A Great Year For Pole Beans!


My pole beans LOVED the weather this year.  I ran into one slight problem when a few varieties from trades failed to germinate.  After three weeks (an eternity in bean years) I replaced them with a few other varieties.  I thought that I could at least get some fresh eating beans, even if the replacements wouldn’t have time to mature into dried beans.  Strangely, the 3 replacements caught up and ended up  maturing just a touch later than the rest!


I was very excited to try this one… They are so striking with their deep maroon splashed white coloured large flat seeds. But darn…  Mine did not do well at all.  Straggly vines, late to dry.  The colour seemed off as well, mainly white with maroon splotches.  Off to the soup pot with no picture!




This was one of my last-minute additions to the trellis.  I grew it in 2013 and loved it.  A green Romano with 5-6″ pods.  I didn’t expect much from the ones that I froze last year, but they were great!  Tasty & not mushy.  They hold their shape well in soup. Bosnian has an unusual colouring.  The shades of the tri-coloured dry beans deepen over time.


this fall/October bean from Kentucky was another last-minute replacement.  I am SO glad that it was! What a gorgeous bean.  The pods change colour in the fall to a gorgeous bright pinkish red.  Striking in the midst of the greenery.  I didn’t try any fresh, but have a good stock to try cooking this winter!


I ended up with a very small yield of these huge beans!  They were the least productive in my garden, maturing far later than the others.  In spite of this, it was fun to try them out. I am hoping that the huge size will satisfy my meat-eating husband, who asks where the meat is whenever I make a bean dish.  I should just add bacon to everything.


This Ontario native bean was my favourite pole bean of the year. A HUGE climber, it produced a whopping amount of plump, beautifully coloured beans.  I tried them as snaps & they were very tasty.  I froze some – so I will see how they hold. As a dry bean they have a lovely creamy texture. They will be growing in my 2015 garden for sure!


This Vermont horticultural lima is on its 3rd year on my trellis. The earliest to dry, extremely prolific & just keeps going in all weather. A huge climber, it takes more than its fair share of my 8 foot high trellis & comes back down the other side by October. The dried beans are great in chili, baked, sautéed fresh…  Every way that I have tried them!


A well-known & well-loved bean that I threw along my back fence just to try it out. It fought to grow in a tough spot & began the season eaten by rabbits.  It managed to come back & produce a respectable crop of plump maroon splashed white beans.  This will get a spot in the main garden next year.  I’m looking forward to trying it in soup.

This year I tried a new companion plant for my bean trellis.  It gets hard to weed the middle of the 4 foot wide bed without breaking vines.  I had extra seed potatoes, so I planted a row in the middle of the bed.  It worked out perfectly.  The potatoes grew great in the spring and then the beans took over.  The shelter of the vines kept the sun from drying out the bed, so the potatoes were more evenly watered.  The potato foliage kept weeds from growing in the middle of the vines! Perfect if you like less weeding!

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2 Responses to A Great Year For Pole Beans!

  1. Alain says:

    What beautiful pole beans! I just grow poles and was surprised that you had a good year for them. In the Bruce Peninsula, for me at least, it was the worst year for pole beans I have seen in a long time. Mine were all different varieties from yours – it might explain part of it (in 2014 I grew – Cosses violettes, Meraviglia di Venezia, Gloria, Rattlesnake, Spanish Musica – there were two more whose name I forget).
    The way you show them in your post is so elegant! Congratulations.


    • nicky says:

      Thank you for your kind comment!

      Sorry to hear your year didn’t go well. It’s fascinating how small changes in climate can change a crop.

      I was in the Bruce Penninsula in June on the crazily hot weekend! The Ram’s Head and Lady Slippers were blooming. Gorgeous!


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