I set out this summer to discover which bean would be the best bean for our family and our climate. I tried beans last year and… well, it was pretty pathetic, so I decided to do this experiment.
I started with the following beans:
– dragon tongue bush beans
– blue lake bush beans
– red-seeded asparagus beans
– Missouri wonder pole beans
– Roma II bush beans
The results were interesting.
Dragon tongue bush beans: These were in some of the worst soil. It was a fail on my part. With some amendments they recovered, but suffered pretty bad when the night time temps went into the mid-80s. However, they produced fairly well. The beans themselves are interesting. Probably not my favorite for flavor, but not a bad bean. Very edible. We will definitely grow these again.
Blue lake bush beans: I expected the blue lake bush beans to come out ahead. The plants grew great, in fact they still look great. Still only a hand full of beans. 😦 I’m not sure what it is about Arizona, or my soil, or my micro-climate… but these are a loser. Not good. Won’t waste my time, effort, and EXTENSIVE water again.
Red-seeded asparagus beans: Weird name and a FUNKY bean. Seriously these things look like dreadlocks when you harvest them. Green dreadlocks at that. Still… they produced VERY nicely and have a good flavor to them. We figured out that it was not good to combine them with bacon because it made them come out very sweet. Kinda weird like that. The vines were pretty hardy but did not vine well and had to be assisted frequently, but I didn’t mind. All in all, a good bean. We will definitely grow these again.
Missouri wonder pole bean: These plants grew fantastic. The vines were hardy and lush and climbed very well. ONE SMALL problem. Not a SINGLE bean. Complete waste of resources. Fail. No bien. Won’t grow these again.
Roma II bush beans. These do NOT like the heat. The heat turned on and the beans just stopped forming. More water did not help. They struggled and then they were the only plants that just out right DIED. Definitely not an AZ bean. Won’t grow these again.
So next year it looks like we will be planting the really weird dragon tongue beans and the funky red-seeded asparagus beans.