Today, on the River Radio Morning Show, I shared w/listeners, and Ken and Tim, my passion for pole beans. You can grow 4 tall vines in one 18 inch square area. Place 4 poles (rebar/bamboo/sticks) in a teepee fashion, lash them together at the top with wire, string, or zipties. Make sure the teepee is set at least 8-12 inches into the ground for sturdiness. Plant one or two bean seeds at the base of each pole. Water in well. Stand back and let ’em grow. Pole beans are my faves because they produce non stop (you HAVE to keep them picked) and they produce about 10 times as much as bush beans. Bush beans are great, but I have limited space and want my beans coming on for a long time. You may also want to plant another tee pee in a couple weeks. By planting every 2-3 weeks you will have an ongoing supply of fresh green beans until a hard frost kills the vines.
My favorite varieties are Helda (recommended by RoseMarie Nichols McGee of Nichols Nursery), Lazy Housewife (a gift from my beloved friend Lorene Edwards Forkner), Spanish Musica (have not grown them yet but recommended by several folks) and Tri Color, pretty as a picture. Musica and Tri are available from Renee’s Garden.
I also talked about the importance and ease of gardening with foliage, and recommended a book by some friends of mine, Fine Foliage, co authored by garden designer/writer friends, Christina Salwitz and Karen Chapman. Lucky caller number 5 took the book home!