May 31, 2011

Planting Heirloom Imported Italian Pole Beans

Suddenly, it's summer, or so, at least, it feels like it. Time to plant beans. This is the season, and I am choosing to grow heirloom imported Italian string beans, because....well, if one is going to dedicate a little time and space in which to grow beans, why grow something ordinary? I want something that I could never, ever find, even at a farmers market. I want special fancy beans!

 As soil temperatures rise above 55 degrees F, and night air temperatures staying above 65 degrees, signals the time when it is safe to plant the tenderest of vegetables such as basil, tomatoes, summer squashes and beans. This year I am planting three types of pole beans. Not too many, just one bean tower per variety. I was raised in a bush bean family, meaning that we always grew long rows of bush string beans, golden wax and green types. But real bean enthusiasts know that pole beans are tastier. This year I have two imported Italian varieties, one, a violet string bean, and the second, flat podded yellow roma bean. The third variety is a green string variety from Johnny's Selected Seeds.

 These two Italian varieties are available from this Italian site for Franchi seeds. The violet bean is the climbing French variety Trionfo Violetto, a stringless beand with excellent flavor and a brilliant purple color, and the yellow flat pod is a choice heirloom variety called Cornetti Meraviglia di Venezia which is served with modena vinegar and olive oil in Italy.
Seeds are planted in a trench rather close, and then thinned to 4-6 inches apart. The bean towers, ( available from Gardener's Supply) are 60 inches tall, and can be lifted and stored for the winter.

1 comment :

  1. I'm trying the Trionfo Violetto this year too, just a couple vines in a container that will be fighting for sun with a climbing squash. Just noticed a little bean yesterday. It will be great to get some growing reports on this bean.


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