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Do you have any idea why I cannot eat volunteer green beans?

Beulah Asked

Do you have any idea why I cannot eat volunteer green beans? After the first green beans are plowed under in the fall, they come back up and grow profusely all over the entire bean patch. They are beautiful and look perfect, but I cannot get them done enough no matter what I do.

I pressure cook, but still they won’t get beyond dente, a little soft, but not nearly done enough to eat.
Please tell what you can, I would appreciate it so very much.

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The Gardener’s Answer

I have not personally experienced this, and since the original harvest was fine, the only logical explanation would be that the beans were left on the plant too long and got tough. Since bean seeds, both climbing (pole beans) and compact (bush beans) types are not typically hybrids, they come true from seed; the ones that were plowed under in the fall are the same as the volunteers that grew after they were plowed under. Because of the time of year, they may have matured faster than during the “normal” growing season. And if the temperatures were warmer this can result in a tougher pod.

Green beans are susceptible to a variety of insect and disease issues that can spread if combined into the soil, but as you mentioned, they looked lush and beautiful. If this were the case, you would have noticed discoloration on the plants and/or the beans.

One last thought is if the beans were harvested and were not eaten immediately, the storing temperature could’ve impacted the quality/texture of the beans, but again you would have noticed discoloration on the pods. If this happens in the future you may just want to save the seeds for planting or even drying. Sorry I don’t have a more definitive answer for you, but hopefully this gives you some insight.

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