I'm looking for a tasty string bean. I much prefer bush beans, but the most common response to my question about tasty beans was Fortex, an haricot verts climber. Has anyone found a tastier bush bean than Fortex? Or has anyone decided Fortex beats all?
One of the gals on the "what's for dinner" threads swears by Fortex. I've never grown them but would like to so I can compare them to Kentucky Wonder's.
My mother always had blue lake (grown by my step-father) but the 2nd year here in this garden I grew KY Wonder beans and was blown away by the taste. Part of that may be attributed to the high brix because of the growing medium.
Are Kentucky Wonder reliably stringless? I believe that's what my parents grew and I always remember pole beans, so that was likely. Lots of people have praised the taste, but I don't go back to them because I remember hours of stringing beans.
I have grown both pole beans (Fortex) and bush beans (Jade is the variety I like). I think the bush beans... at least Jade vs. Fortex. Jade is much tastier... sweeter. I notice mainly only when eating the beans raw.. right off the vine. After a quick steam... I can't notice much difference.
Neither of them, are stringy at all... Unless of course... you wait too long to pick them and then they get tough.
I started with pole beans... then moved to just bush beans for three years, and this year... I did both. I'm still debating about next year. I think pole beans are easier to harvest... just not so much Flopping.. and bending for me... But Bush beans win on taste for raw eating.
Hope that helps!
Throw Emerite into contention as well. It is an outstanding green filet pole bean to rival Fortex. We tend to prefer it but it is a hard call. One nice thing about pole beans is that they are easy to pick and go on producing as long as they are picked. We don't tend to eat our beans raw so I don't miss the bush varieties (at least my back doesn't!) I now grow continuously producing beans in a very small space. But it is true that there are certainly some wonderful bush varieties.
I'll join into the bush bean fray as I really like green beans.
Not only are they easy for me to grow, but I just really like eating them. DH thinks I'm nuts (not just about the green beans ☺), but he bemusedly tolerates my green bean lust as the doctor has put him on cholesterol meds and told him he needs to change his diet. So green beans have been hitting the dinner table lately and he has actually been eating them. I'm finding more recipes with less butter and bacon and I'm not just cooking them for myself now. My older son is also a green bean lover but we are empty nesters so for a while I was just cooking the green beans for me. That being said, I'll trying any green bean offered just to seen what it is like. I just can't seem to resist. I do love the pole beans, including the flat Italian style. But I always include any number for bush beans as I like to freeze them for winter. Plus I can plant some now and get a crop before the days grow too short for green beans.
I've found that I really like the Blue Lake 274 offered by Victory Seeds and Willhite. Also Contender, which is probably the very easiest to grow and even more prolific than Blue Lake--if that can be believed. I think both are excellent and reliable staple bush beans with great taste and freeze well. Next I like Top Crop and Maxibel. I'll grow any of the French style beans, but for me Maxibel seems to do best in my climate and soil conditions. I don't think that the French style green beans freeze as well. But that may just be me. I have grown Fortex and would grow it again. But for me Maxibel just edges out Fortex in taste and you said you were looking for a bush bean.
I tried Slenderette and several purple beans this year. Slenderette did well and I like Nana Purple the best of the purples this year. This was my first year growing the purples so that may change next year under different weather conditions.
Next year I am going to grow Landreth's Stringless as I've heard quite a bit about that one and haven't tried it yet.
I think that green beans tend to taste a bit different depending on one's soil and growing conditions, LAS14, so experimentation is the key to settling on a few good varieties in one's own garden. I also grow pole beans...as I said--I really do like to grow and eat green beans. Snort, LOL!