Pole vs. Bush Beans

vfem

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I prefer the pole beans myself, but only for fresh eating green beans. My grandpa swore by Blue Lake, and after I tried the kentucky blue I now stick with grandpa's recommendation.

I do black beans as bush beans, because I can get 2 crops grown and dried in one season here. They take up a whole bed since they are bush beans and not tall enough to trellis. I don't think I've ever seen them offered as pole varieties though anyways? :/
 

hoodat

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If you have limited ground space, as I do, the pole beans are far better. They take very little garden space since all of the growth is in the air. My trellises for beans and peas are permanent and double as a wind shelter for my rabbit cages. When I don't have them covered with beans they also come in handy for my pickling cucumbers.
 

skeeter9

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Last year I grew only bush beans. I staggered the planting by about 2 weeks (planted 3 different times)and ended up harvesting beans for a good 6 weeks before the gophers and voles ate the roots off of everything! The only downside was that harvesting was a little difficult, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. Yummy!
 

Jared77

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Im a BIG fan of pole beans. I grew Kentucky Wonders and was thrilled with them. Big stringless beans that tasted great and produced a TON of beans. I did pole beans initially because bush beans around here get the blossoms eaten off them by rabbits, and woodchucks so you'll get big healthy plants without a single bean in the row. We liked being able to harvest fresh beans all summer long and we still had plenty to can. If it was me Id do pole beans, and Id definitely do pole beans if I was the least big pressed for space.

I did a simple teepee type of trellis too. I got some rubber coated rods that were 5' high and I put 6 of them together leaning in like a teepee and zip-tied the top to hold them together. I had a couple that I had to tie to the pole to get trained but once on the pole they shot up I swear you could watch them grow. I had beans produced all the way up till the first hard frost and am a believer in them.
 

cwhit590

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The last few years I've grown both pole and bush beans. This past year I did Kentucky Wonder pole and Blue Lake pole and bush beans.

Like others have mentioned...

I like the bush beans because they mature faster....and the plants are compact so the rows stay tidy. They do peter out faster...and they are more vulnerable to the critters.

The pole beans are nice since they produce for a longer period, and you don't have to bend to pick them. They do take a while to get going....and sometimes my rows get pretty overgrown by the end of the season...I have to bushwack my way thru sometimes...:rolleyes: .....probably shouldn't plant them so tight.

So yeah...I like to have both around for their different attributes. I noticed that my bush beans lasted just about all season for me this year...which was surprising...I don't know if it was the weather or their placement or what...but they did very well!
 

HunkieDorie23

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Steve is right about the second harvest. I have only gotten to do it twice and the second is never as productive I think because it is cooler. If I can't get them planted by Aug 1st it's a no go for second planting. I may do peas this year because it sounds why easier.
 

kmoranjr1

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I plant bush beans here in SE Mass and they do very well ( as long as the woodchucks don't get to them). We are able to get 2 crops in per season in the same spot. Each crop gives us 1 large harvest and a second smaller a week or so later. Plenty of beans for my family.
 

seedcorn

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Great discussion, now what varieties as that can make a huge difference. I planted 3 different types last year, with tenderette being by far the best altho Contender was a lot earlier. I'll use both tenderette and Contender again this year. BlueLake 274 were disappointing. So what would be a great pole type to try and why do you like it?
 

Ridgerunner

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I grow Blue Lake mainly because my wife tells me to. She's not happy with the smell or taste of anything else after I grew Blue Lake. That's one of the very few crops I grow that she influences the variety. She's that happy with the taste and smell.

My Blue Lake pole beans do produce prettty well and last a day or two longer on the vine before they get tough and stringy than some other varieties I've grown. I've also grown Kentucky Wonder. They produce real well but I find I get more shelley beans with them. That's where the pods go too tough to eat green but the bean has developed enough that you can hull them and throw them in with the green beans. Shelley's are not yet dried beans so they cook up real well. I like shelley beans, I think they add a nice nutty flavor, but they really slow you down when you are breaking them.

Those are the only two I'd recommend you try from my experience and you were disappointed with the Blue Lake. But different varieties grow differently in different places, as you well know.
 

digitS'

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Ridgerunner said:
I grow Blue Lake mainly because my wife tells me to. She's not happy with the smell or taste of anything else after I grew Blue Lake. That's one of the very few crops I grow that she influences the variety. . .
Ha! My wife tells me NOT to grow Kentucky Wonder because they are "ugly" and to grow Jade because they are "pretty!" I don't know what the appearance has to do with anything . . . (Of course, I'm the guy who doesn't like some things because of their names :rolleyes:.)

Greencrop is a first choice for flavor. Some seed catalogs describe Greencrop as a Romano but as best as I can tell, the parents of Greencrop were not classed as Romano beans or, at least, one of them "Bountiful" was a snap bean. But, Greencrop is a bush bean - flat, homely, very productive, and with lots of flavor.

The purple-podded beans have flavor. I have liked Purple Queen. And, the pole bean, which I think was just called "Purple Pod" did fine.

For about 5 or 6 years, I grew what was probably Oregon Giant pole beans and they aren't especially attractive in shape but if you like speckled pods . . . Last season, I bought Rattlesnake (aka Cascade Giant). Cascade Giant is supposed to be an improvement on OR Giant but I noticed very little difference. I pretty much eat these beans by myself . . . DW doesn't like their looks :rolleyes:.

Wax beans just don't have enuf flavor for me and since DW has never shown them much interest . . .

Steve ;)
 
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