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Phaseolus vulgaris, Phaseolus coccineus
Beans with the exception of Broad Beans are warm season crops and frost tender. Seeds germinate best at 18 - 25°C; seed will rot in cold, wet soil and even if they do germinate the plants will lack vigour and be overtaken by a later sowing into a warmer soil. In temperate areas sow beans through spring and early summer. In cold temperate areas you may need to wait until late October, early November. In frost-free, subtropical areas beans can be sown all year but will suffer from pest (bean fly) and disease (rust) problems at the height of summer so avoid sowing in December and January. In tropical areas sow during the dry season April to August. In the tropics snake beans can be a better choice as they are more disease resistant. Other tropical beans include Madagascar Bean and Winged Bean. These tropical beans can be grown as far south as Brisbane but require a very warm soil to germinate so should not be sown before early summer.
Soil Type: Fertile, well drained, garden loam with a pH of 6.2 - 7.0
Germination period: 4 - 10 days
Planting depth: 5 cm deep
Position: Full sun; bush beans can have a strange reaction to insufficient sunlight or constant overcast weather, they can start to turn into climbers. All beans were originally climbers and may revert if conditions don't suit them, such as not enough sunlight.
Sow Where: Direct into garden bed
Row Spacing: Double rows 60 cm apart
Plant Spacing after thinning: 10 - 15 cm between plants
Details: Hill plants, up to 10 cm deep, to protect from wind damage. Water well once after sowing and then do not water again until seedlings appear.
Harvest: Pick daily, early in the morning for the best flavour
Bush Bean 'Blue Lake'
'Blue Lake' is considered one of the best tasting bush beans; it has round green stringless pods which are tender and sweet. It is heavy bearing with pods 17 cm long; it does well in warm areas. Suited to freezing. Sow spring and summer. Days to harvest: 55 - 60.
SB106 approx. 45 seeds
Bush Bean Borlotti 'Red Rooster' UT
'Red Rooster' has attractive mottled red pods, 13cm long, with 6-7 dark maroon and white seeds when fresh, changing to maroon and tan when dried; it is disease resistant and productive. It is mainly grown for use as a dried bean but the fresh podded beans are delicious. Use dried beans in soups, stews, Mexican dishes and baked beans. Days to harvest: 60 - 70; harvest when the pods rattle, hang upside down undercover; thresh when fully dried; freezing for 2 weeks before storage will kill weevils.
SB274 approx. 45 seeds
Bush Bean 'Italian Romano' UT
A stringless bean with flat, medium-green pods 15 cm long with a meaty texture and excellent flavour. Beans hold well on the plant without becoming tough. Very disease resistant and productive.
Although these are bush beans, they can have a strange reaction to insufficient sunlight or constant overcast weather and start to turn into climbers. All beans were originally climbers and may revert if conditions don't suit them, such as not enough sunlight. Days to harvest: 53 - 58.
SB230 approx. 45 seeds
Bush Bean 'Provider' UT
'Provider' is a bush bean, disease resistant and very productive. It has an upright growth habit; producing straight, tender, stringless, round pods, 17 cm long. This variety has the ability to germinate in cool soil so is a good choice for early spring sowing. Days to harvest: 50.
SB202 approx. 45 seeds
Bush Bean 'Roc D'Or' UT
'Roc D'Or' is a classic 'French' bean with crisp, golden yellow, slender, straight pods, 14 - 15 cm long, with black seeds and purple flowers. Excellent yields with good disease resistance. Germinates well in cool soil so is a good choice for early spring sowing. Days to harvest: 55 - 60.
SB297 approx. 45 seeds
Bush Bean 'Royal Burgundy' UT
'Royal Burgundy' is an open-pollinated bush bean, producing beautiful glossy, tender, stringless, round pods, 15 cm long. The delicious, violet-purple beans turn green when cooked. It is disease resistant and productive. Days to harvest: 52.
SB293 approx. 45 seeds
Bush Bean 'Simba' UT
'Simba' is an open-pollinated, smooth, round, stringless variety; producing very dark green, fleshy beans 13-14 cm long with a great flavour. It is a heavy cropper and disease resistant to rust, summer death and halo blight. A major commercial variety, very suitable for farmer's markets. Days to harvest: 45 - 52.
SB205 approx. 45 seeds
Bean Climbing 'Blue Lake'
'Climbing Blue Lake' is a stringless, round, tender, dark green bean 15 cm long with exceptional eating qualities; it also freezes well. It is very productive; generally climbing beans produce over a longer period than bush beans. 'Blue Lake' also copes well with summer heat. Days to harvest: 55 - 70.
SB103 approx. 45 seeds
Bean Climbing 'Giant of Stuttgart' UT
'Giant of Stuttgart' is a European heirloom bean with flat, stringless pods up to 30 cm long. It a vigorous and long producing bean, cropping over a 3 month period. It produces an abundance of tender, delicious, green beans. Simply one of the best beans to grow. Try to save some seed as it is often in short supply. Days to harvest: 70.
SB272 approx. 25 seeds
Bean Climbing 'Northeaster'
syn. 'Early Riser', 'Kwintus'
'Northeaster' is a Roma-type flat bean with pods up to 20 cm long, 2.5 cm wide. The vigorous vines produce an abundance of tasty, stringless, bright green beans with white seeds. It matures almost 2 weeks earlier than other climbing beans and stays tender even when big. Days to harvest: 55 - 70.
SB246 approx. 45 seeds
Bean Climbing 'Purple King' UT
'Purple King' produces dark purple pods, 18 cm long, which turn a deep, rich green when cooked. It has a long picking period and is heavy bearing with a great flavour. It copes well with summer heat. Days to harvest: 65.
SB282 approx. 45 seeds
Bean Climbing 'Scarlet Runner' UT
'Scarlet Runner' syn. 'Seven Year' bean is an heirloom variety with long, flat dark green pods with good eating qualities. An added attraction is the scarlet flowers. It can be treated as a perennial, shooting back from the rootstock every year. Best for cooler areas, it may fail to flower and bear well in warmer areas. Sow in temperate areas from spring to early summer. Days to harvest: 65.
SB150 approx. 12 seeds
What's in a name?
The beans commonly grown and sold in Australia can also be called French beans, green beans, snap beans, shell beans or runner beans.
Botanically they can be divided into 2 groups:
1. Phaseolus vulgaris
This group includes snap beans, string beans, French beans, kidney beans, flageolets, haricot vert, filet beans and romano beans. This is a very diverse group, with seeds in an amazing range of colours. There are both fresh and dried types and climbing and bush types.
2. Phaseolus coccineus
This group is commonly called Runner Beans syn. Case Knife Bean, the bean seeds are large and the flowers are pink or red. Most runner beans are climbing which is where the name 'runner' comes from and they are often perennial . It includes the cultivars Painted Lady, Sunset, Scarlet Runner syn. Seven Year Bean. They are best in cooler areas.
These beans can be further divided into bush (also called dwarf beans) or climbing beans (also called pole beans).
Bean 'Adzuki' UT
Syn. Chinese red bean
Adzuki beans are small, red beans that originated in Japan. It is a warm season annual that grows to 60 cm tall. The beans have a sweet nutty flavour, are high in protein and are relatively easy to digest compared to other beans. It is popular in Asian cooking and macrobiotic diets. No soaking is required for the dried beans and the cooking time is relatively short. It does best from southern NSW (with irrigation) to SE Queensland. It can also be used as a green manure. It does best when it is sown in mid-summer so that the pods are maturing as the temperature starts to fall. Sow it from early December to January in southern NSW; late January to early February in SE Queensland. Days to harvest: 120 for dried beans harvest when pods turn yellow, before splitting occurs; young pods can be eaten fresh.
SB317 approx. 45 seeds
syn. Fava Bean, Faba Bean
Broad beans are eaten either as a young pod or a mature bean, fresh or dried. Also useful as a winter green manure. Sow late summer, autumn, winter. Best in temperate areas; it may fail to flower and bear well in warmer areas.
Broad Bean 'Aquadulce' UT
'Aquadulce' is an heirloom broad bean variety with a great flavour. It produces an early, prolific crop on tall plants, pods are 15 cm long. Days to harvest: 85 - 95.
SB258 approx. 40 seeds
Broad Bean 'Coles Dwarf' UT
'Coles Dwarf' is short variety able to withstand more wind damage than other broad beans. It produces a prolific crop of gourmet beans with a great flavour. The pods are 13 cm long x 2.5 cm wide with 3 to 4 seeds each. The young pods can be harvested and eaten whole, or wait until the pods are full size and then shell the pods for the white seeds. Days to harvest: 70.
SB259 approx. 40 seeds
Broad Bean 'Tripoli' UT
Broad Bean 'Tripoli' offers big improvements in pod size and yield compared to other cultivars. It has an excellent yield of long 20 cm pods with 6 - 7 large seeds each. The young pods can be harvested and eaten whole, or wait until the pods are full size and then shell the pods for the pale green seeds. It copes better with warmer weather than other varieties. Days to harvest: 75 - 85.
SB309 approx. 15 seeds
Soybean 'Edamame' UT
'Edamame' is a large-seeded type of soybean that is eaten as a green vegetable. It is both highly nutritious and a delicious taste treat. It is prepared by boiling or steaming the pods for 5-10 minutes, then cooling under running water. It is eaten by squeezing the seeds from the fibrous pods. The seeds can also be used as a dried bean, to make tofu, miso, soy flour and soymilk. It is an annual warm season legume, to 75 cm in height, that grows best in temperate and subtropical climates. Sow it from October to February from Sydney north to Brisbane and in southern QLD; sow it from September to March on the Atherton tableland and in the Bundaberg area; sow it from April to March in the Bowen area. This seed is unlikely to do well south of Sydney.
Soil Type: Rich, well drained, garden loam; keep soil moist once pods start to fill.
Germination period: 10 days; it germinates best at 20 - 25°C soil temperature; do not over-water, seed rots easily.
Planting depth: 2.5 - 3 cm deep.
Position: Full sun; direct where it is to grow.
Row Spacing: 30 cm apart.
Plant Spacing: 30 cm between plants.
Days to harvest: 80 - 90; harvest when the seeds have reached full size and the pods are fat and bright green, before the pods yellow.
SS211 approx. 50 seeds
Soybean as green manure
New Guinea Bean H
Syn. Italian edible gourd, gourd cucuzzi, Indian squash, bottle gourd, calabash gourd, doodhi, lowki
Not of course a bean at all, instead this is a type of squash. A traditional Italian vegetable, the light green fruits are cylindrical 60 - 100 cm long and can weigh up to 2.5 kg. The creamy white flesh is said to have a flavour and texture similar to green beans, which is probably where it gets its common name. The white flowers are large and scented. Sow next to a trellis, after all danger of frost has passed, with a minimum soil temperature of 22°C, 2.5 cm deep, 30 cm apart. Early plants can be sown in seedling pots for later transplanting. Prepare well-drained soil with compost and well-rotted manure. Pick the green fruit when young, 15-60 cm long. Prepare it in a similar way to squash.
SN101 approx. 10 seeds
Looking for Guada Bean?
There is a bit of confusion around this plant name. It is sometimes used as a synonym for New Guinea Bean Lagenaria siceraria which is a true gourd but more often refers to Serpent Gourd Trichosanthes anguina.
Bean 'Madagascar' H
Syn. Lima del Papa Runner
A vigorous, climbing, tropical lima bean, it lives for many years and is excellent at coping with wet, humid conditions. It can be used as a tropical alternative to broad beans or as a dried bean. The dried beans cook quickly and make tasty vegetarian burgers! Suitable for warm temperate, subtropical and tropical areas. Madagascar Bean growing information.
SB111 approx. 10 seeds
Snake Bean Climbing 'Red Dragon' H
Vigna unguiculata var. sesquipedalis
syn. Chinese Long Beans, Yard Long Bean, Asparagus Bean
'Red Dragon' produces 60 - 70cm long, dark green slender pods with a small red-brown tip; seed is red coloured. Highly productive and can be picked for approx. 4 weeks. Snake beans are very nutritious and have a slightly sweet flavour and crunchy texture; use them steamed, in stir-fries or curries. Snake bean is resistant to Bean Fly and Rust that can make French or runner beans difficult to grow over summer. Sow all year round in tropical and frost-free areas. Elsewhere sow from spring to early summer.
SB296 approx. 20 seeds
Bean 'Winged' H
syn. Goa Bean, Asparagus pea
Winged bean is a vigorous, tropical climber with mauve-blue flowers and four-angled pods with wavy margins. The pods, leaves, flowers and tubers are all edible. It is high in protein: the seeds contain 34% protein and 17% oil; the root contains 20% protein. If you are growing it for pods, leaves or flowers, grow it on a trellis; a trellis is not needed if you are growing it for the tuberous roots - let it sprawl. Of course, you will need to replant annually if you are harvesting the roots. The young leaves (top three sets of leaflets on a shoot) are cooked and eaten. The flowers taste like sweetish mushrooms. It is among the world’s most effective nitrogen-fixers.
A short day length (11-13 hours of daylight) during hot weather is required to flower, so it is not suitable for temperate areas; it is also very frost sensitive. It grows to 3 - 4m. Wait for warm, humid weather before sowing; in the subtropics sow November - December; in the tropics sow October until January. It will grow on a wide range of soils but requires moisture to do well; it tolerates acidity. Plant rows 1m apart; with 30 - 60 cm between plants. To improve germination either rub seeds with sandpaper or soak in hot water until the seeds swell. Harvest the pods when 10 - 20 cm long; use like green beans. Days to harvest: 60.
SB113 approx. 25 seeds
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