The last couple years I have been on the hunt for the perfect bean. I wanted something that would can and freeze well, make good dilly beans, taste great fresh, be stringless, and have reliably good yields.
Following are a the bean varieties I tried and the results...
- Provider Bush Bean - high yields of nice big beans with typical bean flavor
- Slenderette Bush Bean- thin dark green pods with tender sweet flavor. Ripe earlier than some others
- Emerite and French Gold Filet Pole Beans - The gold outperformed the emerite, and had tremendous season-long yields! They had a nice flavor and worked well pickled and frozen.They were also very pretty with the long yellow pods.
|Lush green growth - pole beans on cedar trellis|
I have also tried growing the purple pod varieties of beans, but gave them up. They do have a nice appearance and flavor, but are not nearly as vigorous as the yellow and green.
My other bean observations -
- Pole beans with flatter pods do no have the flavor and crispness of the round types
- Yellow wax beans are also good to mix with the green types
- The usual Blue Lake types just aren't good enough to be the perfect bean
- Slender beans are very tasty!
- Beans are best picked before they get too ripe - about the thickness of a pencil (thinner for the slender varieties)
- Pole beans are more prolific and produce longer than bush beans but the flavor is usually not as good. They also use less space because you can use vertical trellises
- Most bush beans with have one big crop, and then more small crops if you keep them picked
- Fancy colored and spotted type bean pods will all turn green when cooked (except yellow)