Avg seeds/pkt 24
Plump and marbled with red, cranberry pole beans are productive and versatile. Young pods are eaten as green beans; pink and green pods are shelled for fresh beans; and red and tan pods are allowed to dry on the vine for winter suppers. When cooked, their creamy interior and nutty flavor are perfect for greens and beans, minestrone or baked with tart apples, sweet onions and maple syrup.
Sow seeds in full sun and warm, rich, well-drained soil after last frost or when soil temps are above 65°F. Build a teepee with six 6-foot poles—leave an entrance for easy harvest—and plant seeds 1 inch deep with 6 seeds around each pole. If using a trellis, space seeds 6 inches apart and water well. Seedlings emerge within 10 days.
Beans need an inch of water each week when blossoming and developing pods. In the absence of rain, water deeply in the morning and allow plants to dry before handling.
Start harvesting after 50 days for green beans, 70 days for fresh shelling beans, or 90 days for soup beans which may need to finish drying indoors. Then use the hammer test:
hit one and it should shatter when fully dried and ready for storage.
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