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I used to grow Ky Wonder, but they are very stringy when they are let grow just a little big. 3 years ago I discovered Kwintus- got seeds from Park seed catalog, and LOVE them..No matter how big they get they are tender and no strings. I saved some seed last year- good thing because Parks is out of them this year. I have Googled and found them elsewhere, and also found that ther were once named "early riser". So if you can find them try them. Parks also sells "Smerelda" which they substituted last year, and they are very good, too.
Many varieties do not have pronounced strings if you pick them young. I usually grow Ky.Wonder or Blue Lake, but last year I had such a good yield of Rattlesnake beans, I'm going to make them my main crop this year.
Burpee's 'Stringless', Johnny's 'Fortex', and many other varieties are touted as stringless but I have not tried them. You can find others by searching for "stringless bean seed" on the web.
Don, I am aware that beans are stringless when small, but I prefer a little size on them- they are tastier that way. Also, there are always beans that get away even if you pick daily, and I don't want to throw those away- that is why I look for stringless.I also prefer the texture of the flat beans to the round type.
For me, that's the hard part. I try to start them early in c old, wet soil. At first I thought something was eating the seeds or seedlings. Now I think they rot before they "hatch". Later sowing in warmer, drier soil come up fine.
This year I'll start some indoors and plant them out as seedlings!
Thanks for the info on the stringless beans. I'm aiming to keep to mostly heirloom this year just for the heck of it -- just to say I did, mostly . I was happy to discover that Kentucky Wonder is heirloom, since I have been growing it for a couple of years now. I am not bothered by strings, anyway. I just take care of that when I am preparing them for dinner. I guess if I grew a whole lot of them and canned them, it would be a different story.
Speaking of growing beans for a few years, I tend to like to grow them in the same latticed area each year and am a little concerned about any problems that could arise. If anyone has advice about replanting in the same spot, please share. Thanks.
The only problem I get is "bugs"" I know I am not suppose to grow them in the same place either , not a lot of choice here..
As long as the technique , or placement works , go with it ..
I have seen KW bean vines growing wild in past years ,not here , other places..
Realizing that does not help much with your question...
Over in the Tomato forum, Carolyn gave some good advice about soil pests, disease and rotation.
- Each pest and disease has a different tolerance for each region, micro-climate and soil type.
- If you don't have a problem, don't worry about that problem.
On the other hand, if you DO have a problem with specific pests or diseases, try rotation as a way to control it. Even if the problem only occurs in some years, it MIGHT be worth the trouble to keep it rare and prevent it from getting worse.
But it's only worth it if there is a problem needing to be fixed, and if rotating DOES help that problem.
In small yards, it might take a lot of standing on our heads and running around the barn to find 2, 3 or 4 different spots for each crop! I have trouble finding one sunny spot. So far I've grown Brassicas and snow peas in the same spots for several years ... wish me continued good luck, or I'll have to give them up!
I never have any problems with growing beans in the same place- I pretty much have to because my trellises are permanent. Even when I grow some in other places, the spider mites jump on them, so the bugs are not there waiting- they are gonna run to where something is growing!
I have a neighbor who doesn't let plants live unless they thrive and look good quickly. If ti doesn't do well right away in spot, she'll move it once to give it one more chance. Then OUT with them! (She made a throat-cutting gesture as she told me her policy).
So now I call her Attila The Gardener.
But not to her face! If she does that to her own plants, WHAT would she do to a mere neighbor?
I heard the word has been passed to the worms from MIB , They will show up at Ricks for the beer shortly , They had to stop for smokes ,while giving the weather a chance to warm up and the games to start...
They like the straws to to spit beans and peas at everyone also...
As I recall that was the worms favorite lol Let us hope our peas and beans are not their favorite this year ..
I am also thinking the DE pellets might work better than the dust for that , at least at the rarity of times when it does rain.
I will try a few other watering techniques also , I need to change a few things .. about my habits with the plants...
You all are wonderful! DonShirer, I went with Johnny's Fortex. I read reviews on Fortex on the web and for the most part, everyone said that they had no strings and that their taste was wonderful even when mature with large seeds.
OK, now I'm going to post another thread regarding watermelons, and pumpkins. Then I should have gleened enough wisdom from you all to have an outstanding garden this coming summer!
Wish I could give you all a hug!
Thanks so much for your help!
Coming late to this thread, here's another vote for Fortex. They are our favorite green bean and we've grown them for years. But this year I'm trying something new because last year my beans didn't do as well and many were hollow. A friend said she found the same thing with the beans she bought from their local farm stand, but I figured it was time to give Fortex a vacation. Another problem I had had with them was that I grew both those and Pelandron, a bush bean with purple streaks, and I noticed some crossing with the seeds I'd saved. Anyway, Fortex freezes well and even the larger beans are excellent. I usually cook those with a little onion and/or pork or bacon drippings and let them get soft and slightly caramelized. We all love them that way.
Another great green pole bean similar to Fortex is Emerite. Both varieties seem to produce all summer until frost here. Both are similar to the French bush string beans - long and thin but are pole beans and much easier to harvest as a result. My husband prefers the Emerite to the Fortex but I like both. No matter how long they get, they stay nice and crisp, even though I try to harvest when smaller.
He thought the Fortex was a little tougher which may be true since it can get very long if left unharvested. He prefers the long really thin French Filet types. Emerite never got tough even when I missed some in picking. I saved some Emerite seeds from two years ago but need to get more after this year. I will use up the Fortex as well and then replace them with the Emerite again.
Here are some companies that carry the Emerite Pole Beans. There are also several articles if you Google comparing the Fortex and Emerite varieties. It's, as usual, a matter of personal taste.
Pinetree usually does have the best prices but they don't give you many seeds, which is fine by me because I don't need that many. I ordered some favas and limas from Landreth last year, though, and while the packets were supposed to hold forty seeds each, I think, they only had half that much, and when I wrote to them they never answered.
This year I'm trying a bush bean just to give myself a break from pole beans. Maybe I'll try Emerite next year, though. Thanks.
While I love the flavor of many of the French Filet Bush Beans once I tried the Filet Pole Beans I realized what a relief it was on my back! I also didn't have to do any succession planting as the Pole Beans just keep churning out until frost!
Even buying 2 packs of the Pinetree Emerite (60 seeds total) would be cheaper than the Scheepers. But Scheepers has outstanding quality. I understand Landreth has been going through touch times and almost went out of business last year. Sounds like they need to get their act together!
I checked out garadore's recommendation for Renee's French Gold pole beans and figured I would give them a try. Two things I have read about pole beans were they are more flavorful than bush beans, but they take longer to develop. For me that usually means a late season crop but so be it.
I plan to grow pole beans along side of my sweet corn which only grows about five feet tall, but I just keep wrapping the vines around the corn stock if they grow longer than five feet.
However, I am experimenting with a new method of seeding which involves transplanting bean sprouts. There are some seeds which are typically direct seeded like peas and beans which I have read will transplant if you don't let them get too big. Some suggest transplanting such seeds at one true set of leaves. I am experimenting with some old been and pea seed now using a cold water start method to see if I can transplant pre-sprouted pea and bean seeds in this manner. This is actually a two step transplant process which will obviously be stressful to the seedlings.
I think you will really like the French Gold if you like yellow beans. Renee used to carry another variety mixed with the Emerite called Ramdor. I liked them a lot too but can only find them at Solana (Canadian Company) and had to order 2 packs because there are only 20 seeds in each pack. Fortunately I saved some two years ago and still have a few. solanaseeds.netfirms.com/beans.html
I never paid much attention to whether the pole beans developed later compared to bush beans but once they start going they don't stop!! I guess one could plant both, starting the bush beans as early as possible - then you have all your bases covered!
My only experiment trying to start beans inside didn't do too well. I had a packet of older ones and wanted to see if they were still viable so started them in wet paper towels. The ones that germinated I transferred outdoors but I think bugs got to them. Only a couple of them grew. I probably would have done better to start them in pots inside. Hope it works for you!
gardadore, your latter comment about bean seeds spouted between wet paper towels, then potting up before transplanting them to the garden is the tricky point in this process. There are lots of variables here including the height of the corn plants, soil temperature, and so forth. Timing will be crucial if it works at all. I plant only treated cool climate corn seed and direct seeding of pole beans when the corn is about six inches tall if still really iffy. I have planted both Blue Lake and KW pole beans this way with limited germination success and still get a pretty good crop.
I have learned not to put all my eggs in one basket. I planted several varieties of bush beans last season from seed packets which I saved from a year or two before and still had an excellent crop. I did however purchase a half pound of Jade green beans last year and only got ten plants from five successive plantings. I still had a few beans left which I am experimenting with using a cold water starting procedure to see what happens. I have no reason to believe any of them will sprout but I need to try them along with some other saved bean seeds from a couple of years ago.
Towards the end of our short season I have discovered some of the missed, larger pole beans grown in the corn rows to be stringy, but frankly I don't care. I still use these in my mother's recipe with grean beans, potatoes, oinions, and bacon. Apparently a recipe from KY where my grandparents came from. We grow a number of different types of beans, both bush and pole varieties, as well as some dried beans. Lesson learned is no longer will I purchase beans in bulk or from any company owned by Monsanto, and nothing but heirloom seed.
One thing I have found with direct seeding beans - I need to cover them against birds. And I do use an inoculant. Despite all that I have lost bush bean crops to cutworms and other critters eating off the tops (slugs, maybe). Gardening is always a challenge! But with the pole beans I seem to have better luck against in-ground critters - don't know why! Will be interested to hear how the cold water method works!
After having my Fortex and Pelandron beans cross-pollinate I decided to grow only one variety a year if I want to save seeds, which I routinely do. Do the rest of you find that happening, or don't you save bean seeds?
It was okay but I preferred both varieties unadulterated. The Pelandron are bush beans - very prolific with a somewhat thick pod and purple blotches. What I ended up with were pole beans that were broader than the usual Fortex, with the purple blotches rather than Fortex's solid green.
I use Sluggo Plus on my green beans because pill bugs are a problem.
But you have also reminded me of something else I do, since my row is small, and that works even more reliably, although it's fiddly. I ring each seedling with a collar made of a cut-up Solo cup. I don't think I've ever lost one that had one of those collars. Good for small rows, anyway.
I plant out my tomatoes and peppers and eggplants in toilet paper rolls cut in half across their length, or paper towel rolls cut in thirds or quarters. I've used diatomaceous earth for pill bugs but you have to be careful not to inhale it.