Common beans, green beans, snap beans, string beans and wax beans are all members of the Fabaceae/Leguminosae (bean Family). In Florida bush beans are a great vegetable plant to grow during the summer.
Phaseolus vulgaris is the botanical name of an herbaceous annual plant domesticated independently in ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes, and now grown worldwide for its edible bean, popular both dry and as a green bean (Source: Wikipedia). Beans were first domesticated more than 5000 years ago and by the time of the Spaniards' arrival in the New World, beans were an important food for natives throughout the Americas.
In this article I will write about three of many stringless bush bean varieties which can be planted now for fresh and tasty summer vegetables.
Beans have trifoliate compound leaves, bilaterally symmetrical, showy flowers, and elongate legumes (pods) that contain from three to a dozen or more usually kidney-shaped seeds. Bush varieties support themselves without the need of a trellis although they may flop over after heavy summer rain storms. Bean flowers may be pink, red, white or yellow and the pods come in various shades and combinations of green, purple, and yellow.
The various types of beans usually are named for their culinary use, especially the stage of development at which they are eaten. Those grown for the immature pods are called snap, string, French or green beans; important cultivars are 'Blue Lake' and 'Kentucky Wonder', the stringless varieties are usually grown commercially for canning and freezing, but are also popular with home gardeners. All varieties of P. vulgaris can be eaten in any stage of development.
CHEROKEE WAX from American Seed – 43-55 days – Said to "date from 1946, the hardy 1 ½ foot plants will reliably produce a stringless crop of oval pods that ripen to a golden yellow color. Good choice for canning or fresh use. A vigorous, heavy yielding variety."
ROYAL BURGUNDY from Ferry~Morse -- 55 days - Said to be a "very good producer of round, stringless, purple pod beans, that grow on 15 to 20 inch plants. The delicious beans turn green when cooked. Mexican bean beetles avoid this variety.” Be aware that beans left on the vine too long and that grow too large will end up tough and stringy so they should definitely be picked early.
TENDERGREEN IMPROVED from Ferry~Morse -- 53 days - Said to be an "All American Selection" winner in 1933. The strong, upright plants grow 16 to 20 inches high, and produce an abundant crop of 5 to 7 inch, straight, green, meaty pods. An excellent bean for fresh use or for canning!"
Culture: Green beans are easy to grow. The young pods of snap beans can be picked within 45-60 days after planting. Beans, like other legumes, can make their own nitrogen, so they don't need additional fertilizer, actually too much fertilizer will result in an abundance of foliage but few pods.
Light: Green beans need full sun.
Moisture: Green beans need regular watering to produce good crops. If the soil is allowed to dry out too much, some of the beans in the pods will not develop and the pods will end up being soft and wrinkled.
Propagation: Plant green beans an inch or two deep and three or four inches apart in rows three or four feet apart. While bush varieties will support themselves, they will be happier if you provide supports for them to climb up.
Usage: Harvest green beans for use in the pod stage before they fill out fully; this will encourage more flowering and more pods -- the bean pods are the tenderest at this stage. Beans will produce for about three weeks; successive plantings allow continuous harvest throughout the summer.