The snap bean (or green bean) is eaten pod and all and tastes significantly better when grown at home rather than bought at the grocery store. The three varieties in this packet are bush type beans, which means that they require no staking and produce most of their crop over a 2 to 3 week period. Packet includes: 'Blue Lake 274', an heirloom favorite, noted for excellent flavor and texture, fresh or frozen (white seed); 'Resistant Cherokee Wax', a vigorous plant producing bright yellow pods (black seed); and 'Purple Queen', with glossy deep purple pods that turn forest green when cooked (brown seed).
• Botanical Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
• Days to Maturity: 45–55 days
• Family: Fabaceae
• Native: Mexico and South America
• Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
• Plant Dimensions: Upright, compact, 12"–22" tall
• Variety Information: 5"–6" long, green, bright yellow or deep purple pods. 'BLUE LAKE 274' is an heirloom, producing round, 6" pods with exceptional flavor and tenderness; the best green bean variety for freezing. Stringless when picked young. Plants are resistant to common bean mosaic virus (1, NY15). 'RESISTANT CHEROKEE WAX' is a 1959 improvement on the original 'Cherokee Wax'. Bright yellow pods conceal black seeds! Stringless in all stages; excellent for canning or freezing. 'ROYAL BURGUNDY' has deep purple, slightly curved, tender pods that turn dark green when cooked.
• Type: Snap bean
• When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 65°F, ideally 70°–85°F. Successive Sowings: Every 7 to 14 days up to 80 days before your average first fall frost date. NOTE: In very hot summer areas, skip sowing as high heat approaches; temperatures consistently above 90°F will prevent beans from forming.
• When to Start Inside: Not recommended
• Days to Emerge: 6–12 days
• Seed Depth: 1"
• Seed Spacing: 1 seed every 4"
• Row Spacing: 24"
• Thinning: Not required
• Harvesting: Snap beans are ready to pick when the pod "snaps" or breaks in half cleanly. This is when the seeds have just begun to form and the pods are several inches long (depending on the variety). Hold the stem with one hand, and the pod with the other hand to avoid pulling off branches, which will continue to produce. At season's end, plants are great compost material if they are disease-free.