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Help me understand BEANS

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Help me understand BEANS

Post  pelujilla on 5/15/2011, 8:15 am

I have read several planting charts and other related articles but I still can't figure out the difference between English/Southern Peas, I THINK I know the difference between bush/pole beans (one is a bush the other grows on vines? don't laugh!!)

Can someone just tell me where do green beans fall and which one is a good one to grow in hot NE Florida (zone 9)...and what is the pea used in asian cuisine...it's almost just the pod and it is sweet...are those snow peas?

I want to grow some but need to know what seeds to buy and when to plant!
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  jerzyjen on 5/15/2011, 8:34 am

Regarding Peas. Snow peas are the flat "pods" typically found in Chinese dishes. Some dishes also use Sugar Snap peas. Those also have edible pods but are little bit thicker, closer to the thickness of a green bean but shaped like a pea pod. In my experience, most Chinese restaurants use snow peas, where as sugar snap peas are often found in Chinese blends in the freezer section at the grocery store. If you are unsure, just go to one of the seed sites and they typically will show photos.

It's a good question to ask, because personally, I LOVE snow peas, but do not like sugar snap, and my husband is the exact opposite. The last few years I have been growing Burpee's Oregon Sugar Pod II and they have been fantastic.

I'll let someone else answer your bean question, I have no experience with beans.
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  FarmerValerie on 5/15/2011, 9:10 am

Let me try again, my computer went nuts on my reply last time.

If you have not yet read this weeks Rookie Topic on Southern Peas here is the link.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7159-friday-s-rookie-topic-v-southern-peas-aka-cowpeas-or-field-peas

Cowpeas (Southern Peas) are originally from Africa, and are a warm weather crop, and grow very well in poor soil conditions. I do not reccomend eating the pods of these, and some say they can make you sick. These are also very high in protein and many vegetarians use them for their protein source.

English Peas (think green peas) are a cool weather crop, planted in the spring and/or fall. I do have a Blondie Pea growing that is an English type, but is a cream colored. English Peas can be eaten in the pod. For more try here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea

Green Beans, I never knew they came in so many different types, shapes, flavors, until recently. The bean of chioce here seems to bee Kentucky Wonder, but I have some Itallian Roma's (flat beans) and some Blue KY Wonders planted, just for fun. My husband swears the KY Wonder is a flat bean, I say it's the Roma's that are, we are both anxiously awaiting the beans to start producing, he bought the KY Wonders btw. Here is what wikipedia says about beans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_beans

Okay, peas and beans are all appearantly legumes, and legumes are nitrogen fixers, they put nitrogen back into the soil, so don't plant them too close to root crops, they are great to go next to heavy feeders like corn, or squash, or both.

If you are getting chinese food with the peas that have more pod than peas, its just the timing in the picking, you can decide when to pick, too soon and they are not really sweet but still good, too late and when you bite the pod all the peas come running out, you can see inside the pod. Just pick a few until you get a feel for it.

I tried to look in your area for help in beans of choice, but could not find anything. Hopefully someone will chime in soon.
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/15/2011, 9:12 am

Crum, I was going to send you to your regional host but the tropical south no longer has one. Weird, she was awesome. I've got to get out of Deb world more often during the school year. This may explain why I no longer see her posts. hummm

You have nailed the major difference for pole and bush beans. Beans used to only come in pole varieties. Harvesting was too labor intensive for the machine age. Breeders developed bush beans to be machine harvested. They needed beans that came ripe within a few days of each other and could be harvested by one of the kewl machines that were invented in the same era. I often read that pole beans taste better. I don't really know, my problem is the opposite of yours. I live in the Pacific North West, we just want food that ripens sometime during what we loosely refer to as summer.

Peas also come in bush and tall (vine) for the same reason as beans, agribusiness. There are three types. English (pods are popped open, peas removed and the pods are tossed to the chickens or the compost), Chinese or Snow which have largish, succulent pods that are harvested before the peas have a chance to develop. The newcomer is the snap pea which has a thick, stringless (when young--do you know stringless?) pod that you harvest when the peas are full size. They are eaten pod and all, usually raw but I am forever seeing recipes for cooked snap peas (called snap because you break them apart like a snap bean which is just a fresh crisp green bean....not to add confusion) If they cannot be cooked then Birdseye cannot make money selling them.

Southern Peas are a different category of legume that I am far less acquainted with. I think they are a legume that is harvested like a dry bean (kidney, black, pinto). Black eye peas come to mind. But since we are outside of my realm of gardening I'll leave that to Ander (Is she still around?)

Pole beans and peas develop and ripen for a long season in the home garden. Bush beans and peas tend to all ripen at the same time, often growing right on top of the plant so they can all be harvested at once.

Hope that helps more than it sings you to sleep.
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  camprn on 5/15/2011, 9:22 am

Southern Peas are actually shell beans, including cowpeas, black and yellow eye peas. These are a hot weather crop.
Garden or English peas are peas and a cool weather crop.

Hope this helps Very Happy
@pelujilla wrote: I THINK I know the difference between bush/pole
beans (one is a bush the other grows on vines? don't laugh!!)
one other difference that I have notice is that bush beans tend to produce more beans than pole (runner) beans. At least that is what happened in my garden.

@pelujilla wrote: Can
someone just tell me where do green beans fall and which one is a good
one to grow in hot NE Florida (zone 9)...and what is the pea used in
asian cuisine...it's almost just the pod and it is sweet...are those
snow peas?

I want to grow some but need to know what seeds to buy and when to plant!
The green beans you could probably grow well in summer. The peas are a cool weather crop and quite cold tolerant, so this would be a good winter crop, I assume. Have you gone to a local garden nursery with your questions? There are probably folks there that would have a lot of valuable info for you. Good luck. Wink


Last edited by camprn on 5/15/2011, 9:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info)
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  pelujilla on 5/15/2011, 3:23 pm

Woo hoo!

I am definetly writing this down and running to find green bean seeds.

I was given snow pea seeds but they were BIG so not sure if they are the Chinese kind... just had one of the snow peas sprout...sigh....will it die in the heat?

I love this board and the knowledge found here, thank you guys!
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/15/2011, 4:42 pm

Snow peas ARE big when they are ready to save for seed but small when you eat them.

I have no idea if peas will live in heat or not. Donna of Donna's Square Foot garden on u-tube had them in Florida but they might have been a winter crop.

The reason I like them in cold weather here in Washington is because the aphids give them "enation" in the heat of summer. Enation looks like a bad case of pimples or warts on the pod. They are fine to eat just not pretty (nor will they sell well)
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  elliephant on 5/15/2011, 6:02 pm

I just pulled up the last of my snow peas. I was surprised at how well they did in the heat. We basically skipped straight to summer this year and these poor peas grew in mostly 90+ weather. I'm sure they would have done better if it had been cooler, but they did produce.

Probably do a lot better for you in the fall, though. This was my last batch after growing them all through the winter.

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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  shannon1 on 5/16/2011, 1:28 am

A few bean growing tips.
Do not pre soak they tend to rot
Do use a bean soil inoculant if you are growing beans for the first time,
Peas, beans and other legumes are well known to help fix nitrogen into the soil. This not only helps the peas and beans grow but can help other plants later grow in that same spot. What many people don’t know is that a significant amount of nitrogen fixing by peas and beans happens only when a special legume inocutent has been added to the soil. Different legumes use different bacteria so make sure your useing the correct one for what you are planting. Many seed companies have combined bacterias together so you need only one product. The bacteria commonly left out to my knowlage is bradyrhizobium. Soy beans use this.
You don't have to use legume inocutent but in my case it has led to healthier plants and higher yelds. Wink
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Re: Help me understand BEANS

Post  pelujilla on 5/16/2011, 8:29 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:Snow peas ARE big when they are ready to save for seed but small when you eat them.

I have no idea if peas will live in heat or not. Donna of Donna's Square Foot garden on u-tube had them in Florida but they might have been a winter crop.

The reason I like them in cold weather here in Washington is because the aphids give them "enation" in the heat of summer. Enation looks like a bad case of pimples or warts on the pod. They are fine to eat just not pretty (nor will they sell well)

eeewwww
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