Phaseolus vulgaris (50 days) Open-pollinated. For highest early yields—even under adverse conditions—and rich beany taste, nothing provides like Provider. Noted for its concentrated sets of round 5–5½" pods.
“There is no substitute for Provider beans,” says Chris Carlin of Hyde Park, Vt. Also excellent for canning and “my choice for freezing and dilly beans,” says Elaine Carlson of Cape Porpoise, Maine. Anne Elder of Community Farm of Ann Arbor, Mich., praises its amazing resilience: it and Royal Burgundy re-flower repeatedly after heavy pickings followed by rains. Came in one day ahead of Contender for earliest in our observation plot.
Our best-selling variety in our entire listing year after year. Released by the USDA in 1965. Purple seed. Resistant to CBMV, NY 15, PM, DM, PMV. ③
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About 120 seeds/2 oz packet. 2 oz packet sows 25 ft; 1 lb, 200 ft.
Seed sizes vary. Pick frequently for maximum and steady yields, but avoid harvesting or disturbing foliage in wet conditions to prevent spread of fungal diseases. Successive plantings can be made every 2 or 3 weeks until midsummer.
All beans are open-pollinated.
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct sowing.
Culture: Tender, will not survive frost. Plant seeds 3–4" apart in rows 24–30" apart after all danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Minimum germination soil temperature 60°; optimal range 60–80°. White-seeded beans are generally more sensitive to cold soil temps than dark-seeded varieties. Legumes have moderate fertility needs and can fix their own nitrogen (inoculate with Guard-N Combo Legume Inoculant). Excessive nitrogen may induce some bush varieties to develop vines in moist hot weather.
Saving Seed: Saving bean seed is easy! Leave pods on the plants to dry. Hand shell, or stomp pods on a tarp. To ensure true-to-type seed, separate varieties by 30 feet.
BBS: Bacterial Brown Spot
CBMV: Common Bean Mosaic Virus
CTV: Curly Top Virus
DM: Downy Mildew
HB: Halo Blight
NY 15: NY 15 Mosaic Virus
PM: Powdery Mildew
PMV: Pod Mottle Virus
White mold, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, affects more than 300 plant species. In beans, low humidity, good air circulation and wider spacing, both between plants and between rows, reduce the likelihood of this soil-borne infection.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.