I am growing the Borlotti "Fire Tongue" type, which have fabulous
taste, but every year in early october (first frost) I have big vines
covered in green pods, with more pods on the vine than in the freezer.
This heirloom is perhaps best for a gardener 200 miles to the south.
I mostly fresh-freeze them for the winter. Next year I will be looking
for an earlier type. I still want a pole bean because cabbage and other
greens like the shade and nitrogen that these plants provide. I am well
aware that scarlet runner beans are precocious, but I don't know about
taste and productivity. The Borlotti have great taste but I never met a
fresh bean that I did not like, so I will be looking for a productive
early pole shelling bean. Suggestions anyone?
I grew "Rattlesnake" this year, and they were a lot earlier than the
Romanos. Next year I will plant only Rattlesnake instead of half-n-half.
I grew them for snaps, so I don't know about for shelling. HTH
Johnny's 'Garden of Eden' is a lot like the bean I've been growing from
saved seed for many years from seed given to be by a co-worker. (I
bought seeds once to grow side by side for comparison.) Their
'Northeaster' is also a pretty good bean.
Once you do get a pole bean you really like, be sure to save your own
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Thanks to both of you. I am already saving a variety of romano beans
which is very early for snap beans. Besides being early, with a
tremendous first flush, I like the taste a lot. But it has been
discontinued at Territorial because if you let go those pods even one
week they become very tough. Also, it does not do much after the first
flush. But grown together with some more standard snap beans, it is
perfect. Garden of Eden or Northeaster it is.
I went in there and GoE did look like a good shelling bean, not much
pod, long row of beans. But Northeaster looks like a typical romano,
big pods with small, sparse seeds. Yes, romanos are very early for
pods, and my romanos are in the pod drying stage right now (for seed
saving), but I would never characterize them as productive for shelling.
The best for me me has been the pole type horticultural or cranberry
beans (Wrens Egg) . They were widely grown in the mid Atlantic for
green shelling beans (October beans) getting hard to find seeds, but
they have a relatively short maturity.
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