I am jumping for joy singing ” Beans Beans Banana Bambo Beans!It is all about the pole beans this summer! Last summer, I had to start my beans 4 times since the critters kept eating the tops off ALL of my beans when they reached a foot tall. I then started them in containers and the chipmunks climbed up the containers and munched away while I watched! If they were not so darn cute it would have been more frustrating, but I love all their antics in my gardening running here and there, and I do have other critters that keep them in check, so I don’t mind them that much.
I finally gave up on my bush beans after 3 attempts and moved my pole bean trellis up near the house where my dogs lay in the sun. Banana Bambo, I got beans!!!It was a bit late, but I did get a short harvest towards the end of the summer, but the little critters left the beans alone, finally!
Growing in small spaces means having to adapt to new approaches + experimenting until you get it right. I have grown many types of bush + pole beans on our city lot, but I only found one-bush bean that I really liked and that was Dragon Langerie Bush Wax Bean, which is also known as Dragon Tongue Bush Bean. I only grow them if I need to put a cover crop in the area and work the bean plants into the soil after the season.
I primarily grow pole beans since I do not have a lot of space. Pole beans also take up less space + you have a longer time to harvest throughout the summer. I grow many of my crops vertically. I have found pole beans to be one of our main crops in the summer + I can’t imagine a summer without fresh pole beans!
My all time favorite pole bean is Gold Marie Vining (75 days) which is a beautiful color of banana yellow or as some growers describe “a canary romano type” pole bean. This bean was almost extinct but due to a bunch of backyard gardeners they saved this old heirloom bean. These beans have a ‘buttery texture” to their taste, oh my gosh, they can get over 7 inches long and they are flat ( like a romano), and they are never stringy. That is one of my requirements, I hate stringy beans.You do not even need butter or salt on these beans they are that good!
I grew two purple beans this year, but this is the second year for Trionfo Violetto French (75 days) type pole bean. I love the vines on Trionfo Violetto they are strong and have thick vines that wrap beautifully around a trellis. They also have a beautiful deep green heart-shaped leaf that just stands out in the garden. They have a lovely nutty bean flavor that is something you look forward to every summer + never tire eating many times. I enjoy picking them since my favorite color is purple.
This year I decided to try Blue Coco Pole Beans ( 72 days) and they are a pre-1775 French heirloom named for its chocolate colored seeds and bluish-purple pods. The green leaves are tinged with a lovely purple and they can be used as a snap, shell or dry bean. I use them mostly for fresh eating, but this year I may leave some on the vines to try as a dry bean. I found mine to be more mottled in their purple color than the Trionfo Violetto which is fine with since I enjoy the fact they are very prolific! I pick a batch and within a few days I have another basket full! They do need to be picked around 5 inches, but I have not found them too stringy when I forget them on the vine!
We had a terrible drought in 2012 and Rattlesnake Pole Bean ( 70 days) was the only bean standing in my garden. All my pole beans dried up and would not bloom during the many weeks of drought even after daily watering. This heirloom bean continued producing until our first frost.
The name Rattlesnake comes from the purple streaking that resemble markings of a rattlesnake.
I let my Grandpa Ott Morning Glory vines roam throughout the pole beans,but this year it is getting a bit thick with all the rain we have had+ it is hard to keep up with the morning-glory vines + they are starting to crowd out my pole beans.
The combination of purple/white bean flowers ,,,,
+ Morning Glory flowers is beautiful for the morning-glory open in the morning + close in the afternoon….I have not been on my computer much this summer since growing more food is taking more of my time + sitting down at the computer is a bit hard this summer….to all my friends over the cyber fence, please forgive me if my post + reading of your blogs this summer is not as frequent, I just am busy trying to keep up with growing + weeding!! All this rain + cool weather means a lot more weeds!