Friday, July 25, 2014

Pole Beans

Here you see four nice sturdy tepees for the beans to climb.  Having your beans up in the air on poles makes them easier to harvest and keeps them cleaner: there is no chance of garden soil splashing up on them.

When choosing your seeds, read the labels or seed catalog to be sure you have a climbing variety.  (To the left in the photo you can see the other type, called "bush beans.")

But even among the climbing varieties some are better climbers than others.

Leftmost in the photo are "Nor'easeter" beans, a large flat green bean. They've climbed two tepees, one obscuring the other with its exuberant growth.  To the right are two tepees with "Fortex" beans. These are a pencil thin green bean, more tender and tasty than the Nor'easters.  But they are reluctant to go up the poles, and sprawl on the ground, tendrils curling around each other, creating a dense mass. And for the second year in a row we seem to be losing the plants to Japanese Beetles.

So each year we plant more than we need, since crop failure is to be expected but cannot be predicted... rugged as these tepees are, we did have one blow right over in a hurricane one year.

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