Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis (90 days) Open-pollinated. A pole or two of these, with their long pencil-thin 14–18" cascading burgundy pods, makes a stunning garden entrance that draws people in and excites curious inquiries. Not the earliest of Yard Long beans, but surely the most spectacular. An indifferent performer in chilly Central Maine, Noodle preferred the warmer day and night temperatures of Zone 5 hill country Massachusetts and does even better a zone or two south. Slow to produce, first ripening for me in MA Sept. 5, but once underway it never looked back. Loves heat and moisture. Keep it picked to sustain production. An intriguing Asian specialty whose strong unique indescribable flavor is brought out best by dry-frying in a hot wok with peanut oil, garlic and tamari. Stringless and most tender when young and thin. Must be trellised. About 200 seeds/oz. ②
322 Red Noodle Yard Long
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Avg 30 seeds/half oz packet. 775–1500 seeds/lb. Half oz packet sows 7-10'.
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct sowing.
Culture: Though it can be fun to grow “climbing” beans on tripods or sunflowers, many folks grow them on 6–8' fencing. Plant 3–4" apart along the fence. Many pole bean varieties have strings that won’t annoy you if they’re picked early and often. Frequent and thorough picking keeps your vines vigorous and productive. Pick and compost the overgrown pods that got away, or cut them coarsely and add them to minestrone as suggested by Crystal Nichols of Greene, ME. If you don’t pick them, your plants will stop producing, satisfied they’ve fulfilled their reproductive mission.
One customer says, “Many people—even gardeners and cooks—have no idea how much better tasting pole beans are. Most bush beans are cardboard by comparison.”
Poles for Pole Beans
Nikos grows hers on tripods of long lashed poles. Gloria Seigars of New Sweden, ME, employs tall limber ash saplings that can be bent double without breaking. “Wired together, several of them make a nifty arbor and grand entrance to the vegetable garden.” Will Bonsall suggests letting them climb sunflower stalks. Give the sunflowers a two-week head start.
Plant about 5 seeds to a tripod, or 2 seeds to a sunflower.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.