Thursday, October 19, 2017

Purple Romano Beans

I'm a sucker for the unusual. Guess that's why I started growing purple beans in the first place. So a few months ago I spied a purple romano bean in one of the seed catalogs. Most of the romano types don't do well for me --- they seem to be overly attractive to the slugs here. And most have their pods rather low slung on the plant, well within easy slug reach. But I hadn't tried this one yet, and it kept saying, "Buy me, buy me."

Romano Purpiat. A bush bean, deep purple pods. 

I found the plants to be generally sturdy enough not to flop over, which is another problem I've had with romano beans. 

And the flowers are beautiful! 

When the small pods first form, they start out green. At first I was disappointed. They didn't seem very colorful. 

But within a day or two a dark purple streak showed up running down the spine of the pod. 

By the time the pods were ready for picking, they were deep purple. How cool! Yes, they are gorgeous. But for me, the best benefit is that they are easy to see and locate when picking them. With green pods, I'm apt to miss several. 

Since I only started with a small seed packet, I decided to harvest these plants for seeds. I actually got quite a lot of seeds from one small seed pack. 

Now I'll be able to grow a good crop of these beans. But it's now fall and not the greatest time for planting beans. So my plan is to sow 1/3 of the seed now to determine if this is a variety that can sown late in the fall around here. If it does poorly, then I'll wait until early spring before sowing the rest. 

Yes, some bean varieties can be grown year around here and they do well. Others are more sensitive to winter. 

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