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Saturday Gardening Thread: It's "Bean" a Long Week [Y-not and KT]

Greetings, Gardening morons and moronettes! Welcome to your Saturday Gardening Thread.

Today's thread is brought to you by Politicians That Look Like Peppers:


OK, I don't know who these dudes are. How about 16 Things That Look Like Donald Trump?

Here's one in keeping with the Gardening Thread:


(As the Almighty is my witness, I had this in the Gardening Thread before seeing it in the sidebar. Honest!)

A brief "farm report" from Casa Y-not before we get to KT's contribution, which is YUGE!

The veggie garden this year has been weird. We had a very wet and cool Spring, which seems to have led to some disappointing results. My snap peas were OK, but not stellar in terms of the number of peas produced. Radishes bolted. Carrots look like they won't amount to much. And my tomatoes... meh.

I planted three varieties this year. Early in the Spring I put in "starts" of a yellow tomato called "Dr. Wyches" and of a small red tomato called "Sub Arctic Maxi." Somewhat later in the Spring I planted a couple of "Cherokee Chocolate" plants, a variety I'd had some success with last year.

The Dr. Wyches plants are large, but not very happy. They've suffered from brown leaves since pretty much right after I planted them. If I recall correctly, KT mentioned they don't like wet leaves --- and they sure had wet leaves for most of the Spring! They've made flowers and started a few fruits. Time will tell if I get to enjoy any of them.


The Sub Arctic Maxi plants have never amounted to much. They're short and stumpy, but they have produced some tomatoes. Sadly, I'm not particularly impressed by the cherry tomatoes I've gotten from these plants. I like a salty tomato with a "meaty" consistency. These are just sort of juicy and tangy, but nothing special. Oh well! Live and learn.

The Cherokee Chocolates are the happiest of the three varieties. The plants have grown quite a lot and seem healthy. They are just now starting to produce fruit.

Also at Casa Y-not we've tried growing cucumbers for the first time. The variety I chose was "Sultan," which seems to like to climb on the trellises that are part of my raised beds.


The cucumbers these plants produced are pretty tasty -- a little more aromatic than a typical grocery store cucumber and no bitterness. There are seeds, but not too many or too large. All in all, I deem them a success.


BTW, if you wonder why I chose this variety, it's simply because they were the healthiest plants at the garden center when I happened to go looking for veggie starts. Here's a link describing a few varieties you might try.

Finally, my peppers have underproduced. I planted a lot of "Padron" peppers, but haven't had more than a few dozen to harvest thus far. I think it's just too wet and too cool for them to thrive. I did also do a few bell peppers, "California Wonder," and they've provided some peppers for salads, but just not in abundance.

I've asked around, both locally and friends/family across the country, and my impression is that this has not been a great year for many of us small scale, home gardeners.

I blame Global Warming. And Boosh.

How are things in your neck of the woods?

And now... take it away, KT:

Runner Beans to grow for flowers and sweet snaps

In the comments on the Saturday Gardening Thread two weeks ago, Ronster wrote that his wife's pole bean was doing well, with lots of red blossoms attracting hummingbirds, but no beans. This is very typical of Scarlet Runner Beans in much of the USA. They are growing an heirloom variety, Scarlet Emperor. It was bred for improved bean pod quality compared to generic Scarlet Runners. There is now a version of Scarlet Emperor that produces stringless pods called "Scarlet Empire". All of these cultivars have striking flowers.

Ronster and his wife may get some beans as the weather cools off. Some people mist their plants after hot days to reduce night temperatures. In the meantime, they can enjoy the hummingbirds.


Scarlet Runner Blossoms with Hummingbird, in Canada

Most of the snap or green beans we eat in the United States are "common beans", Phaseolus vulgaris. "Runner Beans" are P. coccineus. *FIXED* This species originated in the highlands of Central America and similar regions in Mexico and northern South America. It generally prefers cool rather than cold or hot growing conditions. The plants often fail to set beans in warm weather, though the plants still blossom. It is too hot to even grow the plants where I live now.

I associate runner beans with the UK, and they are well-suited to places in the USA with similar summer weather. In the San Francisco Bay area, runner beans are perennial, but not reliably perennial. The tuberous roots can be eaten by rodents, or they can deteriorate over winter if soil conditions are not right for them. If you have a plant you particularly like, you may be able to store the roots over winter like one would with a prized dahlia.

Runner beans came to the UK via Spain and were first grown there as ornamentals. The scarlet-flowered varieties were the first to be developed in the UK. This is a disadvantage in terms of birds in the UK, because some birds eat the blossoms and there are no hummingbirds to be attracted by the color. White-flowered forms are less attractive to birds and sometimes produce pods with better eating quality. Over the years, cultivars with pink and bicolor flowers have also been developed. There are also some dwarf types. Typically, runner snap beans are bigger and sweeter than common snap beans, with a coarser texture and less "beany" flavor.

Recently, cultivars with genes from common beans have been introduced. These do not require pollination by insects (or hummingbirds) like regular runner beans, and they may have a little more tolerance to heat. They may also have improved texture. Note that, in the UK, common beans grown for snaps are called "French beans" whether or not they are from France.

The new "part French" runner beans include Firestorm, Snowstorm, Moonlight, Tenderstar (bicolor), Stardust (white) and Red Rum (called a hybrid by Thompson and Morgan).


Tenderstar -- "15 years of British breeding"

People seem to have a lot of fun naming runner beans. Check out a few of the recommended cultivars for flowers and snaps if you are interested in specific characteristics. There are links to additional information, including recipes, at the bottom of the page.

Seedaholic has some interesting information about development of runner beans into a food crop. Their history includes the transformation of the plants from daylength-sensitive to daylength-neutral. I'm KT, and I'm a seedaholic, too. I like this kind of information.

Runner beans are an especially important part of the gardening culture in the UK. Breeders vie for recognition by the Royal Horticultural Society. There are competitive runner bean exhibitions every year, sort of like the sweet pea exhibitions for which the UK is so famous. The National Pub Challenge for the longest runner bean is somewhat less structured than the typical runner bean exhibition.


Benchmaster, ready to arrange for exhibition

In the USA, there is a vigorous Scarlet Runner Bean making news among dedicated gardeners in warmer climates, Insuk's Wang Kong. It is from South Korea, where this type is known as the King Bean. It can reportedly even be grown in the low deserts of Arizona by starting it in November. There is quite a bit of variability in the seed color, so some people consider it to be a "landrace" rather than a stabilized cultivar. Pod quality is not up to the standards of the new English cultivars, so pick it younger for snaps, or wait and harvest it as a dried soup bean. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in trying it.

Runners to grow for luxurious shellies and upscale dried beans

I have grown four species of beans in order to harvest the mature, but not dried, seeds for cooking: common beans, cowpeas such as black eyed peas, edamame soybeans and Fordhook limas. Garbanzo beans are sold fresh in their pods in supermarkets here in spring. But until I started researching for this post, it had never occurred to me to try runner bean seeds as shelly beans. It just didnít seem like the right thing to do.

A Gardenweb reader from the UK requested recipes for using runner beans as shellies. The consensus among the bean enthusiasts who responded was that the cultivar makes more of a difference than does any specific recipe. One correspondent wrote,

The flavor and texture of Bianco di Spagna were much better than most runner seeds. . . So far, I have found four white runners with seeds with good eating qualities: "Bond's Orcas Lima" is a very early white runner with smaller thin-skinned good flavored seeds. We also liked "Cannellini Gigante" and "Delucci Cannellini" both of which are long season white seeded runners.

If you scroll through the thread, you will see a photo of one specimen of Bianco di Spagna that was 1 3/4 inches long. It wasn't the largest.

Runner beans at the shelly stage are not likely to be found in markets in the USA because the plants do not lend themselves to mass harvest of shelly beans. You have to grow your own, pretty much. If you have let your garden go feral and you have some big white-seeded runner beans (or other beans) at the right stage, take advantage of the bounty:

Beans are not a food we associate with urgency. Beans are stored wealth. They are an assurance that come winter cold, we will have something good to eat. But those of us who grow beans know otherwise. When they are picked at the proper time, as I was lucky enough to do, they are as full and as in their prime as an athlete, yet as supple as a dancer. This is fleeting moment to be celebrated.

"Supple as a dancer"? I had never thought of shelled beans that way before. Must be a guy thing. Well, never mind. Check out his book if you like (hunter, angler, gardener, cook). Shellies ARE different from dried beans. Anyway, let's eat.


Giant Greek Runner Beans with Roasted Peppers

Traditional cultivars of dried runner beans are becoming more popular with foodies. Really big runner beans seem to be especially popular. One example is the Giant Greek type.

Giant Greek runner beans do not come from the Greek islands. They come from the cooler, wetter mountainous region of Greece. But they are sold on the Greek islands, and if you are nostalgic for Greece during better days, you might want to buy some and prepare them in one of the Greek styles. They come in two size categories. "Gigantes and elephantes from the Kastoria, Florina, and Drama regions of Greece are recognized by the European Union as products of Protected Geographic Location". Sort of like French wines. I wonder if that designation would continue if Greece left the EU?

You might like to try the Greek tavern appetizer Gigantes Plaki. Some variations on this recipe are flavored with cinnamon or mint. If you would rather go Italian, the NYT has a recipe for Minestrone with Giant White Beans and Winter Squash.

Another runner bean with a "protected geographic location" is the Tarbais from France, traditionally planted with corn and picked as shellies (from a cornfield? That would be a miserable job) before the end-of-season harvest of dried beans. Thirty bucks a pound when out of season? I have a suspicion that the high price would be for high-labor shellies rather than for dried beans. That could be "out of season" from the point of view of people who market dried beans to foodies, even if the shellies taste better. Grow your own shellies, cook and mash with a hint of truffle for a real high-roller dip.

Runner beans are easier for novices to harvest as shelly or dried beans than most common beans because the seeds are generally pretty big. You can dry regular old Scarlet Runner Beans, cook them, mash them and serve them with tortillas.

Smittenkitchen has a recipe for fast white bean stew using Runner Cannellini beans from the ultra-trendy source for dried beans, Rancho Gordo in Napa Valley. Runner Cannellini has now been replaced by Royal Corona at Rancho Gordo. Their cassoulet (Tarbais) bean is also a runner bean. So are their Ayochote beans: Amarillo, Morado, Blanco y Negro.


Fast White Bean Stew

Gardeners sometimes buy high-end dried beans (intended for a foodie's table) in order to grow them in the garden. This is not a bad idea, but the beans will not have been tested for germination, so ordering them to grow is a bit of a gamble. If you grow some, we would like to hear about it in the comments on a Saturday Gardening Thread. If you cook them instead, you could report your results on CBD's Food Thread the following Sunday.

Growing runner beans

I like the idea of starting runner beans indoors, to keep mice (and in the USA, corn seed maggots) from eating the seeds, and to keep birds from destroying the newly-sprouted plants. There are some other good tips at the link. I would probably set the plants outdoors during the day once they sprouted, near the house, when weather permitted. I would also inoculate the seeds with the same organism used to inoculate common beans, to allow the plants to fix nitrogen from the air.

One guy sprouted some Greek Giant Beans to confirm that they are runner beans. The seed leaves (cotyledons) stay in the soil, unlike common beans. Nice photos. Check out the rest of his site, too.

Thompson and Morgan has a nice video on growing runner beans.

If you want to save seeds to grow the same type from year to year, you will need to grow only one cultivar of runner bean, and make sure that your neighbors are growing the same cultivar. Give them some seeds, if necessary.

Hope you have a great gardening week.

Y-not: Thanks KT!

To close things up, apparently there was a TV show called "Pushing Daisies."


I suspect it might be of interest to morons, even those with the blackest of thumbs, because of one of the show's actresses, Anna Friel. Ms. Friel was featured in xbradtc's "Loaded Heat" post this week. You should make a habit of visiting xbradtc's blog.

See? Gardening can be quite exciting!

Posted by: Open Blogger at 03:20 PM


(Jump to bottom of comments)

1 first?

Posted by: Bruce Boehner at August 08, 2015 03:23 PM (ktNqo)

2 Hyyyuge.

Posted by: BourbonChicken at August 08, 2015 03:23 PM (+4uXG)

3 Bruce Boehner: "You wouldn't like me when I'm weepy"?

Posted by: BourbonChicken at August 08, 2015 03:24 PM (+4uXG)

4 That's not funny!

Posted by: Rowan Atkinson at August 08, 2015 03:24 PM (ktNqo)

5 This week I checked the Scarlet Runner Bean closely and found 7 small pods so maybe as the weather cools there will be enough to make a small side dish.

Posted by: Ronster at August 08, 2015 03:25 PM (47wTX)

6 I'd flick that.

Posted by: Hillary Clinton at August 08, 2015 03:25 PM (ktNqo)

7 KT's pictures are mouth-watering!

Especially the hummingbird, which is quite tasty with a nice chianti.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 03:30 PM (RWGcK)

8 One of my Tomatoes has blossom end rot. BIL says it needs calcium, so wife smashed up some Ca pills, dissolved them, and fed the plant.

Posted by: Ronster at August 08, 2015 03:30 PM (47wTX)

9 I'm already on to next year. This year was a total bust. I'll plant an acre and half in winter things for the pigs and chickens but other than growing lettuce in the hydroponic I'm done.

Posted by: traye at August 08, 2015 03:34 PM (U1lbW)

10 Megyn Kelly loaded up on beans before the debate, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: DONALD TRUMP at August 08, 2015 03:35 PM (TJCSB)

11 Obama loses his temper. I like the part where Joe Biden and Eric Holder run in to help out.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at August 08, 2015 03:36 PM (JG47A)

12 Hey, Y-not, I like the way your autocucumber changed P. coccineus to P. cockiness.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 03:37 PM (qahv/)

13 My tomatoes are very sad this year. The tiny cherry tomatoes( Matt's something) I tried this year taste good but are only slightly larger than peas so you need a ton of then to do anything with. The yellow tear drop shaped ones came in good but taste like nothing and had tough skins so I pulled them. I did purple cherokee tomatoes and got about 5 tomatoes before it gave up. Same with the Coso.... Something tomatoes I Planted. Sorry I'm VERY bad at remembering the names. I did get a pretty good crop of tomatillo's and made roasted salsa verde with them. My Shishito and Bell peppers are doing pretty good.
I have been growing Chinese Long beans, aka Asparagus beans. They are starting to produce.
I planted some Night blooming Moon Flower seeds and it is blooming like crazy and smells divine in the evenings.

Posted by: lindafell de Spair at August 08, 2015 03:37 PM (xVgrA)

14 Speaking of cucumbers, your Sultan is a Beit Alpha type, apparently. Lebanese cucumbers sold by street vendors in the Middle East. Some of the newer hybrids don't need pollination to set fruit.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 03:39 PM (qahv/)

15 Sorry about the poor season, Traye

About the same here, but maybe for different reasons.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 03:40 PM (qahv/)

16 I have not commented this year, yet. I, again, had to have surgery on my ankle which has put me on the side lines of my garden. I put in a number of things before the surgery and have had some nice things come out of it with no input from me for about 6 weeks.

And weeding has been erratic.

Right now I have some lovely, large, yellow heirloom tomatoes. Monday, I will be turning some into tomato soup, freezing any leftovers. I also have piles of red cherry tomatoes.

I bought, on a whim and at the suggestion of The Younger Daughter, three pepper plants. Two of them are sweet and long (one red, one yellow). They have been nicely productive.

I put in 100 onion sets, half red, half sugar. The sugar have been awesome. I have made an Indian onion salad (vinegar, etc) that I have been very happy with.

Volunteer black-eyed Susans have done well.

Considering what little effort I put in this year, I am pleased.

Posted by: LochLomondFarms at August 08, 2015 03:43 PM (oX3bN)

17 My tomato-growing friends, off of whom I mooch, have all reported less than optimal results this year. Even standards like Cherokee Purple and Mortgage Lifter weren't producing. Weird weather isn't helping.

And one watches "Pushing Daisies" for that tall drink of water Lee Pace.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Literate Savage at August 08, 2015 03:43 PM (jR7Wy)

18 Oh, The Daughter wants string beans next year. And so I will.

Posted by: LochLomondFarms at August 08, 2015 03:44 PM (oX3bN)

19 Hey, Y-not, I like the way your autocucumber changed P. coccineus to P. cockiness.

WHOA! Lemme fix that! lol

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 03:45 PM (RWGcK)


Same as last week, I always have a window of on overflow of tomatoes, and this year is no different.

One of my plum/roma plants went jack in the beanstalk high this year, and some animal (most likely a squirrel) bent it halfway down, no doubt trying to climb down it. The fruit still looks okay above the bend, so far.

I had a really good crop of jalapeno's so had to actually freeze some. I've never frozen them before, so we'll see how they turn out. They are so strong, I literally gag and cough while trying to cut them up. I do most directly under water, to no avail. I need a hazmat to do it.

The only new issue I have that I cannot control is my garden is overrun by chipmunks burrowing into the garden bed under the plants. Never has that happened before and I'm at my wits end trying to keep them out.

They also dig into my herb pots to get at the roots. They specifically like the cilantro roots, and luckily I've eaten all of the cilantro, so I don't care too much. Some parsley leeched into that pot, so that is cropping up anew, but I have 4 other pots full of parsley, curly and Italian/flat leaf.


Posted by: artisanal 'ette at August 08, 2015 03:47 PM (qCMvj)


Such a funny thread this week, btw.

I'm laughing at the corn. How can you not?

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at August 08, 2015 03:47 PM (qCMvj)

22 In case Y-not gets more than one cucumber or wants to put up some pickled Padron peppers, some pickling links from Maggie's Farm. Some of them are aimed at people who go to "pick your own" farms to get produce.

Includes Spiced Peaches. My MIL talks about her mom making these.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 03:48 PM (qahv/)


At first glance, that looks like UK's David Cameron next to the pepper...

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at August 08, 2015 03:48 PM (qCMvj)

24 Get well soon!

>>Volunteer black-eyed Susans have done well.

Oh, I meant to say that I have volunteer wild strawberries that are making for a very pretty display in my front bed. They're pretty, so I decided to let them live.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 03:48 PM (RWGcK)

25 Oh, I have a fondness for cut hosta flowers. I have several different types of hosta that bloom at different times. The last one to bloom is a large, white, scented variety. I have large bouquet I just cut for the living room.

Posted by: LochLomondFarms at August 08, 2015 03:49 PM (oX3bN)

26 >>They also dig into my herb pots to get at the roots. They specifically like the cilantro

Mexican chipmunks doing the damage that American chipmunks won't do!

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 03:49 PM (RWGcK)

27 but maybe for different reasons.
Posted by: KT

This has been the weirdest year of my life. I'm lucky I've always been lucky (with some extra natural blessings) usually things that go wrong in my life has been like one thing here and there but this year, hell, I've had two surgeries, completely random. I know see why some people complain. I could write a country song.

But even with the stupid of this year I still feel blessed.

Now, if the avian flu hits my chickens, I'm coming here to complain.

Posted by: traye at August 08, 2015 03:50 PM (U1lbW)

28 It's great that you got some baby beans, Ronster. Don't let them get too big or they will be fibrous. You will probably have to string them.

The English tend to either cut them in short lengths or french-cut them, steam them and serve with butter, salt and pepper. I like them that way. There are also other recipes for scarlet runner snaps.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 03:51 PM (qahv/)

29 For me, I think the super wet, cool spring and now 100 degree weather isn't helping the tomatoes. I was also gone for 2 1/2 weeks at the beginning of June. When I came back everything had doubled in size and I wasn't here to pinch tops and train the plants so they got really leggy. In the last 2-3 weeks is seems like it got really hot quickly and shocked my garden. It looks like everything has gotten brown and crispy in the last two weeks. This usually happens about 2 months sooner in the year.

Posted by: lindafell de Spair at August 08, 2015 03:52 PM (xVgrA)

30 Those bean flowers are very pretty. I toyed with trying beans this year, but it's been hectic around here and I'm not the biggest fan of "green beans." They're ok, but don't float my boat that much.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 03:52 PM (RWGcK)

31 29
That's what did it here. It was hot and dry but super humid nights. The plants stewed at night and baked during the day. They were like "yeah, we're out."

Posted by: traye at August 08, 2015 03:55 PM (U1lbW)

32 It's Matt's Wild Cherry, Lindafell. The teardrop-shaped ones are probably Yellow Pear. They are know for their blandness. Some people like that.

There are some Yellow Pear types that taste better. We'll go over them sometime.

There is more than one cultivar that begins with "Cosoluto" so I can't identify that one.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 03:56 PM (qahv/)

33 Love the laughing pepper, Y-not.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 03:57 PM (qahv/)

34 I used to get Kentucky Wonders and plant them, because I liked the look and the joy of growing them. Stringing a top rope and running twine up and down it for the beans to climb would give a lovely arc, and they grew so well. Climbing beans give a wonderfully organized and squared away look to a garden.
However, I worked in the vegetable canneries for 6 summers and I hate green beans, sweet corn and cauliflower because of that.

I would let the beans mature and then I would shell them for soups and stews.
Kentucky wonders make the most delicious ham-bone stew I have ever had, unfortunately they also give me the wet-farts to an unbelievable degree, so I stopped growing them.

However, if you have some pole beans that are a touch old and it is near the end of the season, let them dry off and shell them for making a bean stew.

Posted by: Kindltot at August 08, 2015 03:57 PM (3pRHP)

35 Yeah, I think that's Cameron.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 03:58 PM (RWGcK)

36 I hope the Dr Wyches tomatoes ripen. From what I've read, they sound like they are very tasty. Should be pretty too -- golden yellow.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 03:58 PM (RWGcK)

37 Thanks KT. I planted scarlet runners here for the first time and the flowers are beautiful but they've set very few pods and it's surely the heat. I think I will grow some each year though just because they look great!

Just got back from vacation, so have yet to troll the garden to check for damages.......

Posted by: keena at August 08, 2015 04:04 PM (RiTnx)

38 I put up a 12 foot piece of cattle panel and planted my beans along that. They are tall and pretty and just started blooming, having washed out once and then replanted. I love green beans and am anxiously watching for the first beans of summer.

We have a lot of tomatoes, cukes, cayennes but the cutworms love the bells too much. I bought a variety pack of bell seeds so I'd be surprised by what I had. So far, some little orange ones that look like habaneros and some white ones. And some with wormholes and worm crap throughout.

Blanched my first two pints of okra for freezing today. Mmmm boiled okra.

Posted by: huerfano at August 08, 2015 04:05 PM (bynk/)

39 Welp - another day another pantywaist learns the hard way not to spar with Trump.

Posted by: AC at August 08, 2015 04:09 PM (TzeLs)

40 We're feeding more hummingbirds this year than any other. They let me tend their veggie and flower gardens as long as I keep the feeders full.

Posted by: OldDominionMom at August 08, 2015 04:11 PM (GzDYP)


The difference between Donald Trump and a mosquito?

A mosquito stops sucking when you slap it.

Posted by: GBruno at August 08, 2015 04:11 PM (u49WF)

42 I planted two watermelons this year, one went great guns and has a couple of round melons, but it is starting to wither like something got to the roots. It started with one section and it has gone to them all
The other one, in another bed is doing well.

It has been an outstanding year for my melons with really hot days and warmish nights, except for this one.

Any idea what might be killing off my watermelon?

Posted by: Kindltot at August 08, 2015 04:12 PM (3pRHP)

43 Y-not, you may never have had a really first-class green bean.

For those in cool-summer climes, I found some more info on the Bonds' Orcas Lima, one of the recommended cultivars of runner beans for shellies and dry beans. They look like lima beans. They were grown for years on Orcas Island, off the coast of Washigton State.

Even though it is an early variety, it blooms in August on nearby Lopez Island, where the summer temperatures rarely reach over 70 degrees.

Nice photos. Bonds' Orcas Lima has white flowers but the gardener there also grows scarlet-flowered runner beans.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 04:13 PM (qahv/)

44 I put up a 12 foot piece of cattle panel and planted my beans along that

One of the big mistakes I made. My garden is surrounded by several hundred feet of tall chicken wire fence, to keep the chickens out. That worked, but I didn't consider the geese reaching through and eating the stuff growing up the fence. They picked pole beans, peas and cukes before they were ready.

Posted by: traye at August 08, 2015 04:13 PM (U1lbW)

45 Just thought I'd throw this out there:

Trump fired his head campaign advisor, Roger Stone.

OR Roger Stone, Trump's campaign head quit the Trump Campaign.

Posted by: rd at August 08, 2015 04:16 PM (k3MbG)

46 I need to improve my diet, but beans really put me off.

Is there a bean that's good to eat that isn't, how should I say this, really "beany"?

What do lentils taste like?

Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at August 08, 2015 04:17 PM (oFCZn)

47 >>43 Y-not, you may never have had a really first-class green bean.

That's definitely possible, but it may just be a holdover from my childhood. I wasn't a picky eater, but I hated green beans... which were usually served to me as part of those horrible "mixed vegetable" freezer veggie boxes. And then the few fresh ones I had were probably leftovers from the neighbor's garden.

The ones I like now are the very thin ones that are sold as "haricot vert" in the fancy supermarkets. Those are good if perfectly cooked -- not too soft, not too raw.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 04:17 PM (RWGcK)

48 Posted by: lindafell de Spair at August 08, 2015 03:52 PM (xVgrA)

I could just c&p your comment as to the weather here in SA. It's the dawg days now, and I got spoiled earlier this year with never having to water anything. Now I have to hit the containers every other day, except for the succulents.

Which reminds me, my favorite cactus is this South TX species that blooms off and on all summer, unlike many others that only bloom once a year. It's usually called twisted rib cactus, but it has three or four common names AND several scientific names too: Echinocactus setispinus, Ferocactus setispinus, and Hamatocactus bicolor and who knows what else.

These can take the humidity here, although I did have a couple melt on me years ago. I keep planting pups in different pots in case the mother ship rots away. There's at least a couple in bloom all the time in spring and summer.

I'm crazy about the cute little lace cactus in the Hill Country, but every one of those I've tried to grow outside melted.

Posted by: stace at August 08, 2015 04:17 PM (CoX6k)


Beautiful pictures, KT!

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 04:18 PM (RWGcK)

50 Those runner beans look like butter/lima beans. They taste the same? Scrum'

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at August 08, 2015 04:19 PM (dxw2/)

51 What do lentils taste like?
Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at August 08, 2015 04:17 PM (oFCZn)

Lentils are cheap and easy to cook. Boil them until mushy, serve with rice. They are a complete protein that way.
I lived on them as a staple for a period when I was young.

I'd say buy some and try them. They are not exciting, but they are filling.

When I was a kid you could only find the brown ones. Now you can find a variety of lentils - pink, red, yellow-, but I don't know if the taste is different.

Posted by: Kindltot at August 08, 2015 04:24 PM (3pRHP)

52 Kindltot,

There is a blight that hits melons, cucumbers and squashes about this time of year, but it usually flattens every plant in one night. Your suspicion of a root disease could be correct. Unless there is a critter gnawing on the roots.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 04:26 PM (qahv/)

53 I need to improve my diet, but beans really put me off.
Posted by: Dack Thrombosis

You could go with brown rice. I've been making casseroles and using brown rice instead of noodles or white rice. Tuna & brown rice, baked spaghetti with rice instead of pasta, etc.
You could also try quinoa, but personally I think it tastes like ass.

Posted by: Prince Ludwig the Indestructible at August 08, 2015 04:34 PM (awspb)

54 Ricardo Kill

I don't think runner bean seeds taste like lima or butter beans. I have only tasted scarlet runners, which are not recommended as one of the best varieties for eating the actual beans.

But runner beans are sometimes called "Oregon Limas" because it is hard to grow limas in many parts of Oregon. Bonds' Lima (a runner) grows even by the sea.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 04:34 PM (qahv/)

55 "but beans really put me off. "

Beans are great. I love them all.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at August 08, 2015 04:37 PM (dxw2/)

56 Y-not @ 45:

I think that island garden is really impressive. There's some potential Donald Trump hair getting started there, too.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 04:37 PM (qahv/)

57 Gotta leave. I'll be back.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 04:38 PM (qahv/)

58 Thanks guys.

Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at August 08, 2015 04:38 PM (oFCZn)

59 "But runner beans are sometimes called "Oregon Limas"

The local Kroger has a "Mediterranean Bar" that took the place of their salad bar. Among the items is a tray of beans that look just like the pic. They are delish. I thought they were a lima bean.

Who knew?

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at August 08, 2015 04:41 PM (dxw2/)

60 Thanks KT. I have the tags at the base of my plants but it's 101 and I'm not going out to look at what they are named. "Tomatoes" is good enough for me until it cools down.

Stace **fist bump**

Posted by: lindafell de Spair at August 08, 2015 04:42 PM (xVgrA)

61 Thanks, as always, for the gardening thread. Now I'm thinking of beans for next year. Research time.

Except for the salad greens and herbs, the garden is an 80% failure this year. The tomatoes are, at best, a quarter of previous crops but what we're getting is tasty. The squash and cucumbers are usually reliable and they are a disaster. Bell peppers are late and small but are starting to come in.

Oh well, wait'll next year!

Posted by: JTB at August 08, 2015 04:42 PM (FvdPb)

62 Before I go, a recipe for large dried beans, in this case Sadie's Horse Beans. They are marinated after cooking in a pressure cooker.

The seeds come in many colors. It is another runner bean.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 04:44 PM (qahv/)

63 I'm wasting the summer. Except for some free-range sweet potatoes and herbs I'm barely doing anything back there.

Too hot, too many mosquitoes, too lazy.

Posted by: Grump928(C) at August 08, 2015 04:44 PM (gcatm)

64 BTW lentils taste like dirt to me, gritty dirt. The texture is just gritty to me, that more than the actual taste is off putting to me.

Posted by: lindafell de Spair at August 08, 2015 04:45 PM (xVgrA)

65 Lentils require thorough rinsing.

Posted by: navybrat at August 08, 2015 04:49 PM (JgC5a)

66 53 I need to improve my diet, but beans really put me off.
Posted by: Dack Thrombosis

You could go with brown rice. I've been making casseroles and using brown rice instead of noodles or white rice. Tuna & brown rice, baked spaghetti with rice instead of pasta, etc.


Also "farro" is delicious. It behaves and tastes somewhere between a brown rice and barley, imho.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 04:57 PM (RWGcK)

67 For those who don't like butter or lima beans, try them in that Greek recipe above. They are delicious. For fresh string beans, we steam them briefly, maybe 6 minutes, then into an ice bath. They store easily for over a week in the fridge. I like them as a side dish with lemon juice and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Cool, a little crunchy, and refreshing.

Posted by: JTB at August 08, 2015 04:57 PM (FvdPb)

68 BTW, you can find farro at a good Italian market and also in some regular grocery stores, sometimes it's called Emmer Wheat.

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 04:59 PM (RWGcK)


Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 05:02 PM (RWGcK)

They're pretty, so I decided to let them live.

Thank you, oh thank you, your most kind, benificent Mistress!

Posted by: The Strawberries at August 08, 2015 05:22 PM (4DCSq)

71 46
I need to improve my diet, but beans really put me off.

You might also try split peas, or garbanzo beans, which are also called "chick peas". They can be kinda crunchy whole. Anciently, they ate toasted chickpeas as a snack food. Sometimes you can find flavored, toasted chickpeas even today. But they are fine mashed in various recipes, too.

Quinoa and amaranth also contain proteins that complement the proteins in grains.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 05:53 PM (qahv/)

72 And edamame soybeans are eaten as a snack with beer in Japan. There is one cultivar called "Beer Friend". Sort of along the lines of boiled peanuts. They taste a little different from common beans.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 05:59 PM (qahv/)

73 For those in the appropriate climates, the Old Farmers Almanac says that the 10th and 11th will be good days for planting turnips and beets. And rutabagas and winter radishes, I would imagine.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:02 PM (qahv/)

74 i m getting about 6 figs a day now.
Our romaine and green leaf field.
My tomatoes have blossom end rot. The cherry toms are Isis candy and doing great.

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 06:08 PM (KDSom)

75 Hummingbird idea:

One gardener planted a screen of scarlet runner beans in front of a window in summer. Kept the sun out of the house and gave hummingbirds a cool place to rest near the window, for observation.

"Sweet Barnside" or "Insuk's Wang Kong" might be good for this purpose. "Jack in the Beanstalk" grows to 20 feet, makes good snaps and soup beans, but is white-flowered. Hummingbirds will visit the white flowers once they know what they are.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:12 PM (qahv/)

76 Blossom end rot:

It is not enough to add calcium to the soil. The soil must also be the right pH to allow calcium to be absorbed. You can also try a foliar calcium-containing spray.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:14 PM (qahv/)

77 On blossom end rot. Just repeating what I heard on the telly but they had an expert say it is calcium deficiency --and also that you need to add calcium before it shows up. Maybe one can save later fruits but it sounded to me like a "must add calcium early in growing season next year" thing.

Posted by: PaleRider at August 08, 2015 06:15 PM (iA/+T)

78 Fun figs, Cali!

Posted by: Y-not at August 08, 2015 06:16 PM (RWGcK)

79 CaliGirl,

The figs look delicious. Looks like you have a cultivar with small or closed "eyes". Helps keep the bugs out. Especially important in climates more humid than yours.

The lettuce field is beautiful.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:21 PM (qahv/)

80 Tomatoes from the ranch

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 06:21 PM (KDSom)

81 BTW,

Tomatoes with blossom end rot are still edible. Just cut the bad part off. It is a physiological problem, not a disease.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:22 PM (qahv/)

82 KT
The other trees are the turkey? Brown colored figs.
I love the figs. I made a fig, goat cheese and arugula pizza. It was yummy

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 06:23 PM (KDSom)

83 KT
My husband put the sticky tanglefoot on the fig trees, I hope it works. He killed that gopher with a shovel.

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 06:26 PM (KDSom)

84 The tomatoes look delicious, CaliGirl. I see one that looks like Berkeley Tie Dye. Looks like you might have a Pink Berkeley Tie Dye there, too. In the other box. Do you know if the plants came from Wild Boar Farms?

Some of your tomatoes have some cat-facing. Lots of heirlooms tend to catface on the blossom end.

Let us know which kinds taste the best.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:32 PM (qahv/)

85 Hope the Tanglefoot works. I love figs, too.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:34 PM (qahv/)

86 PaleRider,

That's about right concerning prevention of blossom end rot.

Posted by: KTbarthedoor at August 08, 2015 06:45 PM (qahv/)

87 KT
Some of the seeds are from the nursery guy, we give him seeds and they take care of them till its time to transplant. On the map it says my husbands name special. I'll ask him when I see him. I buy the seeds from tomato fest.

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 06:46 PM (KDSom)

88 So Traye,

You have geese, too? Are any of them "watchgeese"?

I have a friend who had a goose and a little burro which became inseparable friends. They were ALWAYS together.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:54 PM (qahv/)

89 How wonderful that you have a nursery guy who can grow the tomatoes you choose. Maybe we can do some tweaking to get you some signature cultivars going next year. Any thought to branching out to the best-tasting hybrids?

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 06:57 PM (qahv/)

90 I like anything that tastes like a tomato. summer tomatoes are my favorite.

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 07:04 PM (KDSom)

91 KT
if you have any suggestions, that would be wonderful.

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 07:06 PM (KDSom)

92 KT
The tomatoes planted on the ranch do so much better than mine. He plants them next to peppers. They get fertilizer I think twice. Watered all night low and slow twice a week. Maybe once. My husband says I water mine too much, that's why I get blossom end rot. It's the same soil.

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 07:11 PM (KDSom)

93 One more picture. I'm eating one now. Pomegranate

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 07:12 PM (KDSom)

94 Yukon Gold potatoes are almost all done here. Started picking Romas in late July. Acorn squash is about done.

Our unknowh heirloom tomatoes from an 1850s privy dig are looking like they will be true to the first generation parent grown last year. They are kind of a dusky red, somewhat brownish. Soon we'll see how they taste.

Posted by: Farmer at August 08, 2015 07:52 PM (o/90i)

95 I'll be thinking of you as I go over tomato choices in the next few weeks, CaliGirl. You probably have more good choices there than I do here.

Do you know which cultivar of pomegranate you have? I haven't picked any yet. Angel Red is my early one.

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 09:44 PM (qahv/)

96 Farmer,

Interesting that your tomatoes seem to be breeding true. How many plants do you have? Did you bag some blossoms for seed saving?

Posted by: KT at August 08, 2015 09:46 PM (qahv/)

97 I don't know which pomegranate they are. My other tree is just starting to form fruit. I should probably save the tags next time I get a tree.

Posted by: CaliGirl at August 08, 2015 10:32 PM (BHl9S)

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