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Darius - Truly enjoyed your piece on Kentucky Wonder pole beans, and loved to hear about your "Farmer's Ferrari". I also grow Kentucky Wonder beans, but I have always planted the bush type. Is there much difference in the taste or productivity of the pole variety and the bush type ? Is it more the ease of harvesting that make the pole bean better for you, or are there other reasons you prefer the pole variety ? Happy gardening. Harv Daniel - Sterling Heights, MI z-5/6
Harv, this is the first time I have ever grown beans myself (2 kinds of pole beans) so I have no experience with the bush varieties. I helped my step-father in their garden but he only grew blue lake bush beans (which I find bland). I basically chose pole beans for maximum use of the space on the existing tall trellis made from cattle panels. I think I had either 8 or 10 plants and the horizontal space they occupied was only 1 foot by 10 feet. All the production was vertical.
From my research on the finer details, I have the impression there should be no difference in taste between pole and bush KY Wonders. Bush beans generally produce all their beans at once, unlike pole beans. My KY Wonder beans started coming in during early August, and now at the end of September, I see that they are still flowering and producing a few beans... not a heavy crop, but enough for a meal anyway.
The average weight of a bushel of pole beans is 28 pounds. From those 8-10 plants, I canned 2 dozen jars of beans, froze about 1/4 that many, ate lots and lots of fresh beans, gave some away, and have at least 2-3 quarts dried 'shelly' beans. So I'd estimate I probably had close to 2 bushels altogether.