 1:22PM
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"what are creeps?"

Haha, joking. I suspect it was a typo on Ppod's post. I wonder what Ppod meant by it too.

Usually the noun "creeps" is a slang term for weird creepy guys that creep you out and give you the creeps. I thought the idea of weird creepy guys creepily sneaking through gardens, like gnomes, and furtively harming bean plants was funny.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:35PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

C'mon, ya all know what creeps are! Those unseen monsters creeping 'bout in the night cutting the bean stems, so the beans croak.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:38PM
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*runs to store to purchase decorative figurines of garden creeps*

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:42PM
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We just had our first picking of beans for supper last night! :) My gawd... beans are what I garden for!

My old reliable is Improved Tendergreen. It's neither the best tasting (fresh cooked) nor the most prolific, but I've found it to be the best of the varieties I've tried afa holding up well to blanching and freezing.

The best bean I've ever tasted in my life was the scarlet runners my grandma used to grow in Calgary, AB. Both my father and I have tried to grow them here in Saskatchewan, but they don't taste anything like Grandma's, so we've given up. Bean flavour must be highly dependent on soil.

The most prolific and tender green beans (I only grow bush, btw) I've grown have been Provider; you can quite literally pick them by the handful every day for over a week. Gold Mine yellow beans have done the same for me and they're incredibly tender. Neither have been as good for freezing as my Improved Tendergreen, though. If I know our summer is going to be busy and we might be traveling here and there, I always plant Royal Burgundy because I've found they hold best in hot weather.

I guess I haven't found that perfect bean yet. I tend to plant a combination to cover my bases each year. This year I bought a new green to try - Matador - forgetting I still had some other seeds to use up. I'll be planting them next year.

And just because I can't resist...

Our daughter has always hated green beans, then last night she watched me pick them from the garden, trim and wash them. She ate every one on her plate and asked for more!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:53PM
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utdeedee(7A-East Tennessee)

I grow KY Wonder bush, love the flavor. I also grow brown bunch beans which I love the flavor of these two. The seed come from our local nursery Mayos garden center. Here in the south most folks like white half runners, not me, bean too big in them and the pods are rather tough. Mine have come and gone so I'm on my second planting of KY Wonder and I've planted purple hull cow peas. They are delicious to!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 3:25PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

The best and most prolific I have ever grown is Rattlesnake...Unbelievable......

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 4:21PM
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bella trix - those look just like what I was speaking of. Green beans with purple splotches. I think I need to give the Amish lady where I buy my seed (for years) a good talking to. First I plant yellow wax last year and get something like Uncle Steve's, this year I plant Kentucky Wonders and get the wax variety (not the green as expected).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 4:36PM
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moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

Hi Peggy,
Yes the Triumph De Farcy are a filet bean aka haricot verts. They are wonderful perepared as you described. I orginally thought they were only good as a fresh bean but have found them to be a great all around bean, a huge producer and very easy to grow.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 5:45PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Thanks Moosemac,

I just picked my 1st haricot verts today so we'll eat them tomorrow night. They don't taste very good raw but they certainly are delicious cooked.

Hi Aulani, these beans grow on a rather smallish sized bush. I'd be happy to send you some seeds. Just say the word.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:56PM
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Thanks Peggy, I'd like to try growing them. Not many, just a few plants to try them out. I'll e-mail you.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 10:37AM
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I grow an old pole bean called blue ribbon. I like a meaty bean with a lot of bean in it. They have a delicious old time bean taste and are very prolific. By putting on a vertical trellis, I can grow a lot of beans in little garden space.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Iris Hendry

Hi everyone, this spring I planted KY wonder pole beans and Blue Lake bush beans, after being nibbled on by deer earlier in the season and more recently by the japanese beetles we've picked two batches of both so far and they are both still producing... I planted a second round of pole beans ( tobacco worm ) and they are just starting to climb so I hope they will be ready when the bush beans stop producing... I cook mine slow ( an hour or so ) in a big pot with some ham and baby yukon gold potatoes until the green beans are tender ... with some corn muffins on the side... soooo good ! A good old fashioned country dinner , its the best !

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 3:54PM
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For pole beans we grow Emerites (after trying lots of others); for bush beans Nickels. Both are prolific and delicious and stringless, but Nickels can be a bit difficult to germinate, at least in our garden.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:42AM
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I don't have much to say about the green beans, since mine aren't really going yet and I can't remember what I planted anyway. But I wanted to just comment on the adorable toddler eating beans. I'm so jealous. I think my 5 year old hasn't touch a vegetable in about 4 years - unless you count ketchup.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 12:58PM
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Something interesting happened to my Kentucky Wonders. I have two tepees of them. One of the tepees began to sag toward one side. Everytime I saw it, I promised myself I'd straighten it up. Well, several days passed and that's when I saw something that deserves comment. I went to pick some beans from that sagging tepee and there were so many I had to put them into my t-shirt. The other tepee only had the usual daily handfull.

Here's my question. Do you suppose that the sagging tepee received more sun because it was sitting at an angle? Each tepee has always received equal amounts of water and fertilizer. Just wondering.

BTW, I left the sagging tepee the way it was since it isn't really falling. It has rained once and it hasn't sagged any more. There was lots of baby beans on the sagging tepee day before yesterday. Not that many on the upright one.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:45PM
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Are Kentucky Wonder Bush reliably stringless?


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Contender and Derby

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:48PM
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cugal(5b-6a NE Ks)

I'm with flowergirl70ks! Contender has long been my old stand by! Must be a Kansas thing! LOL...........

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:22PM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

Is Emerite heirloom or hybrid?

This is my first year growing beans. I'm growing Kentucky Wonder (heirloom) pole beans, and they are growing well and producing a lot. Taste is good too.

How is Emerite compared to Kentucky Wonder.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:31PM
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I haven't grown many varieties. Last year I grew Roc d'Or, which is a yellow wax bean. It produced a lot of beans over a long time. This year I tried goldrush (also a yellow wax bean). Roc d'Or was definitely tastier and more prolific. I will probably do Roc d'Or again next year.

They are both bush types, but I found that Roc d'Or benefited from a little bit of support.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:42PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Is Emerite heirloom or hybrid?"

Some bean varieties (such as "Jumbo") are occasionally described as "hybrids". They may have originally begun that way, but all beans are stable varieties before they are offered for sale. At that point, they are considered to be "open pollinated", or OP. "Emerite" is a commercial OP cultivar. An heirloom is just an OP variety which began outside the seed trade (generally within a family or region) and has stood the test of time.

I love both "Emerite" and the white-seeded "KY Wonder 191". "Emerite" is firmer, sweeter, and very slow to develop fiber. The pods are very round, straight, and consistent in size... which along with the firmness, makes them very good for freezing & canning. It has very good cool-soil germination, and does best for me in cooler summers.

In contrast, "KY Wonder" will develop strings, and needs to be picked when young.. but I love the rich, beany flavor. The vines are exceptionally robust & branch heavily, so the yield from a single picking can be very high. It has fairly poor cool-soil germination, so I need to plant it later... but it has better heat tolerance than "Emerite".

Along with "Fortex", I generally grow one of these three as my main pole snap. I also grow several Romano-type flat-podded beans (mostly heirlooms) and they are very tasty, but they tend not to freeze as well. "Garafal Oro" is my favorite.

Macky77 had mentioned "Improved Tendergreen". Before I became a pole bean addict, I grew them for many years, and still consider them to be a great bean for those who prefer a bush variety. Like "KY Wonder", they need to be picked early... but the pods are good sized, borne abundantly, and freeze well.

Some good "green beans" are purple podded when fresh, but turn green when cooked. Last year, I grew a flat-podded purple heirloom ("Czechoslovakian") and in a summer of record heat, it out-produced all of my other snaps - by a wide margin. This year I am growing "Grandma Robert's Purple Pole" (thanks Fusion), and am very impressed by it. The pods are round, straight, have firm texture, and are borne in considerable numbers. I might be adding it to my permanent snap rotation.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:03PM
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I've grown Contender, Derby, top crop and Ky wonder before - but for the past 4 or 5 years, I've choosen Provider. It produces for over 4 weeks... They just keep flowering and producing like mad.. So this market gardener will continue to stick to provider for the shear quantaty it produces... Not to mention the wonderful flavor. They also stay really tender at a large size which happens often enough. we do miss the small ones from time to time.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:38PM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

We always grow Jade bush beans which continue to produce beans for many pickings, but this year we are also trying Kentucky Blue pole beans. It is apparently a cross between KY Wonder and Blue Lake. Although a cross, Territorial Seeds lists them as open pollinated. Very productive! The beans have a very good flavor, though I do not cook them for a long period of time, so I cannot attest to their flavor when cooked in that manner. Just a few minutes in the steamer for us, a nice coating of olive oil and some salt. Yum!
I will be curious as to their freezing suitability.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kentucky Blue pole beans

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 4:07PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

We picked over 2 pounds of Emerite pole beans yesterday from 11 plants. That seemed like great production to me. We had picked a few earlier and it looks like there will be lots more before long. Zeedman's description of "very round, straight, and consistent in size" is what we found, too. Most every bean was close to "perfect". Glad to hear they freeze well since it looks like even with only a few plants we may have more than the two of us can eat fresh.

This post was edited by naturegirl_2007 on Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 21:33

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Are Kentucky Wonder somewhat flattened (not wide though)? Mine don't look round (cross section) like the Bush Blue Lake. Since they're Burpee seeds, I'm wondering if I got mislabeled packet (has happened with tomatoes). I just got a handful and overcooked them last night b/c I was trying to cook edamame at the same time, so I can't tell flavor.

We do like the BBL, but I can't wait to try some of the other varieties mentioned in this thread!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:33AM
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rockiecarol(4 to 3)

Nash are wonderful for our area, which tends to be hot, windy. Literally hands full of beans when picking. They keep producing and are wonderful fresh, steamed and canned.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Fortex pole beans. They are sweet at any size and are long, too.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Rattlesnake, hands down. 10 out of 10 for flavor.
25 feet this year will easily be 150 next year.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 6:28PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Are Kentucky Wonder somewhat flattened (not wide though)? Mine don't look round (cross section) like the Bush Blue Lake. Since they're Burpee seeds, I'm wondering if I got mislabeled packet (has happened with tomatoes). I just got a handful and overcooked them last night b/c I was trying to cook edamame at the same time, so I can't tell flavor. "

Yes, KY Wonder start out flattened, especially when the pods are young.

I would think that if the beans were cooked along with edamame, that they would be under cooked... or the edamame over cooked. Edamame needs to be be only lightly cooked - for about 5-7 minutes, depending upon the variety & the amount prepared.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 1:49AM
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Thanks, I am trying to pick them young so no strings. And they were in the pot in the boiling water, edamame was in steamer basket above, that's why the beans ended up overcooked (to my taste, I like things pretty underdone, except edamame LOL) after 5 minutes at a hard boil.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:14AM
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