- Jan 12, 2013
- Reaction score
- Woodstock, Illinois Zone 5
In my experience, the qualities that make a good snap bean are fickle. Even a cross between two good snap beans can produce an F1 of inferior quality. When I first began saving bean seed, I planted all of my beans together. I had a cross occur between Fortex and Kentucky Wonder #191, that was flat-podded, and fibrous to the point where it was inedible. A cross between a stringed but tender heirloom, and a stringless but hulled snap bean probably would not turn out well.
To those on this forum who grow bean crosses (segregations) do you sample the results as snaps? If so, what results have you experienced?
I guess I got lucky with my Blue Jay. When I found the beans outcrossed seeds for the first time in 1977 in Comtesse De Chambord. CDC was surrounded for several seasons with modern commercial varieties. Blue Jay wound up stringless and according to Canadians who grow the bean a lot, of good flavor and very productive for a bush bean. One thing I found out about Blue Jay I hadn't known for years is that there was a Canadian company selling Blue Jay to it's customers that were all using it as a dry bean. They didn't realize it had snap bean use. I tried Blue Jay as a dry bean and sure enough it does make a decent dry bean too.
Last summer I cooked up and ate the heirloom snap bean Buckskin Girl. I found it to be a nice stringless bean. I also tried a number of Robert Lobitz's snap beans. They too were all stringless. I grow my stringless snap beans in a plot only with other stringless snap beans. I will continue testing more of them each season.