Which is Better – Bush Bean vs. Pole Bean
Which type of green bean is better to grow? Bush beans or Pole Beans? I’ve grown both in my garden. Last year we grew pole beans, the year before we grew bush bean. There are pros and cons to each type here are my thoughts:
Bush Beans, (2015) as the name implies, grow in bushes. The bushes are small and mine only got about a foot off the ground. I found that you had to plant several plants to get the biggest bang for your buck, literally! (Plant more than 9 seeds) The first year I grew bush beans I only planted 6 plants. I lost 2 to rabbits and ended up with 4 plants. I soon learned that that wasn’t enough to feed 5+ people.
I would only get a handful of approximately 10 – 15 beans every time I went to harvest every few days. Bean count would vary day by day. Even after cutting the beans in half I still didn’t have enough. I tried saving the handfuls I had for a few days to see if I could harvest more, but they were so yummy that we couldn’t help but eat them.
Last year, I planted 9 plants and fenced them off so the rabbits wouldn’t be their doom! 9 bushes were much better than 4, but I still felt like I didn’t have enough for a full bowl full for the whole family at a meal.
Cons– low to the ground, plant multiple seeds, takes up space
Pole Beans, (2016) these things climb like crazy! I got a lot of flowers but didn’t get very many beans this year. I would have gotten a ton of beans. These beans look different than the bush beans. They look a lot like really long pea pods. I planted the seeds too close together and when the vines grew, it was one tangled mess. Which made it harder to find the beans through all of the leaves.
Where I live, it got really hot and dry this summer. My green beans suffered because of it. I didn’t water them enough either. So make sure you water!
Pros– space saving, good taste (but I didn’t think they were as good as the bush beans)
Cons– hard for me to tell when they were ready, had to buy a trellis
Which is better?
What I didn’t like about bush beans was that they are low to the ground, so you have to stoop down and look under leaves to get to the beans. Having a small fenced-in garden made it harder. I couldn’t climb in the garden without stepping on precious plants. With pole beans, you still had to search around under leaves to find them. But that isn’t a problem. *Side note: I think if I kept an eye on my beans and made sure they were well watered in the summer they may have done better.
In the end, I think I liked the bush beans better. Despite the fact that they took up more space, as I recall they tasted better to me for some reason. I know this probably doesn’t help one decide which kind of bean to get… but I wanted to share my experiences with both types.