Bush Snap Bean – Contender (Buff Valentine)


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Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Bush Snap Bean – Contender (Buff Valentine)


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Phaseolus vulgaris 

49 days. [1949, SC/AES. Possibly derived from pre-1855 Early Valentine.] The best early green bean for gardeners who desire good flavor, disease resistance, and high yield. 5½ in. long pods. Fairly hardy under adverse conditions and well suited to greenhouse use. Resistant to common bean mosaic virus (race 1) and tolerant of powdery mildew. Small (28 g) packet has about 50 seeds.

Packet: 1 oz (28 g) about 60-120 seeds, sows 10-18’.

How to Grow: Beans grow well in any well-drained garden soil, but do best in soils with pH above 6.0. After the last frost, plant seeds 1 in. deep and 2 in. apart in rows 12 to 18 in. apart, thinning to 4 in. apart. Beans may benefit from a source of soluble nitrogen (if your soil is low in nitrogen) during the first 3 weeks until nitrogen-fixing nodules develop, but do not apply nitrogen after this period. Dark-seeded beans are more resistant to rotting in cool soil than light-seeded beans. Beans need a minimum soil temperature of 65 degrees F to germinate well, otherwise seeds may rot.

Succession: Plant every 3 weeks for a steady supply. Hot weather: in deep summer heat, snap bean flowers may not set pods; southern peas and asparagus beans are more reliable producers at these times.

Harvest: Pick when pods are small, before seeds fill the pods. Keep well picked so that plants continue to bear.

Storage: Keep dry – wet beans will mold in storage.

Diseases: Rotate on a 3-year cycle if disease is a problem. Don’t cultivate or harvest when foliage is wet since anthracnose, bacterial blight, and rust diseases may be spread. Avoid watering the plants in the evening. Mulch plants to prevent rain from splashing dirt on beans.

Insect Pests: Use rotenone, or introduce the Pedio Wasp (Pediobus foveolatus) to give excellent biological control of Mexican bean beetles.

Cherokee Cornfield Bean

Seed Savers: Isolate bean varieties a minimum of 25’ for home use. For pure seed an isolation distance of 100-150’ is required.

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