Dry Field Beans
Dry edible beans, or field
beans, come in a wide variety of market classes, including
kidney bean, navy bean, pinto bean, and black bean. These
beans, although differing in the size and coloring of the seed,
are all just different types of a single species, Phaseolus
vulgaris L. Originally domesticated in Central and South
America over 7000 years ago, dry beans moved their way
northward through Mexico and spread across most of the
continental U.S. These beans were commonly grown with corn, and
sometimes squash. Now, instead of the Native American practice
of dry beans and squash planted right among corn plants, a
different bean, soybean from China, has found its place with
Dry beans are the same species as green beans (snap beans)
commonly grown in gardens. If you've seen green beans growing,
you have a good idea what dry beans look like, with the
difference being that dry bean varieties have higher seed
yields. Some dry bean varieties are viney like garden bean
varieties, while others are more of an erect, bushy plant, like
soybeans. Dry beans do not grow as vigorously as soybeans,
usually reaching only about 18 to 24 inches in height. Pods,
each containing 2 to 4 seeds, are borne upon the length of the
stem. Dry beans average about 22% protein in the seed. The
amino acid profile of dry beans complements that of corn and
other cereal grains, which is why the corn-bean diet was so
standard through the Americas. The various market classes of
dry beans are sold in a variety of forms. Great Northerns, navy
beans, or mixes of beans, are the most likely to be sold as
whole seeds in unprocessed form. Navy beans and kidney beans
are both found in canned form, with kidney beans also common in
chill mixes. Pinto beans and black beans are both made into
refried beans, among other uses. Red beans are used for baked
beans. Dry beans which do not meet quality standards for food
use are typically sold for livestock feed. Like soybeans, dry
beans have a trypsin inhibitor which prevents protein digestion
in non-ruminant animals, including humans. Heat, applied during
processing or home cooking, is needed to break down the trypsin
inhibitor and make the beans fully digestible.
Growing Bush Beans
No garden is complete without
bush beans. There are many varieties of bush beans to choose
from and every gardener is sure to find one to suit their
tastes. Bush beans do well in almost any garden as they are not
too fussy about soil.
To ensure the best flavor, bush beans should be picked while
still slender and no inner bean is well developed. For fresh
bush beans all summer, plant every two weeks and pick
Direct seed bush beans after risk of frost when soil warms to
18-24°C (65-75°F). Sow bush beans 1" deep and 2"
apart in rows 18" (bush beans) to 24" apart (shell beans).
Reseed until mid summer for a constant supply all season long.
If using untreated bush beans seed, plant thicker and thin to
Try companion planting with bush beans. Bush beans are
excellent grown with most vegetables except the onion family,
basil, fennel, kohlrabi.
Most bush bean types require a full sun location, soil pH of
6.5-7.5, and well drained soil. Good air circulation around
bush bean plants is essential, especially for late shelling or
dry type beans, as they are very susceptible to fungal diseases
which prevail later in the season. Bush beans are light
feeders; compost or well rotted manures worked into the soil at
the time of planting is sufficient.
Harvest once the bush beans are smooth, firm and crisp. Keep
bush beans constantly picked to ensure a fresh supply. Bean
formation in the pod is a sure sign of over-maturity. Dry and
Shell Beans: Harvest when the bush beans pods are completely
dry and brittle. Cut or pull pods from bush bean plants and
shell the beans. Store beans in an air tight container in a
cool dry spot. For fresh eating of horticultural or shell
beans, harvest when bean formation starts to take place within
Growing Pole Beans
Most of the gardening
techniques that work with bush beans also work for pole beans.
The two types require slightly different care at planting time
to ensure their best growth. Pole beans offer great use of
vertical space since they climb up poles, trellises or homemade
tepees. They also have a longer growing season and are more
tolerant of hot temperatures than bush beans, which mean they
will yield two to three times more than bush beans from the
same amount of space.
Because pole beans quickly grow into large, heavy plants,
you should install your trellis at the same time as you plant
and sow the seeds.
To start the pole bean seeds, use your finger to push the
seeds about 1 inch into the soil. I sowed five to six seeds
around each pole 6 to 8 inches away from the base. This is more
seed than you'll need for each pole but it allows you to come
back after the seeds have germinated to thin out the weaker
plants. Use your hands to cover the seeds with an inch of soil
and lightly tamp the soil. Finally, lightly mist the dry soil
with a garden hose.
As vegetable plants grow from seeds to seedlings, water
requirements will change. Beans require little care except
regular weeding and watering if the weather is dry. Bean plants
need about an inch of water per week. The beans should be
watered in the morning so the foliage is dry before dark.
Bush beans will mature in 50 to 60 days; pole beans in 60 to 90
days. Beans are light feeders and do not need extra fertilizing
as long as you plant in an enriched soil. You should fertilize
young bean plants with an organic fertilizer, such as fish
emulsion, every two weeks for the first six weeks, then once
every three to four weeks.
Informative articles found on the
a bean teepee
grow pole beans
features tons of recipes and useful bean information
4BUR02 Bush Bean Burpee's Tenderpod ( From Burpee Seed
Heirloom. Stays tender and stringless even when fully mature.
50 days. This 1941 AAS winner is notable because it stays tender and stringless even when fully mature. Pods are 4-5" long, thick and round in cross section, with distinctively
curved tips. Also good as a dried shell bean.
4BUR04 Bush Snap Bean Burpee's French Filet ( From Burpee Seed Co. )
The delicious, rich flavor of these thin, straight, tender beans is unlike any other.
Plants yield early and need no support. Our seed is not treated. The delicious, rich flavor
of these thin, straight, tender beans is unlike any other. Easy to grow, they reach their
flavor peak at 5-7" long and a mere 3/8" wide. Dark green pods are streaked with purple.
Produces heavily. Burpee Exclusive.
VUD009 Dixie Speckled Butterpea
76 days. Very productive. Beans are about the size of peas; red-speckled with a deep purple-rust color, and grow well in hot weather. A delicious baby lima. Bush plants.
TST017 Green Butterbean Soybean
Acclaimed in taste tests as the finest of green soybeans.
Sweet, buttery, and high yielding; Butterbeans are acclaimed as the finest in green vegetable soybeans. The 2-2 1/2' stocky plants are well-branched and stand well, producing a prolific set of large pods with tan pubescence. A good percentage of pods contain three large beans that are relatively easy to shell. 90 days.
TST018 Tohya Soybean
Early with delicious, buttery flavor and tender-firm texture.
Plump, pale green pods average three seeds per pod. Eating quality is as good as Butterbeans. Compact plants average 2' and have a concentrated set which allows for hand or machine harvest. 78 days.
TST019 Black Jet Soybean
Best flavor for use as a dry bean.
Easy to grow, even in short-season areas. The 2' plants are early maturing and are prolific yielders of medium-sized, jet-black soybeans. Thin skinned with rich flavor. 78 days.
For the finest yellow filet bean.
Smooth, straight, 4 1/2-5" pods on medium-sized upright plants. Excellent uniformity. Similar, but with a slightly thicker pod, to Isar, which it replaces. Tiny white seeds. 51 days.
TST035 Maxibel Filet
59 days. This is the elegant bean you see in European-style restaurants. Most filets available from seed are miniatures, but Maxibel is a full-sized, 7 to 7 1/2-inch pod with all the "gourmet" flavor you expect! As easy to grow as other snaps, Maxibel arises on tall, erect plants that harvest easily. The beans are stringless and very slender, with a dark green color, straight form, and mouth-watering tender flavor. The first full-size stringless filet bean is also the best!
Long, slender, stringless pods 6-7 inches long.
Excellent fresh eating or frozen.
Note: The price of this item has been slashed to Ninety Five cents per pack! To order this and fifty other vegetable seed selections for only 95 cents per pack, please visit our GoodCentsVegetables Seed List.
TST045 Royal Burgundy
The brilliant purple, 5" pods are eye-catching at market, easy to spot when harvesting, and add stunning color to salads when used raw. The pods do turn green when cooked.
Upright plants are dark green with a purple tinge. Buff-colored seeds. Organically grown. 55 days.
TST046 Vermont Cranberry
Very large beans for soups and baking.
Long pods average 6", bright red-mottled pods are borne on large, upright plants. The shelled beans are oval, medium-sized, plump, red and pink streaked.
This old-time Northern New England variety can also be grown for shell beans. Mild flavor. 75 shell, 98 dry.
Tops for processing! Henderson is a buttery baby lima with smooth texture and delicate flavor.
Note: The price of this item has been slashed to Ninety Five cents per pack! To order this and fifty other vegetable seed selections for only 95 cents per pack, please visit our GoodCentsVegetables Seed List.
VUD022 Blue Lake 274
White seeded version of climbing Blue lake. Seed pods 5-6" long.
Delicious flavor, one of our favorite garden beans.
This one is very tolerant to heat and drought. Vines grow up to 10 feet and produce an abundance of beautiful dark green pods with purple streaks. The 7 to 8 inch pods are simply delicious. Light buff colored seeds are splashed with dark brown. Use the pods fresh or let them mature for shelling. 70-85 days.
TST037 Dragon Tongue
Heirloom French variety whose dramatic green to yellow pods are streaked with purple. One of the best tasting snaps ever! Large, crisp, juicy, stringless pods lose their streaks when cooked, turning a mouthwatering, buttery yellow. Tan seeds with brown striping are delicious as shell beans, too. 50 days.
TST038 Yellow Indian Woman
Originally discovered by a Swedish family and a rare heriloom bean now found in Native American communities in Montana. A small, yellowish-gold bean, that is creamy when cooked, with flavor similar to Pinto and Black beans.
Holds its shape while cooking, making it ideal for slow cooked dishes. For fresh eating, pick when pods have reached their peak color. 60 days.
TST039 Yin Yang
Harvest young for tender beans or leave the pods to dry on the plant for hard-shelled (storing) beans.
This hard-shelled variety loses its black-and-white pattern during cooking, so be sure to store some in a glass jar for display!
100 days. This charming heirloom variety looks for all the world like a yin yang pattern, right down to the spot of opposite color on each side, for balance! A hard-shelled variety that also may be harvested young for tender (soft-shell) use, Yin Yang is an American favorite just waiting to be rediscovered.
Pale green pods are 6-7 inches long and slightly
flattened. Used fresh, or for freezing and canning. They have a
long shelf life, and plants are hardy and cold resistant.
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TST012 E-Z Pick
Easiest for hand harvest.
Beans mature at the same time and are easy to separate from stems, making them exceptionally easy to hand harvest. E-Z Pick grows on sturdy, upright plants which saves time when picking. With 5 1/2 -6" long beans and dark green color, this is one of our best tasting bush beans, fresh or frozen. White seeds. 55 days.
TST014 Velour Filet
First purple filet bean.
"Extra-fine" grade beans are short, 4-5" long, with straight, slender, bright purple pods. Turns green upon cooking. Medium-sized upright plants yield well. Small beige seeds. 51 days.
Filet beans are intended to be picked very slender, 1/8- 1/4" in diameter. A continuous yield of "extra fine" ( 1/4" diam.) grade is maintained by picking every 36-48 hours. Three days in hot weather or five days in cool weather is about the maximum delay between harvests to ensure an absence of over-sized, tough beans. Otherwise grow just like ordinary bush beans. Not recommended for freezing or canning.
TST006 Marvel of Piedmont
Marvel of Piedmont is a very productive and flavorful snap bean. The pale yellow pods are streaked with purple, turning solid yellow when cooked. The Pods are fairly flat, approx 4-6 inches long and slightly curved. An attractive and delightful addition to any market or kitchen table. 60 days.
TST007 Borlotto Lingua Di Fuoco
Bush version of the Italian bean much in demand and prized for its 'Tongue of Fire' red pods up to 8 in/20 cm long. Don't let the name fool you--it refers to the coloring and obviously not to the wonderful creamy flavor. These beans are white with red specks and great in soups. Known to also be eaten like fresh green beans before they ripen, an abundant producer. Amazing flavor. 55 days.
Giant, Italian-style green beans.
A cross between Romano and Kentucky Wonder, Jumbo has dark green, extra-long pods with rich, bean flavor. While the beans are normally picked at 6-7", they are still stringless at over 10". Seeds are light brown with dark brown stripes. NOTE: In very fertile soil, plants may grow short vines (runners), but need no support. 85 days.
This is a wonderful green/filet bean of Dutch origin and not common to the US. A heavy, early producer of long, rich green stringless pods with great flavor, Sonate is also disease resistant. The beans are set high on the plant, aiding harvest. A great choice for home or pro gardener, sourced from top breeders in the Netherlands. Treated seed. 63 days.
VUD014 Cherokee Wax
A heavy producer of 6 inch long, completely stringless golden yellow pods with delicious flavor. Bears in 48 days.
Jade's 6-7", slender, deep green pods are exceptionally tender and delicious. Large, upright plants keep beans clean and straight. Heat tolerant and high yielding even when stressed by heat or cold.
Intermediate resistance to curly top beet mosaic virus, rust and bacterial brown spot. Pale green seeds. 80 days.
VUD015 Pencil Pod Black Wax
The best round-podded wax bean. Pods are 6-7 inches long, round and straight as a pencil. Beans are shiny black. Plants are disease resistant and
Kentucky Wonder Homestead Pole Bean
Old heirloom variety. 65 days. Noted for
exceptional flavor. Heavy crops of 9" green pods, borne in
clusters. Pods are oval, thick, gently curved, meaty and
tender. Stringless when young. Delicious fresh, frozen or dried
for shell beans. Brown seeded. Proven tops for productivity,
flavor and wide adaptability. Sun.Note: The price of this item has been slashed to Ninety Five cents per pack!
To order this and fifty other vegetable seed selections for only 95 cents per pack, please visit our GoodCentsVegetables Seed List.
TST043 Kentucky Blue Pole
Kentucky Blue is an All-America Selections winner that combines the excellence of the all-time greatest pole beans: Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake. You get big crops of sweet and always stringless pods, straight and 7" long. A heavy yielder for many weeks. Pole beans yield much longer than bush beans, right up to frost. Plant 4-6" apart at the base of poles, trellis, a fence or bean tower. 65 days.
TST044 Cherokee Trail Pole
These were the beans carried in the pockets of Cherokee Indians on their tragic forced relocation from North Carolina's Smoky Mountains to Oklahoma in 1838-1839.
Shiny and jet-black, the beans are harvested dry and can be happily incorporated in an array of traditional American dishes. The beans are encased in 6-8" greenish-purple pods that are left to dry on the vine before picking, but they can also be picked green and prepared like snap beans. 65-70 days.
TPF207 Yard Long Asparagus Beans
A favorite in
Europe, this plant grows to 10 ft. tall on poles and
produces an enormous yield of slender, tasty pods 2-3 ft.
TST002 Bacello Asparagus Beans
A top-notch, red-seeded strain of the famous 'yard-long' beans. Vigorous and easy to grow, these plants will produce an abundance of exceptionally long pods over an extended season as they are very heat tolerant. When picked young will provide wonderfully fleshy, tasty pods with minimal seeds. Widely grown in Asia and the Mediterranean and a favorite of home gardeners and farmers markets alike! Treated Seed.
This early maturing, Roma-type pole bean has a deliciously rich, sweet flavor. The 8" long, 1" wide, flat green pods are stringless and stay tender for long periods. Extra vigorous in the seedling stage with strong vine growth. white seeds. 56 days.
VUD011 Large Speckled Pole Butterbean
Bears large quantities of large size, delicious speckled limas with delightful flavor, nothing else tastes quite like speckled butterbeans. Very popular in the South as it sets well even in hot weather, also makes an excellent dried bean for winter use.
VUD033 Christmas Pole Butterbean
Heirloom. 90 days. Very large ( the largest lima we know of ) with beautiful, dark red splashes, rich flavor; heavy yields even in very hot weather, prolific long vines. Has a buttery flavor and creamy texture. The lima's crisp nutty flavor- sometimes described as similar to chestnuts. The cooked texture is similar to that of a baked potato. Broad, flat pods with 3 large, flat limas each that are creamy green with
red markings. When cooked at either green or dry, they turn a pink brown color.
TST040 King of the Garden
The leading large-seeded pole lima bean. The old standard favorite. Vigorous, reliable grower and heavy cropper, bearing dark green pods 5 to 8 inches long, filled with 4 to 6 large white beans of excellent quality. Shells very easily and cooks well. Rich honey-like taste. 85 days.
TST041 Scarlet Runner
Old-fashioned favorite perfect for the kitchen garden. Multi-use bean with edible blooms, tender young pods and beautiful shell/dry beans. Bright scarlet flowers have a sweet, fresh taste and are attractive to hummingbirds.
Prolific ornamental variety with light green, flat pods 12-16" long which are fine flavored when young and tender. Large shiny black and purple mottled seeds are tasty as a shell or dried bean. 80 days.
TST004 Stortino Di Trento Italian Pole Beans
A climbing bean. One of the rarest of the Italian beans, and most unusual of the Anellino type "Shrimp Beans", with speckled pods, and rich flavor. Largest of the Anellino beans at 14 cm in length, highly productive. Bi-colored seeds. A perennial best-seller. 75 days.
TST024 Red Noodle
High-yielding burgundy beans.
16-20" long beans are borne in clusters of up to four beans each. Healthy, vigorous plants. Sweet flavor compares to Gita. Burgundy color will fade when cooked. Red seeds. 85 days.
TST009 Marvel of Venice
The finest yellow climbing Romano bean, famous for its large, tender, 8-9" long, 3/4" wide, flat pods borne on vigorous vines. This is a vigorous and flavorful black-seeded variety. This takes a bit longer to harvest, but many recommended this over the white seeded strain for quality of bean and flavor. 78 days.
TST010 Anellino Giallo
A climbing bean. This is a wonderful yellow version of the famous 'shrimp' beans of southern Europe, known for their tenderness and terrific bean flavor. Near-black colored seeds. 75 days.
Grow shelling or dried beans as you grow bush beans, except harvest differently. Pick them at the green shell stage, or let them mature for dried beans. For a continuous supply, plant once a week for the first month of the season.
Easy to shell. Flagrano's pods contain 8-10 mint green seeds and are very easy to shell by hand. These French flageolet beans are firm, flavorful, and delicious fresh or frozen. Also good used as a dry bean. 76 days.
TST022 Kenearly Yellow Eye
Best variety for baked beans.
Kenearly is very similar to Maine Yellow Eye, but matures more uniformly for easier harvest and has a slightly larger eye. The eating quality is every bit as good. Excellent for baked bean suppers and hearty winter soups, where the beans cook down into a rich, creamy broth. 90 days.
TST023 Light Red Kidney
The best for three-bean salads.
An early, light red kidney bean with good flavor. Excellent for chili, bean salads, and soups. 95 days.
TST015 Tongue of Fire
Wonderful shell bean with striking red-streaked pods.
The fresh shell beans are large and round. The 6-7" stringless pods can be eaten and marketed young as snap beans. These Italian beans retain their flavor whether fresh, frozen, or canned. Original stock seeds collected at the southern tip of South America, in Tierra del Fuego.
Z2826 Soldier Bean ( Dry Bush Bean )
Superior eating quality for stews and baked beans.
This medium-sized, white kidney bean gets its name from the red-brown figure of a soldier on its eye. A good stew and baked bean. This traditional heirloom strain has superior eating quality, among the very best of all dry beans!
VUD008 Dark Red Kidney Beans
An old heirloom baking bean, probably the largest and the best. Produces large, flat seed pods filled with huge, red kidney shaped beans. Perfect for red beans and rice dishes and mexican cooking.
1A359 Black Turtle Beans
Black seeded, spicy flavor, for refrying or soups and stews in Mexican and Latin dishes, 85 days.
VUD010 Small White Navy Beans
The old fashioned navy bean enjoyed for generations. Bushes are loaded with small navy beans.
An old heirloom field bean with 4-5 inch pods. A small pinto type with delicious flavor, much used for soups. Popular as a refried bean in Mexican cooking, in chili and tacos.
TST005 Lingot Cannellini
Lingot is considered a to be a premium strain of cannellini bean. This bean is very well-known in Europe for its hardiness and for its high production of long, cylindrical green pods; when ripe containing characteristic elongated white seeds. Highly sought after by chefs and gourmets for soups, stews, and more. Excellent for consumption fresh or dried. 65 days.
TST008 Coco Bianco
Famous heirloom from Italy, these round fat beans are wonderful in soups, stews, and for baking. A premium cooking white bean. Although they may be used fresh (while still quite small), we recommend you shell them to truly discover the best qualities of this wonderful bean. 62 days.
1A123 Garbanzo Bean
65 days. These are the big hazelnut looking tan colored beans you find on good salad bars. This large round bean holds its shape well after cooking.
Plants are erect and bush-type, but look different than other beans. Use them as a green-shell bean or allow them to dry for storage. Tolerates dry growing conditions. Also called chick peas. Nutty flavor adds nice touch to salads.
Sword ( Fava ) Beans
TST030 Aquadulce Bean
An amazing bean. Sweet and tasty broad beans or fava beans are a staple of Mediterranean cuisine. When harvested very young, the whole pod can be cooked and eaten. With later harvests, the beans must be shelled.
Young leaf shoots can be cooked as well.
Fall plantings will survive the winter and produce good spring yields. This hardy plant is a good nitrogen fixer and can be used as a green manure.
This variety can stand very cold conditions (to about 15°F) and can be planted in the fall or winter for spring harvest. Used for early crops. Plants reach thirty six to forty inches.
Fall planted, they are one of the culinary harbingers of the spring harvest season, beginning to mature in mid-may, and excellent in dips, stews, braises or own their own.
Spring plant in April for July harvest. Plants grow to about 30" and are heavy yielding, though the beans take some time to size up even once the pods are full size.
The amount of beans each plant produces is surprising, very good yields of large 9" long glossy green beans. The pods are filled with 7 to 8 large seeds which are used fresh or dried and can be frozen.
Harvest as fresh shelly until the leaves just start to yellow. For dry beans, pods or whole plants can be pulled for drying once leaves have browned and fall off.