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I have been growing pole beans for many years, and never encountered any problems with critters in our Urban Potoger bothering them, but this year I started pole beans 5 times! The tops were eaten just when they were about to attach to vertical supports this year. I was so frustrated and just about ready to quit, but I am not a quitter. I will keep trying till I get something right, or figure out why something is not working.I finally used my biodegradable containers to start my pole beans in since that would get them off the ground. The containers were about a foot tall and wide. Then I put some netting up around the plants to keep the starts protected, and lastly I put the containers  up where our dogs play catch and hang out most of the day.
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Once I set the pole beans up by the house they were left alone by the critters in the garden. I then found a bamboo pole trellis that I put next to my pots and started training the vines up the trellis. It was a bit of an odd place and cramped, but the critters were leaving them alone. Pole beans have a shallow root system, so I did not need a deep container. That is a plus for people growing in small spaces. We now have an abundance of pole beans. They are still growing beautifully in late August, but due to being in a container you have to make sure they are watered every day for, If you skip a day their leaves will suffer.
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This year we grew Heirloom Gold Marie Vining Pole Beans(75 days) which is described by many as  Golden Romano beans. I was eager to try this bean since it was almost extinct but due to the hard work of backyard seed savers we have this wonderful heirloom still available to us today.
They were started up near the house on an arbor to start with so they were not as bothered by the critters. They are a lovely lemony yellow color and very pretty growing vertically.
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They also keep their wonderful yellow color when you cook them. They are a flattened pod which when they get large on the vine never are stringy. One of my pet peeves is stringy beans!
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If you are like me, I sometimes get busy and forget to pick Pole beans soon enough before they get too large. I also have found pole beans do not like our humid + hot summers in the midwest.. Last year we had a terrible drought here in Zone 5 midwest. I lost all my pole beans, but one which was a pretty heirloom pole bean called Rattlesnake. It was the only pole bean to handle the drought. I enjoyed picking them since they were a lovely purple streaked green bean. Easy to see in the garden. They are a bit more meaty than the Marie Vining, and you can’t let them get too large on the vine.
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I decided to grow Trionfo Violetto Pole bean this summer. This bean has a beautiful purple vine and attractive leaves that are a lovely dark green. I feel the Violetto pole bean is the most attractive plant of the 3 I grew this summer. The vines were very thick compared to the other pole beans I have grown.
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I love picking  purple pole beans in the garden, I never lose them when I  lay them down on the ground…..
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They loook great mixed with Golden Marie Vining Pole beans…
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I LOVE the purple color of these beans.
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They are one of the best tasting beans I have tried…I  just wish they would keep their purple color after cooking.,,,,then they would be the perfect bean!

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

4 comments

  1. Your photography is fantastic, in this , and all of your posts. How beautiful the purple and yellow beans! Interesting about the heirloom seeds too. Next year I will try some beans, it is good to know that they don´t require much soil , because my urban garden is on the roof and balcony and everything has to grow in pots.

    1. Thank you– I found out this summer how well pole beans do in a planter. I used two round containers and put about 7 vines in them and just trained them up the trellis which was behind the pots. Something you could do very easily on a balcony or roof. I look forward to seeing what you grow next year. You can train the vines to grow where you want that is what is so neat about pole beans. We grew food on city lots when I was young, but no one every told me you could grow vegetables in pots. I learned that when I got older and read a lot more about growing your own food where you are at:-)

  2. I have not had super luck with beans in planters (although no issues with pod peas, oddly–but they are spring/fall). Thinking that perhaps our summers are a bit too hot/humid for them, too? I am not giving up but will keep adjusting the water/sun levels next year and see how it goes. Thx for sharing your veggie tales!

    1. This summer was one of the first times I grew them in pots up near our house. I used a biodegrable foot 1/2 tall x foot 1/2 wide pot and it seemed to work ,but the key seems to be not to let the soil get too dry. I put some mulch in the pot to cover shallow roots, and that seemed to help a bit. I found a ground hog lives on the other side of my fence. I found him out there yesterday eating my pears that fell to the ground, and munching on my beet seedlings! He was so darn cute, but so destructive.:-)

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