harvesting for the hungry


Life Of A Seed – Kentucky Wonder Bean
Feb 24, 2017 by Rachael Dupree

If you’re eager to plant some Brandywine tomatoes after our last installment of “Life Of A Seed” and you want to know what else you can plant in your garden, look no farther than the Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean. The Kentucky Wonder is an ancient pole bean that can be traced all the way back to the mid-1800s and is stringless when harvested young.

The awe-inspiring trait of this bean is its size—the beans can grow to be quite long. It’s one of the most popular pole beans among gardeners, in part because it is rust-resistant.

Want to know what to expect when growing your Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans? Take a look:


  • Sow seeds in a sunny location after the threat of frost has passed, and after soil has warmed.
  • Plant seeds in rows, three inches apart, with 24 inches between rows. Cover with two inches of lightly packed soil and water gently.
  • Coating seeds with an inoculant will better allow plants to draw nitrogen from the air as fertilizer.


  • Beans need the equivalent of one inch of rainwater each week during growing season.
  • If possible, water plants at the soil level and avoid touching their leaves while wet.
  • Beans pair well with other plants in the garden—providing shade for cool weather plants, or reducing weeds for squash.


  • To use beans fresh, pick them as soon as pods are well filled out with beans.
  • For dry beans, allow them to dry on vine partially, pull up entire plants, and hang in warm, dry place with good air circulation.
  • For a constant supply of beans, keep sowing seeds every two weeks during the spring and early summer.


  • Beans can be broken and the strings removed prior to cooking or canning.
  • To preserve beans for the offseason, you can cook and can them using reusable jars and a pressure cooker.
  • Beans will stay good in the refrigerator for about a week, whether cooked or not.

Be sure to check out this bean and other heirloom seeds at GleanKY’s Heirloom Seed Sale on March 4 and 5.

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