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Old February 23, 2019   #1
MuddyBuckets
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Default Runner Bean Varieties Wanted

I will be planting runner beans in 5 gallon soft containers this season and would like to swap some pepper seeds for some different varieties of beans. Specifically looking for bush or dwarf patio (less than 5' tall) varieties. "Jackpot" "St. George" and "Firestorm" are 3 varieties I would like to try.
PM if interested
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Old February 23, 2019   #2
JoParrott
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Are runner beans different than pole beans?
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Old February 23, 2019   #3
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Originally Posted by JoParrott View Post
Are runner beans different than pole beans?
Yes, they are very different. They have different flavors, sizes and growing conditions. Pole beans prefer warm/hot weather, and typically have white, lavender, or pale pink flowers. Runner Beans like cooler weather, have very large pods and beans and usually have red, white, pink or bicolor flowers. I found this picture online that shows typical runner beans and flowers:
( photo is from https://www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk/Peas-...ter-Seeds.html )
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File Type: jpg Runner beans.jpg (112.5 KB, 90 views)

Last edited by gardenmermaid; February 23, 2019 at 10:52 PM. Reason: give credit where credit is due
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Old February 23, 2019   #4
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Originally Posted by MuddyBuckets View Post
I will be planting runner beans in 5 gallon soft containers this season and would like to swap some pepper seeds for some different varieties of beans. Specifically looking for bush or dwarf patio (less than 5' tall) varieties. "Jackpot" "St. George" and "Firestorm" are 3 varieties I would like to try.
PM if interested
I wasn't aware they came in dwarf. Thanks for giving me another seed to "need" MuddyBuckets
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Old February 24, 2019   #5
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Lots of folks around here raise "White Half Runners". This one has excellent flavor and is great for canning. But I don't like having to remove "the strings" that are on both sides of each bean.

The one I grow most of the time is "Blue Lake 274" bush bean. If you buy a can of green beans in the store, chances are real good that it is a Blue Lake. Harvesting lasts about 3 weeks from start of picking time.

They take about 63 days and are really great producers. Most years, I can reach in and grab 6 or more at the same time when "picking" time arrives. They also can be flavored while cooking or reheating. I like salt pork or bacon. Very versatile.
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Old February 24, 2019   #6
LDiane
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Of course, Blue Lake is a Phaseolus vulgaris, not a runner bean which is a Phaseolus coccineus.

I have grown St George which was the top producer in a big trial that was run at the Royal Horticultural Society garden at Wisley. I can't remember how tall it got, but I don't think it was short. My runner beans are usually way over my head. I grow them up individual bamboo canes which I can then bend down to reach the beans at the top.

I did grow some short runners from Native Seeds Search. They climbed up a bit and then produced a lot of branches. There is a special term for this kind of growth that I forget.
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Old February 24, 2019   #7
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? Half-runners? Can anyone describe for me the growth habit of half runner beans? And are they all varieties of Phaseolus coccineus? And if so, I assume they will require growing in isolation if one wants to save seeds?

Sorry for all the questions, am more experienced in regular old bush beans and pole beans. (and Scarlet Runners, of course!)
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Old February 24, 2019   #8
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I haven't heard the term "half-runner" before. I've just pulled out a number of English vegetable books, but none use that term.

I just googled and they are P vulgaris, not runners at all.
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Old February 24, 2019   #9
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I haven't heard the term "half-runner" before. I've just pulled out a number of English vegetable books, but none use that term.

I just googled and they are P vulgaris, not runners at all.
Well, let's see if this link will help.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...AA&FORM=IQFRBA

There are pictures of several "half runner" beans in there. I can testify to the fact that most of them do not taste "vulgaris". Cooked with some salt pork, they are quite delicious.
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Old February 24, 2019   #10
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Originally Posted by ContainerTed View Post
Well, let's see if this link will help.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...AA&FORM=IQFRBA

There are pictures of several "half runner" beans in there. I can testify to the fact that most of them do not taste "vulgaris". Cooked with some salt pork, they are quite delicious.
Lol, Ted

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? Half-runners? Can anyone describe for me the growth habit of half runner beans? And are they all varieties of Phaseolus coccineus? And if so, I assume they will require growing in isolation if one wants to save seeds?

Sorry for all the questions, am more experienced in regular old bush beans and pole beans. (and Scarlet Runners, of course!)
Salix, to my limited knowledge all the "half-runner" types are P. vulgaris, and growth habit depends on the variety, but all benefit from support. So in that regard they behave more like pole beans, to me. Striped bunch gets to about 4-5' in my garden, but some like Mountaineer Half Runner and NT Half Runner will top 6-7'. It probably also depends on growing conditions and I only speak from my own experience.

Many of these types have been grown in the hills and hollers of the Appalachians for generations, and as Ted points out so eloquently, their rich, beany flavor speaks to their longevity.

If you'd like to try some PM me
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Old February 25, 2019   #11
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P. vulgaris varieties are much more productive in my gardens in the mid-Atlantic.

P. coccineus tends to shut down early for me as summer's heat and humidity builds - it is quite popular in the UK in their damp, cooler climate. It might be a good winter crop in the southern US and can perennialize where the ground does not freeze.

It's interesting to hear others' experiences with different varieties in various locations. I've had best luck with the classic Scarlett Runner as well as Insuk's Wang Kong here in PA but both are pretty massive vines when mature.
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Old February 25, 2019   #12
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Bee, thank you very much indeed for all the information and also your kind offer. I have 4 types of 'half-runner' seed in my stash obtained in trades. Actually have grown 2 of them (Black Manitoba and Tuscarora Bread) but in my conditions they seemed to be just rather overgrown bush beans which needed a bit of support. Will try the Pink Half Runner this year with a bit more attention to their growth.
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Old February 25, 2019   #13
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... they seemed to be just rather overgrown bush beans which needed a bit of support.
That's a great description for some half-runners!
Here are a few heirloom kinds: http://www.heirlooms.org/store/c13/H...ner_Beans.html

Hope your Pink half-runners do well this season! Here's a pic for you to look forward to:
http://www.holmesseed.com/pink-half-runner/

and I just found there's one called "Volunteer", developed at the University of Tennessee, so of course I'll be looking for that one, now.

MuddyBuckets, this place doesn't ship to the US or Canada but they have a plethora of runner bean varieties, including the ones you're interested in. Perhaps you know someone in GB that could arrange an order?

https://www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk/se...fq=Runner+bean

I haven't grown any runner beans but wish you luck with growing them in the South! Maybe a little shade under the patio would be good?

One odd thing I just thought of: Why are half-runners the only beans without "beans" in the title?
"The bush beans are early this year."
"Wow, those are some really nice pole beans."
"Look at those beautiful runner bean blossoms!"
"Why are these half-runners soooo tasty? You would think they'd be vulgaris." ( credit to Ted Maiden )
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Old February 25, 2019   #14
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Lots of folks around here raise "White Half Runners". This one has excellent flavor and is great for canning. But I don't like having to remove "the strings" that are on both sides of each bean.

The one I grow most of the time is "Blue Lake 274" bush bean. If you buy a can of green beans in the store, chances are real good that it is a Blue Lake. Harvesting lasts about 3 weeks from start of picking time.

They take about 63 days and are really great producers. Most years, I can reach in and grab 6 or more at the same time when "picking" time arrives. They also can be flavored while cooking or reheating. I like salt pork or bacon. Very versatile.
I thought I'd add an old picture of the year I grew Blue Lake and White Half Runners side by side. This shows Blue Lake on the right and White Half Runners on the Left. Note that the Blue Lakes don't need support

25May2012g.JPG

Further down the hill on the left is a row of peas.

Happy eating, Y'all !!
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Last edited by ContainerTed; February 25, 2019 at 03:16 PM.
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Old February 25, 2019   #15
Hensaplenty
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Love the pic, Ted! I grew up in Western North Carolina and grew up eating white half runners. No other green bean was ever considered. LOL They've been in my family for many, many years, and are my favorite. I don't mind the strings because I love the flavor so much. And, yes, they make the best canned bean. I'm branching out tho.....last year trying pink tip greasy. It was very good.
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