Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bush Beans and Pole Beans

These are my beautiful bean vines.  [That's the morning sun hitting the trees behind them. And you can just see the chicken coop on the right.] 

Last year I saved some seeds from the beans I grew.   I saved some dragon tongue bush beans and some kentucky wonder bush beans.  

And when I planted them this year, they came up!

I was so excited.   Seeds are kind of a whole different ball game from just watering a plant.


Anyway, my beans came up with 100% germination rate, which was really great and which meant that I had planted way too many because I do that, just in case, and so I had to pull out every other baby bean plant. 

It's good for me to practice thinning things.    I tend to over crowd things and they just grow better if I thin. 

So I thinned. 

And I still had a lovely row of each kind of bean. 

And then something interesting happened.   The green Kentucky wonder bush beans got awfully long. 

And then they got longer.

Some of my bush beans threw seeds for pole beans.   Also, some of my green beans had flat pods like the dragon tongues, but green. 

Even though beans aren't supposed to interbreed accidentally like that, these beans must have had a lot of genetic diversity and also been highly suggestible.    I'm thinking the dragon tongues talked them into the whole flat pod thing that one weekend last year when we were in Michigan. 

At any rate, we put some fence posts in the row, laid some strong twine from post to post and tied our beans up.   About half of them are happily climbing higher and higher.   The other half are still bush beans. 

The heat has meant that they've been spotty setting bloom and seed.   The dragon tongues seemed to tolerate the heat a bit better, but there are a lot of blossoms on all the beans now, so I'm hoping we'll get a second late harvest.  


  1. You grow the most interesting beans. Are you gonna trade Bob for a handful of a new variety of tall, climbing beans? I'd say your cow but you don't have one.

    I am still searching for my childhood bush bean and I can't remember what they were...maybe Kentucky Wonder? The ones I planted this year, not even close to what I remember... Good luck with the mutations!

    1. So far, they've been pretty good. We've seem more flowers and I think we'll get a good harvest soon.

  2. What do dragon tongues taste like? I love that it chatted with the other beans and fomented rebellion. ;)

    1. Foment - that's exactly what they do every time I turn my back!

      The dragon tongues are tasty beans and we like them a lot steamed or sauteed. Firm texture, a little fuzzy - not smooth like the regular green beans. They're flat and have white and purple stripes. I love them!

  3. LOL! Rebellious beans with minds of their own. Too funny. I think hubby grows the Kentucky bush beans, but I've not convinced him to try others recently (he has in the past and this is his fav variety).


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