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Old September 29, 2015   #1
rxkeith
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Default sicitaliano black swamp pole bean

i got this one from sandhill preservation. having grandparents from sicily, i just had to try it. i started 9 seeds in a cell pack to get an early start, but only one came up, so had to replant in ground. i finally got enough to have a couple big meals.

i really like this one. its a flat pod green bean. some beans have very faint purple on them.
the vines grow quite long. they are tender when cooked. we steamed them. the flavor is the closest in taste to my great uncle steve pole beans that i have come across.

i won't be able to save seeds this year due to the late start. we have frost warnings the next couple of days. i will definitely be growing this one again.
anybody else growing it this year?



keith
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Old January 10, 2016   #2
happydog
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Thanks for this description. I bought seed for this one, but it didn't make the final planting list. When you say "the vines grow quite long" how long are you talking about? It's a bush variety, isn't it?
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Old January 10, 2016   #3
PhilaGardener
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Glenn has it in the pole bean section. Sounds like an interesting variety!
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Old January 10, 2016   #4
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Wow, I would have sworn it was listed as a bush bean last year. Glad I didn't plant it, then. I'll plant it with the poles this year. Thanks!
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Old January 10, 2016   #5
rxkeith
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i do my pole bean growing on 5 ft fencing that comes in 50 or 100 ft rolls attached to T posts. it might be 4 ft fencing. when the vines get to the top, i start threading them into the fencing otherwise they flop over, and become a tangled mess. i would say the black swamp pole bean can exceed 10-12 ft in length if allowed to grow straight up. my uncle steve pole bean has grown up 8 ft fencing to a string trellis about 8 ft in length attached to the house, and was still growing when it reached the house before frost killed it. that was in the detroit area.
i hope you have good luck with black swamp. its a good un.



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Old January 18, 2016   #6
swamper
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This is a great pole bean variety. It is sourced to an old Italian/American gentleman name DiBramo. I'm not sure I got that spelling correct. His godson went to visit him on his deathbed. Mr DiBramo said come here, and handed his godson a handful of bean seeds. His godson, in his mid 70s, lives in Wolcott, Connecticut and grows these beans.

I've grown them for a few years. Fusionpower helped revive them when I had trouble germinating some older seed that I had, and sent some to Glen at Sand Hill.

These beans are vigorous meaty and full flavored. Pulling a bag out of the freezer in the middle of the winter brings back the flavors of summer, and they will definitely provide a surplus harvest to freeze. The mature seeds are black and if left to mature the flattened pods take on a mottled pink color, but they are best harvested as you would romano beans in the green bean stage.
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Old January 18, 2016   #7
happydog
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How are they as shellies?
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Old January 18, 2016   #8
Fusion_power
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Swampy sent me a pack with a few hundred seed of this bean several years ago. I was not able to grow them until 2013 but none of the seed germinated that year. I started all my remaining seed in 2014 using protocols to revive dead or near dead seed. I wound up with about 10% germination on about 400 seed. That gave enough plants to put in a 40 foot row and produced enough seed to send to Sandhill which they listed in the 2015 catalog.

The bean seed is nearly round which is unusual in a temperate adapted bean. I've only seen the round trait in tropical beans before. It is a good flavored snap bean with rich old fashioned flavor. As noted by Sandhill, this bean really shines for freezing.

I highly recommend growing this bean if you are looking for a rich flavored snap bean. They can be shelled in the green mature stage as well.
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Old January 19, 2016   #9
Aerial
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Hi Fusion, do you mind sharing your techniques for reviving "dead" seeds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
Swampy sent me a pack with a few hundred seed of this bean several years ago. I was not able to grow them until 2013 but none of the seed germinated that year. I started all my remaining seed in 2014 using protocols to revive dead or near dead seed. I wound up with about 10% germination on about 400 seed. That gave enough plants to put in a 40 foot row and produced enough seed to send to Sandhill which they listed in the 2015 catalog...
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Old January 19, 2016   #10
happydog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxkeith View Post
the flavor is the closest in taste to my great uncle steve pole beans that i have come across.

keith
Keith, how is the production compared to Uncle Steve's?
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Old January 20, 2016   #11
rxkeith
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happy dog,

i can't really compare accurately at this time. last year was my first time growing sicitaliano black swamp, and they had a late start. over a full season, i would expect them to do well. darryl, and swamper might be able to provide info. i know darryl has grown both of them.



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Old January 21, 2016   #12
Fusion_power
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Production of the black swamp beans is better by a tad than Uncle Steve's. If I compare with a highly productive bean like Rattlesnake, I would estimate that they produce about 60% and 50% respectively as much total beans. Flavor of both is significantly better than Rattlesnake.

Waking up old bean seed is not very difficult. You need a cell tray or a bunch of cups that can be watered from the bottom. Fill the tray with good quality seed start mix like Promix BX or equivalent. Water thoroughly so the soil mix is completely damp to the point of dripping water. Include about 1/2 teaspoon of liquid fertilizer (miracle grow or equivalent) in the water, you MUST have some nitrogen in the soil to get a response from the seed. Push the seed one at a time just into the top of the seed start mix so the hilium is down and the seed coat is flush with the top of the soil. Put beans an avrerage of 1 inch apart in the mix. Get them too close and dead seed will grow fungi that kill any that try to germinate. Bean seed must not be covered up for this to work, old bean seed need direct light exposure to germinate. Put the trays in a warm location at 75 degrees for 3 days, then put them under bright lights continuously until germination.

Using this method, I've been able to wake up 4 varieties of beans over the years. One of them gave only 7 plants out of a pound or more of seed. Those 7 plants produced nearly 2 pounds of fresh seed.
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Old January 22, 2016   #13
Aerial
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Thanks so much for sharing the details, Fusion. Will try for sure. (:
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Old May 5, 2016   #14
aftermidnight
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I'm growing them for the first time, does the black in their name come from the color of the cotyledon? The deepest of purples almost black on the undersides. Some of the sturdiest seedlings I've ever seen.

Annette
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Old May 6, 2016   #15
swamper
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That's an interesting observation. I think the name was made after the color of the dried bean seed. It's likely some of those pigments contribute to the delicious flavor and add nutritional qualities.
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