Sunday, June 6, 2010

More Pole Beans!

Is it possible to ever have enough fresh snap beans? I have 2 teepees and an 8-foot long A-frame trellis planted with pole beans.. yet, I find that I need to plant 'just a few more'.. I love them so much! We grow a variety of pole beans - green, yellow and purple types - they're so pretty, the kids will eat them straight from the vines as they play in the garden.

Pole beans are also a great way to get more out of your garden. In the same amount of space, you can harvest 2 to 3X more beans on vining pole plants than from bush types. That's a huge advantage! Once our pole bean structures are set up each spring, I then seed some quick growing arugula and baby lettuces beneath the teepees and trellises. These cool season crops normally protest the heat of summer by bolting (going to seed), but tend to do well in the partial shade of the pole bean supports.

In regards to the pole beans themselves, I'd love to grow more - many many more, but we're limited by space. So, our favourites are:
  • Emerite - This is a french filet pole type that never goes 'beany' no matter how long it's been hanging around! The round, stringless beans are incredibly tender when picked as a baby filet crop or super crisp and delicious when left to mature to 10-inch long pods! Plus, the vigorous vines are hardy, quick growing and super productive.
  • Fortex - This is said by many to be the best green bean in cultivation.. Who am I to disagree? Fortex does rival Emerite as my top bean - both have round, green pods, can be picked as ultra-thin filets or can be left to mature and still be great eating.. Steam briefly and toss with butter and salt.. A garden feast!
  • Purple Podded Pole - An heirloom bean with gorgeous jewel-toned pods that turn bright green when cooked - my kids call them 'magic beans' for their ability to change colour. The pods grow up to 8 inches long and are deliciously flat. The foliage is tinged in purple and makes a striking architectural element in a kitchen garden. Oh yes, they also taste great!
Happy Gardening!

1 comment:

  1. I love to grow more beans... but my current experience is limited with just winged beans. Will try others soon... ~bangchik


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