Growing Pole Beans: All the Types and Tips You Need To Know

Pole beans, also known as climbing beans or runner beans, are a type of bean plant that require support structures to grow vertically. They are popular in home gardens and offer a bountiful harvest of tasty and nutritious beans. Here are some common types of pole beans:

1. Kentucky Wonder

Kentucky Wonder is a classic pole bean variety known for its high productivity and excellent flavor. The plants produce long, round, and stringless pods that are typically green but can turn yellow as they mature. Kentucky Wonder beans are versatile and can be enjoyed fresh, cooked, or canned.

2. Scarlet Runner

Scarlet Runner beans are prized for their ornamental qualities as well as their edible pods and seeds. The plants feature attractive red flowers that attract pollinators, and the young pods can be harvested as snap beans. As the pods mature, the beans inside can be used as shelling beans or allowed to dry for storage and later use in soups or stews.

3. Blue Lake

Blue Lake pole beans are a popular variety known for their tender and flavorful pods. The plants produce abundant clusters of long, straight pods that are stringless and have a rich, green color. Blue Lake beans are ideal for fresh consumption, freezing, or canning.

4. Fortex

Fortex pole beans are a French variety with exceptionally long and slender pods. The pods can reach up to 11 inches in length and have a tender texture and sweet flavor. Fortex beans are often harvested when young for use as snap beans, but they can also be left to mature for use as shelling beans.

5. Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake beans, also known as Preacher beans, are named for their distinctive markings on the pods, which resemble a rattlesnake’s skin. The pods have a slightly flattened shape and are typically green with purple streaks. Rattlesnake beans have a rich flavor and are often used as snap beans or left to mature for shelling beans.

6. Yardlong Bean

Yardlong beans, also called asparagus beans or snake beans, are known for their incredibly long pods. Despite their name, the pods typically measure around 1 to 2 feet in length. They have a unique texture and mild flavor and are commonly used in Asian cuisine, stir-fries, and salads.

These are just a few examples of the many types of pole beans available. Pole beans offer the advantage of vertical growth, maximizing space in the garden, and making harvesting easier. With their climbing habit and abundant production, pole beans can provide a rewarding and delicious addition to your home vegetable garden.