Friday, October 14, 2011

Recaping the 2011 Garden- A Green Bean Comparison

This year I planted 4 different types of green beans and anxiously awaited them coming on! I was trying to figure out which ones I liked best.

Have you ever looked at a seed catalog section of grean beans? Talk about intimidating. Which ones will do better in my zone? Which ones do I like the taste of? What are their growing habbits? So many questions, too few answers. I decided to do my own little trial.

(Photo order: Blue Lake Pole, Royal Burgndy, Venture, Black Valentine)

(Unfortunately I took this picture at the very end of the season so I didn't have a mature Black Valentine bean to photograph. They are really much larger.)

I planted Black Valentine Bush Beans, Venture Bush Beans, Royal Burgundy Bush Beans and Blue Lake Pole Beans.
The Black Valentines came from
The Venture and Blue Lakes came from
The Royal Burgundy came from

Here's how they panned out...

At first I was not impressed with the Black Valentines. They are an heirloom bush bean and the flavor in my opinion was just so-so. Once I started to really compare their size to the other beans though I was pretty impressed with how large and yet tender they could be. They bush out nicely and put on beans at a steady pace. They were even still flowering when I ripped the plants out.

The Venture Bush Beans put on great tasting, very straight beans. And they put them mostly out at one time. Which isn't so bad if you have a short growing season and just want them to come on and then be done.

My Blue Lake Pole Beans.....what can I say? They were again not impressive this year. It's not the bean itself though, as I have planted this type of pole bean for 5 years in a row. Pole beans require better weather conditions than bush beans around these parts and my Blue Lake Poles just aren't getting the early start they need. The beans were very "beany". The bean shape is prominent in the pod.

And finally, Royal Burgundy. These are just a fun bean to grow because they are purple! My kids are always in awe that we have purple green beans. These were probably my least favortie bean flavor wise but they, like the Black Valentine, keep putting out the blooms and produce bean after bean. If you don't harvest them when they are of a small to medium size though they can get stringy.

How did the beans in your garden do this year? Do you have a favorite type of bean to grow?


Anonymous said...

That was very interesting! I don't have a garden. They have a garden here at the school, but we don't get a part of it and all the produce goes to the main kitchen. =( I would love a small plot to call my own.

I don't know what type beans they children hated them last year...the strings gagged them. This year they are not so bad.

Thanks again for sharing. =)

the canned quilter said...

In this area most either grow Blue Lake or Contender Beans. I have grown Jade Bush Beans for years and love the flavor and they grow so well. They were blooming clear up until I pulled them up and the taste is wonderful. They also can get rather large without being stringy or tough.

Anonymous said...

We have a very tiny backyard, but we did grow a few pole bean plants back there this year--Kentucky Wonder, I think. They were okay, but I wouldn't say good. Very stringy, and we had to pick them still small or the beans inside were too big.

Last year we used a part of my grandmother's backyard so we had more room, and we grew some bush beans called Tendergreen Improved. They were very good, large and yet tender and with an excellent flavour.

I would think that those interesting purple beans would be useful to get little people to eat their vegetables, even if the flavour isn't the best. :)

goatldi said...

ok I have no clue what variety because DH is the gardener, I am the goatherd. However I do know that we had several meals of wonderful beans and DH replanted hoping to get enough for me to put up. No dice. Our weather was winter late and summer late and now fall early. So it was determined that the second planting was lost.

Ah but all is not lost. The goats and chickens feasted on the meager amount there was. The goats do enjoy all of the plant!

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