11 June 2013

Another round of green beans

The green (bush) beans I planted in the 4th garden box are now ready for eating or preserving, along with more varieties of tomatoes.  Here's a quick picture in between search-and-destroy patrols for hornworms.
garden fresh green beans and tomatoes
Actually, that pic is from a day or two ago; I'm too busy hunting hornworms this morning.  I have noticed them early, and they are small ... but the white pullets seem to think they are 5-star gourmet.

New tomato varieties now that have ripened are the Mortgage Lifter and Black Prince.  I now have Marglobe and Mr. Stripey starting to turn color, and the German Johnson has definitely set at least one tomato, if the (*BLEEP!*)in' hornworms leave it alone.  I have at least three Cherokee Purples munched/ruined by hornworms already, and a couple of Black Prince tomatoes as well.  In fact ... between cracking from too much rain and now the hornworms, I still have yet to harvest a Cherokee Purple 'mater.

As for the green beans, I put four different bush varieties in the 4th garden box, and am pretty pleased with the results.  In fact, overall I am doing quite well with bush green beans.  Here are some notes on what I've planted.

  • Harvester (American Seed Co) - decent enough yield in the 2nd garden box, but I have run out of seeds and am waiting for the remaining plants and bean pods to give me more to try in another box.
  • Top Crop (American Seed Co) -so-so yield, also in the 2nd garden box, and also waiting for some pods to dry out on the plants as again I ran out of seeds from the pack.
  • Tendergreen Improved (Ferry-Morse) - absolutely impressive yield in the 2nd garden box ... yet very much less-than-impressive in the 3rd box.  The main difference between the two boxes is amount of sunlight, especially midday sun.  Looks like these need to be planted for morning and late evening sun, with midday shade.
  • Contender (Ferry-Morse) - excellent yield in the 4th garden box!  These make up most of the beans in the sieve pictured above.  Like the Tendergreen Improved, these bloom purple instead of white.
  • Kitchen King (Burpee) - also a great yield in the 4th box, although these are shorter and skinnier than the Contenders, they are also a shade or two darker/deeper green.
  • Heavyweight II (Burpee) - less than stellar sprout rate, so I had to resow and have not harvested much from them (in the 4th box).
  • Tenderpick (Burpee) - worst sprout rate in the 4th box of the four varieties.  I have harvested some beans off the two initial plants, but there are no qualities that were memorable.
I bought some more lumber to make a couple more boxes over the weekend, although the current build project is an add-on to the Rampart, making it into a duplex.  I am hoping to make green beans a year-round idea here.

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