• Emily

Bountiful Beans, Part III: Yard Long Beans

Updated: Apr 14


Red Noodle Yard Long beans in the greenhouse

This post may contain affiliate links that will take you to the webpages of companies we believe in and have personally used. Read more about our affiliate policies here.


The latest and most heat-loving of the bean varieties we grow on the homestead are yard long beans. Because yard long beans are in the Vigna unguiculate family, they don’t cross pollinate with common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) or runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) that we grow in other parts of the garden. This allows us to isolate varieties and save our own seed without concern about cross pollination. (Note: They will cross pollinate with cowpeas, so if southern peas, black-eyed peas, etc., are being grown in the same garden with yard long beans, they will need to be isolated by distance.) Because of their long pods and relatively thin pod walls, they are easy candidates for seed saving and produce many seed beans in each pod.


Unlike the common and runner beans we grow (which you can read about here and here) the yard-long beans shouldn't be planted until the soil has thoroughly warmed and there is a consistent stretch of warm weather anticipated. Because the homestead's dome from Growing Spaces warms long before the outside gardens, the yard long beans are planted in the greenhouse with the The First Green of Spring. These seedlings are particularly susceptible to damage by ants and earwigs, and they won’t put on significant growth until truly hot weather. Once they take off, they begin to set beans almost immediately. Two papilionaceous blooms form opposite one another at the end of each slender stem.


yard long bean blooms

These quickly change into long slender beans that grow with shocking rapidity. Although they are called “yard long,” the variety we grew (Red Noodle Yard Long Beans, from Territorial Seed Company) should be harvested when they reach about eighteen inches in length.


yard long beans in the outdoor garden

The long, stringless pods are produced in abundance once the vines are mature. Of all the varieties we have tried, they are perhaps the easiest to use because they can be washed and snapped quickly and thrown into stir-fries, soups, or eaten alone. Because they are more tender than some of the other beans, they don’t need to be cooked as long and are not conducive to canning.


We found that yard long beans produce through the early summer in the greenhouse and during the late summer outside. Their stunning display and versatility in the kitchen make them a favorite product from our sunny summer garden.


yard long beans in the greenhouse

This post may contain affiliate links that will take you to the webpages of companies we believe in and have personally used. Read more about our affiliate policies here.

26 views

Related Posts

See All

Comfrey