RATTLESNAKE POLE BEAN
65-90 days. Abundance of long, flavourful, stringless green beans with purple striping on tall vines. Fresh, shelled, frozen or dry. “He’s a rattlesnake!”
Naturally Grown and Photographed by Twisted Brook Farm in Nova Scotia.
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GROWING POLE BEANS FROM SEED
Scientific Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Pole beans are a warm weather crop that thrives in well-drained soil. Sow them once the temperatures are above 16 degrees Celsius. The ideal soil temperature for pole bean seed germination is between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius. Use drip irrigation as an efficient way to water your pole beans and to reduce the spread of foliar disease.
Pole beans require the support of a trellis, a post, or a mesh fence. If you use poles, plant 4 seeds around the base of each pole.
Pole beans typically yield bean pods later than bush beans. Your pole beans will continue to produce over a longer period. Pole beans tend to be sweeter and starchier than bush beans. You can harvest pole beans without bending over!
Often, pole beans are directly sown into the garden. If you want a head start against slugs and other pests, start them indoors 2 to 3 weeks before your last frost date. Sow 1 seed per cell, 1 inch deep. A heat mat is beneficial to keep consistent bottom heat.
Harden seedlings off for 3 to 5 days before planting outside.
Space pole bean seedlings 3 inches apart along the base of a trellis or a mesh fence.
Sow pole bean seeds directly into the garden once temperatures are above 16 degrees Celsius. If you are using poles for support, plant 4 seeds around the base of each pole. If you are using a mesh fence or a trellis, plant pole beans seeds 3 inches apart, 1 inch deep, in a row.
Harvesting Fresh Beans
Harvest bean pods often to encourage continued production. Research your variety to know the ideal harvest stage for best flavour and texture.
Harvest your beans in dry weather to reduce the spread of disease pathogens from one plant to another.
Harvesting Dry Beans
To harvest your dry beans from your pole bean plants, leave the bean pods on the plants until they dry down to a leathery brown texture. When you can hear the beans rattle inside the pods, it is safe to bring the pods inside to finish drying. Ensure a dry environment to allow the beans to dry down fully. I use a dehumidifier because our Nova Scotia climate is too humid for air drying.
Store dry beans in an airtight container in a dry, cool, dark place. Soak them overnight before adding them to your winter soups, casseroles, and of course. homemade baked beans!