Ultimate Multicolor Mix - Pole Garden Bean


Ultimate Multicolor Mix - Pole Garden Bean


Phaseolus vulgaris

The hills of pole beans on the northern edge of our kitchen garden (don’t plant them where they will shade your other crops) each marked by an 8 foot high rough barked post always attracts attention with their lush climbing vines loaded with long beans in bright colors.  Pole beans are some of the highest quality stringless, tender pod beans that need to climb and unlike the determinate bush beans that tend to bear all at once, these bear from summer until frost if you keep the vines picked and provide irrigation during dry summer conditions.  Provide a tall fence, trellis or posts for the vines to twine up.  Also, for the home gardener, they offer considerable ease of picking over the bush beans.  Included are an assortment of green, yellow, purple, purple striped green podded cultivars.  Mostly long round pods but also flat Italian types.  Separate the varieties by seed color and shape, grow them separately if you prefer to select seed of your favorite to save for next season.  
50-70 days. 

40 seeds (10 hills)

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Pole Garden Beans
Packets will plant 9-10 hills (35-40 seeds)

10 hills of pole beans can keep a family of 4 in green beans for the entire summer from a single planting.  Pole beans are indeterminate and will start bearing early and continue to bear as the vine grows through the summer.  As with all green beans, picking the pods at the tender immature stages before the pods become bumpy with developing seeds will result in more production.  Leaving the pods to mature will signal the plant to putting it’s resources into the seed instead of a new flush of flowers and green beans.  While beans like warm soil conditions Pole beans may curtail production during the hottest days of summer and resume with cooler weather.

Sow seeds directly into the soil Mid to late May on Long Island .   You can start seeds indoors two weeks earlier if you have the right cool and sunny environment so that seedlings do not become leggy.  Pole beans require support because the twining vines can reach from 6 to 12 feet in height.  A tall fence or trellis will do.  Two for three beans every foot in a row is good spacing.   Many gardeners place a rough bark pole in the garden every three feet apart or three long bamboo poles ties together at the top in a teepee arrangement.  A hill or cluster of 2-3 beans is placed at the base of each pole.  Beans are planted an inch below the surface.  Beans benefit by irrigation during drought conditions.

 Pole beans can be used any way that bush green beans are used.  They are the original bean since dwarf bush beans are more of a modern development for commercial production and as a result they are a wilder bean and some varieties are not as refined. If you fail to harvest the pods of some of the older varieties while the pod is slim and tender you may find that the pod becomes fibrous and stringy.

Beans tend to be inbreeders and so if you are saving the seed of a purple pod bean growing next to a yellow pod bean there is a good chance that the purple pod will remain pure and saved seed will produce purple pods the next generation.  Seed savers often save their own favorite variety of pole beans because allowing the beans to mature on the vines at the end of the season and the pods to dry brown is so easy to do.