Vertical gardening is a way to use a minimum of ground space and have high yield plants. Plants that grow on a trellis or support, such as pole beans, are an example of vertical gardening. Because the pods hang from the support, they are easy to pick without stooping. Pole beans have basically the same soil and growing requirements as bush beans, but they are a different type of plant.
A familiar type of green bean for commercial production, Blue Lake beans are popular for home gardens as well. Blue Lake is available as bush or pole type. Pole Blue Lake beans are stringless and smooth podded. The 6 to 7 inch long pods are dark green, straight and round. Full of green bean flavor, Blue Lake beans are good for eating fresh, but they are known as a type with superior freezing and canning qualities. The vines are vigorous and heavy yielding. They bloom repeatedly if you keep the beans picked.
Emerite is a completely stringless green bean. This variety is a medium green color, which stands out against the dark green foliage, making picking easy. Emerite is a filet bean, a narrower bean that grows to an average 7-1/2 inches in length. A continuous harvest of eight or nine picks over a three week period makes this variety popular for fall planting and for growing in a greenhouse.
Scarlet runner bean vines grow to 12 feet or more in length. The bright red flowers are quite showy, and this flat pod green bean is sometimes grown along a fence or on an arbor as an ornamental. The tender bean pods grow to about 6 inches in length. Pick the beans often and regularly to keep the vines blooming.
King of the Garden
King of the garden is a pole Lima bean. Pole Lima vines are not as susceptible to soil-borne diseases as bush Limas because they grow up the support and do not have contact with the ground. The flat pods are broad, averaging 5 inches in length. Each pod contains four to five beans, which are easy to shell. Pole Limas are good candidates for eating fresh, freezing or drying.