Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Beans, The Beans, The...Beans?

This morning I went out and harvested some more zucchini and squash. I've started pawning them off on the kids' tennis parents this week. I've gotten a few cucumbers, but nothin like that first awesome year where I was able to can jar after jar of pickles. Man, that was good eatin'.

Tonight was another of those...what? I have to cook dinner? Again!? Nights. Why they keep sneaking up on me night after night I'll never know. Tonight I fell back on the good 'ole cream of mushroom soup chicken, but had an epiphany. I rushed out to the garden and snagged some basil and chopped up a tomato that was getting too soft on the counter and it actually turned out better than good.

The boy suggested garlic bread which was wonderful to sop up the rest of the sauce.

The real purpose of this post is to discuss beans. The bush beans, dragon beans and fortex are coming in like champions. This is the second haul like this I've had in a week.

I've come to believe that if there's any bean worth growing, it's fortex. There's nothing else like it in the world. It's not fuzzy, squeaky or generally insignificant. It's nutty and soft and generally the best bean I've ever come across.

However, due to peer pressure, which I'm likely to ignore now in the future, I planted some asparagus/yard long beans. They took forever to start climbing, but now that they have, they don't sport a single flower....

They've made it to the top of the 6 foot trellis on top of that. There's not even a single bud where a flower is threatening to produce. There's nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Anyone with any experience with these things that can tell me what's going on? Is it a vitamin/mineral deficiency? Do they just take forever to flower (like my climbing lima beans from last year)?

Any help would be much appreciated. I'm about to rip them out, as healthy as they are, and plant some more fortex!

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Fortex! Fortex! Rah, rah, Fortex! Love 'em.

    I planted red noodle beans and the slugs ate them, so I planted the rest of the packet and the slugs ate them. I think they cost me about $3, and if I'm lucky I might get one vine out of it.

  2. Mine have finally started climbing too (I'm in NC), and no flowers here yet either. However, last year I planted them at the beginning of July, and we had 12" beans when the plants themselves were only about 10" high! I think that once the heat gets intense, they'll start producing.

  3. LOL I don't know what's up with those beans! They sure look healthy though. Mine climb about 10-12 feet over an archway and I get blossoms and beans from the bottom all the way to the length of the vine, and all those beans I got was from just 2 seeds. What variety are they? Mine were just standard "yard long beans", they had purple flowers, I think the flowers are on my header photo. Do you notice any flowers falling off?

  4. I don't know how to help you on the un-flowering beans. That's a mystery.

    Because of your post, I am going to buy Fortex beans. I bought Blue Lake, because the lady told me they tasted most like the store bought canned beans. They are a HUGE disappointment. 6 beans --total. Lots of flowers, but nothing to make even one whole meal out of. I want more green beans, lots more. Fortex sounds like just what I need. Thanks.

  5. Granny, I saw that you'd jumped on the fortex band wagon. They're just fantabulous. I'm spoiled by them.

    Barbara, It's Georgia. We've been in the 90's every day since mid May. The heat is here, baby! ;) Although it wasn't until the heat that they started climbing.

    ERin, no, no flowers have even tried to come, let alone fall off. I'm hoping they'll start soon. They're sprouting new leaves all over the vines, but none are flowers. It's crazy talk.

  6. Christy, seriously, and I'm not even joking here, there's nothing like Fortex. Let them grow and bulk up a bit. They're sleek, long, smooth and beyond the scope of anything I've ever tried before.

  7. Barbara might be on to something there... those fantastic beans last year of mine weren't planted until July, and I had beans within a few weeks. This year I planted them a month ago and they are still only about 6 inches high... I say wait for day length and heat to peak before you give up. It was consistently 95 degrees daily when I had all those blossoms last year, and they kept producing til I ripped them out in September/October.

  8. I'll have to add Fortex to my list for next year. I'm having the same issue with my cucumbers. My 2009 crop was awesome... my 2010 not so good and this year is proving to be just like 2010 :-(

  9. My yard long beans don't have flowers either. They just started climbing. I thought they were gonna die before they did anything. They are starting to look better now. Hope we have a harvest. I grew Provider last year and got about 10 beans out of 12 plants, disappointing to say the least. Tried yard long this year because everyone says the grow like crazy, we will see. We have lots of heat here in Las Vegas, we will see just how much heat they like. My cucumbers are doing good compared to last year. This year at least they are edible. Last year they were bitter and only a few.

  10. I tried to grow yard long beans twice. The first time a couple of years ago it grew about a foot tall. I got a few beans from it that were taller than the plant, but it never climbed. So sad. This year I tried again and they all died. They have one more chance and then I give up on them. We aren't really hot enough for them anyway, but I do love the taste.

    And I just can't jump on the Fortex bandwagon. I've tried it several years and it never produced as well as Kentucky Wonder does for me, nor is it as tasty. You might hate KW though. It does squeak in your teeth.

  11. I've been meaning to plant Fortex for over a year now-after AG raved about it. And I didn't again! When will I learn............

  12. Wow- what a great haul so far!!!