If you want to grow traditional green beans in North Florida, you get planting times in the spring and fall, but the summer can be a bit tricky for fresh garden produce.
Enter… yard long beans! They are related to the southern peas that do so well in the heat, only they grow longer and stay tender.
If you were not familiar with yard long beans, I could show you my incredibly long green beans, and then sell you whatever brand of fertilizer I wanted.
Speaking of fertilizer…
It was David from www.thesurvivalgardener.com who first got me started with this great crop. He has an entertaining post about these beans as well as an efficient (albeit dubious)method of fertilizing plants.
I had a few precious seeds saved from last year, and so I rationed some out into flats to be sure of optimum survival rates. I planted them about 1/2 inch deep, gave them water, and exposed them to the blistering heat of summer.
They twine like typical pole beans, but did not complain about my netting. I think they would grow 50 feet long if I let them.
I have to admit that they did not get much care from me. My garden is a pretty dismal sight in summer and so it kinda depresses me to go out there too much. I tend to stay inside and make yummy stuff like peach jam and sand pear butter. Gotta work on the summer gardening a bit more.
Okra grows well for me. Maybe I’ll divide the garden among these beans, sweet potatoes (grown mostly for the greens), and okra. Sounds like a good plan.
The vines took a while to get flowers, but then the beans started growing.
Pretty neat, huh?
I think I may just skip regular green beans next year and plant these starting in the spring. If I can get these vines to grow from April to October, I may not even have room for ice cubes in my freezer!
Have you ever had yard long beans? Would you grow them?
I have this really neat recipe for Yard Long Bean Knots that I’m going to share. I wanted to do something to showcase them in an interesting way, and I thought it turned out pretty well.
I loved my yard long beans 🙂 We did the Chinese Red Noodle variety this year, and they were a dark red with a green stripe up the middle.
Oh, how beautiful! Aren’t they a fun vegetable?
I am gardening in Brisbane, Australia which has a sub-tropical climate and find that these snake beans are pretty well the only vegetable I can grow in our hot, humid summer that is not troubled by pests and disease. I plant the seeds straight into the ground in our spring (planting this week) and they keep me and my friends in beans for months.
That’s great! I am planning to skip traditional green beans next year and just plant these beans. They do so well in our heat and humidity.
Are these the same as asparagus beans?!
Yes! Oops, guess I should have put that in the title too!
I’m just glad to know. 🙂 they’re so very tasty!
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Your posts have so much useful information. I have been concentrating on fruit trees and clearing land and the other day realized I have nothing in the way of vegetables to eat for the simple reason I planted nothing this year. So I just put in my first winter garden which is quite small and I will see how it goes. I love your posts since you are local and so what works for you will most likely work for me. I will add a caution for the fall for those on the gulf coast of America. In the fall various snakes like our ubiquitous water moccasin will often leave creeks for uplands. Specifically a thicket that I was clearing a few weeks ago. My traditional farm bulldog called a white english was upset about something and I figured snake. Water moccasins have a characteristic smell that many people can detect. I carefully approached the area where Ginger was barking at a retreating water moccasin. Water moccasin bites cost from $30,000 to $100,000 dollars to treat at the hospital and so can not be left to be if they are in an area that you frequent. That snake is deceased and Ginger earned her dogfood that day. I also spotted a ground hornet (yellow jacket) nest in that area that I marked off. Hornets and wasps are most dangerous in the fall also.
I love gardening in the fall! I hope you get a good yield. Good tip about the snakes; hopefully you won’t see many more. Yay for Ginger!
Great website. Question: When do you water your Yard Long Beans? I’m in Jacksonville zone 9A and just not sure what to do. They seem to do better when I water them at night (they are about 2 inches high — just starting out) but my father-in-law who is used to growing up north says to water in the morning. What say you? Thanks !
Technically, you’re not supposed to water at night because the water can sit on the plants and cause disease problems. However, it has been my experience in Florida that the water will evaporate pretty quickly. If you have been watering at night, the water probably doesn’t evaporate from the soil as quickly and the plants can soak it up more, and if you’re not noticing disease I would continue. For him, though, I would definitely recommend watering in the morning. Enjoy those yard long beans! They’re great!