Pros: easy to grow, purple beans turn green when cooked, plants keep away bean beetles
Cons: stagger the times they are planted to extend the growing season
My father introduced me to this fascinating Bush Bean -- Purple Teepee years and years ago. Ever since then it has held a place of honor in my garden.
This is a unique stringless bush bean that was developed to outwit those pesky bean beetles. The leaves and stems of these plants grow purple ... and so do the beans. Yet when the purple beans are added to boiling water, their color changes to green, and the beans stay green. The purple leaves and stems of the plant fool the bean beetles into leaving the plants alone.
I plant bean seed directly into the vegetable garden as soon as the soil is warm enough. The seed should be planted 1 to 1 1/2" deep. Bean seed is large and very easy to see once it is placed in the soil.
There are a few ways to plant beans, and I've tried all of these methods with success. My favorite methods are 2 and 3. Before planting the seed, I make sure to fertilize the garden. 1) Use the handle end of a hoe (or other garden tool) to create a long trough (row) in the soil. Plant the bean seeds every two to three inches in the row and cover with soil. 2) Plant the beans in rows in a square (ex: 3' x 3'), spacing the beans every few inches. Cover them with soil. 3) Use a hoe, rake, or shovel to remove an inch of soil in a square or rectangular shape. Sprinkle the bean seed into the area, broadcasting the seed rather than placing individual seeds into place. Cover the seed with soil.
Beans are easy to grow. Keep them watered until they begin to sprout. I find they do best in a sunny location. I have also grown this seed in partial-sun, and the seeds do well. Beans are forgiving plants, accepting drier conditions many other vegetables won't tolerate. So I feel comfortable letting the plants go a few days without water.
I also stagger the planting times of my beans. By sowing the beans at different times, I can enjoy beans throughout the growing season. I plant two to four bean varieties each year. Every two or three weeks, I plant a new patch of beans. I can do this starting from spring through early summer.
I love this purple bean for a variety of reasons. The main reason is that the plants truly do fool bean beetles. I can have these purple beans growing near a green or yellow bean patch ... and the beetles are happily turning the green and yellow bean leaves into lace. They leave the purple beans alone. This ensures a healthy crop of vegetables.
Of course, there is also the "cool" factor of these purple beans. I can remember my amazement when my father dumped the purple beans into boiling water and they turned into green beans (losing every spec of purple color). I couldn't wait to do a similar "magic trick" for my nieces when they were young. Like me, they were delighted to see the beans change color.
These purple beans taste just like green beans, too. There is no strange taste or odor. It is just like growing, picking, cooking and eating a regular green bean. Note: The Thompson & Morgan website states that this bean must be cooked or else discomfort can be experienced. I have always cooked these beans, and have never had any trouble with them.
I usually cook the beans whole or break them in half. If there are leftover beans after the meal, I'll place them in a bowl in the refrigerator. Later, I'll add the leftovers to a soup, stew, or casserole. Once the beans change color in the boiling water, they stay green ... so don't worry about the bean color.
I buy this bean seed from Park Seed. A packet of seed cost $1.44. Thompson & Morgan sells a package of seed for $2.95.
These Bush Bean -- Purple Teepee are truly a gardener's blessing. I have grown them for many, many years with great success. They not only trick the bean beetles into going elsewhere, but these purple beans are a delicious green bean when cooked.
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Zucchini Italiano Largo
Burpee (online store)
Cook’s Garden (online store)
Dutch Gardens (online store)
Upside-Down Tomato Garden
Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed
Black & Decker Cordless Mulching Mower
Copyright 2008 Dawn L. Stewart