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Re: Has-beans? support bush beans?

  • Subject: [cg] Re: Has-beans? support bush beans?
  • From: Don Boekelheide <dboekelheide@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 11:23:57 -0700 (PDT)

Hi, all,

Had to say something about beans, too. Toot my own
horn, or something. Anyway, most of the bush beans I
grow (Contender, Provider, Dragon's Tongue (because it
looks so cool) don't need staking, but do sprawl all
over the place. I've thought of using 'pea brush'
supports like I've done for sugar and snow peas, but
never got around to it. But I now mostly grow pole
beans, because they give over a longer period, which
is great for home and community gardeners who eat most
of their produce. My current favorite bean is Helda,
from Johnny's. Wow, is it tasty! And it keeps going
and going and going... I also grow Kentucky Blues,
which do better for me than Kentucky Wonder - why I
don't know - and a 'half runner' bean that we've saved
in our family (it was bred to go half way up a
cornstalk, and I do plant it with corn when I have
space). My pole beans occasionally take a while to
start climbing, but when they go, they go like mad. I
don't usually tie them, though I've been known to tie
some jute strings to dangle down to the seedlings from
the trellis. I do have cross-pieces on trellises I
make, or I use 'teepees' out of rough wood. Bean vines
might slide off something straight and slick, I think,
like poles made of conduit.

Other beans:

If you have a long season, it is fun to grow your own

My favorite last year was edible soybean, edamame.
Wow, everyone, it is so good! Boiled, like boiled
peanuts, but better. They, a bit like blackeyed peas,
are fairly easy to harvest.

I'm 'curator' of a historical veggie garden this year
(ca. 1840), and have found that even in the South,
Americans originally thought of 'beans' as 'fava' or
'broad' beans, as opposed to 'snap' or 'string' beans.
Favas stand up straight and don't make a vine like
bush or pole beans. Favas will grow down here, but do
better in cooler milder areas. Out West along the
coast and in the UK (and elsewhere?) they also make a
fine cover crop.

Last but not least are the flowering beans, like
lablab. Nothing is more spectacularly pretty on a
trellis, arbor or fence.

Don Boekelheide
Charlotte, NC

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