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Pole beans — The Grow Network Community
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Pole beans

blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 378 ✭✭✭

So, do you grow them, and what are your favorites? I usually grow two different heirloom varieties. I'll be ordering in the next day or so. I usually order one I've liked in the past, and one new to me. This year it is probably going to be two old favorites, namely because my favorite seed supplier has one of my favorite beans after several years of not carrying it- Romano pole. I'll also grown Melungeon, which I've grown two years in a row and rather like. Both have such a good flavor. I really want to grow a third, but I don't really have room. But then again, if you make some great recommendations, I might not be able to resist...


  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭


    Red Chinese Noodle Bean

    average length 16 to 22 inches

    beautiful red bean, retains the red if raw in salads etc. Turns green when cooked. Pay load well worth the investment. I get mine at Baker Creek Seed.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm a traditionalist when it comes to beans.

    One of my varieties always has to be Blue Lake. I still feel it has the best flavor and texture when cooked (as long as they get harvested right. They can't stay on the vine too long or they get tough). But then I've also noticed the pole bean variety gives you more than double the harvest than the bush type with the exact same amount of seed. It's happened to me too many years for it to be a fluke.

    But then I always try one or two other varieties every year also but I always go back to Blue Lake as my favorite. Find a good quality seed company and buy the seeds there if you wish to try them. The seeds in the big box stores just don't come anywhere near the quality or flavor of a good seed.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭


    I forgot to mention you can eat the beans raw and graze as you enjoy your walks and work in the garden. They have a mild bean taste and are very good steamed and eaten with taters.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba yes most people don't realize it but all bean varieties can be eaten right off the vine as long as you have harvested them at their prime.

    By that I mean, if you leave them on too long and they get too large or the seeds themselves get too big in the pod they get tough and leathery. If you've left them on the vine to dry (for seed saving) don't even try to eat them. They get hard as a rock inside that pod.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 378 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz I've grown red noodle beans, and I liked them. Do you have trouble with ants attacking the plants?

    @greyfurball Yes, we've had the same experience with pole beans when it comes to yield. Also, I like the longer season, because if we have a bug problem the beans can outlast the bugs. If the bugs hit hard when your bush beans are ready, you're not getting much.

    To be honest, I hadn't thought seriously about blue lake, because it looks like the bean all the farm stands around here sell. I like that kind, but I like to try a variety of flavors. I guess I should ask next summer what kind they are.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 280 ✭✭✭✭

    I always grow purple prodded pole beans because I love the rich color the quick yield and the nieces and nephews think I’m magic when I turn them from purple to green when cooked😉

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 457 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba around our area blue lake used to be the standard also at farmer's markets but when the Kentucky Wonder and the Provider became more "noticeable" a lot of farmer's changed to that since the yield is usually higher than the Blue Lake.

    But the importance level to me, I'll take taste over yield any day of the week. I get a decent return on harvest from Blue Lake but I get much better flavor. At a market though I guess they are more interested in money than quality.

  • teachercarynteachercaryn Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 200 ✭✭✭

    Yard long green or purple and regular pole beans @blevinandwomba they are my favorite. The yard-longs, I tried in Latin America for eating, they cook up nice. Then in zone 4 in MN they grew lovely.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭


    Funny you should mention ants.. Yes they were all over where the bean meets the blossom. I just bent the bean at its point and brushed off the ants and left them be. I grew mine on cattle pannel arches and the long dark red beans with the beautiful blue/lavender blooms were stunning. I really enjoyed eating/grazing them as I took account of the garden in the mornings.

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 150 ✭✭✭

    Hands down, our favorite variety of pole beans is rattlesnake. It produces even in the humid mid-Atlantic summers and when the weather cools just a bit, it produces a ridiculous amount of beans. They will keep producing well right up until frost. Beans are one crop in which we have achieved self sufficiency. With a 40 foot row of beans, we can have them 3 times a week in season and have plenty left to freeze for our family of five.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 775 admin

    Yep rattlesnake here, too! But, as for climbing peas, Dixie Lee... hands down!!! I'm a legume fanatic... nothing matches Dixie Lee... even the pot liquor from the beans is so good, like gravy that you just have to sop up with cornbread!!!

  • Mary Linda BittleMary Linda Bittle Posts: 507 ✭✭✭✭

    I have not grown pole beans yet. Seems like a good next project for me. Thanks for naming your favorite varieties for this novice!

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle

    Baker creek seed has a bean I'm getting ready to order seeds for. Let me describe it (never grown it or tasted it before but it is really different as you'll see by their description, and then if you're interested in seeing a pix you can go to their web site or just i search it):

    Chinese python snake bean, aka snake melon or snake gourd

    Grows up to 60 inches long and 1.5 inches thick. when harvested 12 to 30 inches long it can be used like green beans or summer squash. Needs sturdy trellising and is fairly expensive as is fairly rare in the US. I"m going to check reviews before I spend $3 for 5 seeds, but you should treat yourself to a look at this plant on their web site. There is more in the catalogue description but it shounds like the beans are pretty good with a variety of ways to fix. One of the main reasons I would get seed and grow it is becaues of the huge payload, and the unique way they look hugely growing on the fence or trellis.

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 150 ✭✭✭

    We grew the python gourds last summer. They are gourds, not beans, so nutritionally I don't know if they would have what you're looking for. They were kind of a fun novelty; little kids get a kick out of them. In my opinion they were sort of tedious to prepare. The one video that I watched said that the white bloom needed to be scraped off, then the seeds and inner fluff need to be removed. After that they are cut into chunks and cooked. They were nice in a vegetable curry. I don't know if they will make it into the lineup this year or not. They have kind of a funky smell, too. I didn't notice it once they were cooked, but raw there is definitely an odor.

  • teachercarynteachercaryn Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 200 ✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba I love yard longs both green and purple varieties. Ever since living in a rainforest jungle, I fell in love with these delicious beans. Eat right off the vine or steam them and yummy! Not certain of their exact names though

  • Mary Linda BittleMary Linda Bittle Posts: 507 ✭✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz those are kind of scary! I can see how they could be fun, especially if the garden is visible from the street. I hope you try them and report back to us.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 253 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2019

    @blevinandwomba I like Cherokee Trail of Tears pole bean. The flowers are a pretty pink, the seeds are shiny black, and they can be grown in containers - you know, just in case you are out of room in the garden 😉 I got mine from Seed Savers in Decorah, Iowa.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 355 ✭✭✭

    I grew Scarlet Runner beans last year and really liked the flavor and they were productive. I will admit, I mostly just liked the way they looked!

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 378 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the input, everyone. I actually ordered a few weeks ago- melungeon and romano pole. I didn't get a third one, but I'll keep you all's suggestions in mind for next year.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭

    @Gail H

    Thanks for your review. I think I'll invest in another type lol. I want something beautiful, tasty, healthy and productive.

    The red chinese noodle bean i grew for the first time this past summer was amazing, productive beautiful tasty raw and steamed, I have yet to try stir fried...

    Thanks to you all for every suggestion and input.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭
  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba My favorites to grow are Kentucky Wonder Snap Pole Beans. They can grow up to 15 feet tall...when I last grew them they reached over 8' feet but I didn't have anything tall enough at the time to let them keep growing tall. I plan to grow more next year.

    Have a Happy New Year!

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 378 ✭✭✭

    Happy New Year to you too, @Obiora E - and the rest of Yoons. (Is that how you spell it? I don't know. Its central PA for Y'all.)

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba Thank you! I am not sure of how you spell it...it is not something that I am familiar with but I definitely know y'all!

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    I have not grown pole beans in years. I should have some Kentucky Wonder beans according to my seed list, which I know I need to double check. I am excited to plant them again and see if I notice that much of a difference in production. I usually do Bush beans.

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