Blue Lake Pole bean

Asked May 16, 2016, 3:50 PM EDT

Last few years of planting these we have noticed that the beans are becoming flat, tough, and stringingy....... Anyone know a reason for this? water, to much? not enough? Poor seed quality? fertilizer needed? Thanks

Marion County Oregon beans horticulture vegetable gardening

1 Response

Your question has been bouncing around the internet for nearly 10 years. Several thoughts have been proposed, among them the typical reasons for poor performance: poor environmental conditions such as too hot or too cold; or harvested too early or too late.

Several other theories are that the strain is reverting to a wild type and/or some seed producers aren’t rigorous enough in rogueing (removing) off-type plants from their fields. It doesn’t appear that any university-based research has looked into the question. The problem is currently unresolved.

For now, the suggestions for gardeners are to rogue your Blue Lake pole bean plants when you see an off-type plant, or switch to Kentucky Blue pole bean. You might set up your own trial while growing both varieties. Beans, both bush and pole, are self-pollinizers, thus they only need enough separation to ensure the plants don’t intertwine.