Bean, Contender Bush
Great bean flavor.
Contender is one of the best bush beans ever. It is a heavy cropper with round-oval pods and a strong, distinctive flavor. It's an early bean that does well under short seasons and cool conditions, but it will thrive in hot weather too.
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Item # Product
Order: 1 Pkt. (3 oz.)
Days To Maturity
After Last Frost
How to Sow
- Because cowpeas are members of the legume family of plants, they can benefit from an application of a soil inoculant designed for beans and peas, prior to planting. The inoculant will enable the plants to take nitrogen from the air to use as fertilizer, which can increase crop yield and quality.
- Sow in average soil in a sunny location after danger of frost and soil has warmed, from spring to early summer. Sow after the soil has warmed, as seeds may rot in cooler soils.
- Coat untreated seed with an inoculant.
- Sow in rows 24 inches apart. Sow seeds 3 inches apart and cover with 2 inches of fine soil. Firm lightly and water gently.
- Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
- Keep sowing bean seeds every 2 weeks for a constant supply of beans.
- Thin gradually to stand 12 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.
How to Grow
- In dry weather, keep soil well-watered. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Cultivate or mulch to keep weed-free, but do not work or handle plants when leaves are wet.
- Beans as companion plants: Planted closely in rows spaced around two feet, bush bean plants blend well with like-sized warm-season vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. Between towers of pole bean plants, planting vines like squash can help keep weeds down. Pole beans can help protect cool-season vegetables such as spinach and lettuces, as the weather warms.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- For fresh use, pick pods as soon as well-filled out with peas
- For dried bean use, harvest in about 80 days
- To Dry Beans: Allow the beans to stay on the plants until they are partially dry. Then pull up the plants and hang them in a warm, dry place with good air circulation until the pods and seeds are thoroughly dry. Shell the beans and save the pods and plants for composting.
Days To Maturity55 daysFruit Size5-6 inchesSunFull SunSpread18-30 inchesHeight18-30 inchesSow MethodDirect SowPlanting TimeSpring, SummerSow TimeAfter Last FrostThin6 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Bean, Contender Bush is rated out of 5 by 9.Rated 5 out of 5 by lucky7s from delicious beans I grew these 3 years now and have only gotten to cook them twice. I ate them right off the plant. My mailman likes them too.Date published: 2015-05-17Rated 5 out of 5 by Wmsdan from Super Producer Planted Heavy Hitters a little too early this spring and about half did not germinate. So, on a friends recommendation, I filled in with Contender seeds which all germinated and produced beans before the older plants were ready to harvest. The Contender beans out produced the other bush beans as well as the pole beans all summer. In the pot it was impossible to pick out the Contenders, but planting these beans allowed us enough beans to can this summer. It is always good to have variety in your garden and the Contender will always be one or more of my bean rows.Date published: 2014-09-17Rated 5 out of 5 by Wryter from Productive in the desert Contender is highly productive and has great flavor. From a single, eight foot row in my raised bed garden I've harvested more than two pounds of beans so far, and it's only August 14. It, along with Blue Lake 274 is rapidly becoming my favorite green beans. Kingman, AZ gets less than 8" rainfall per year, sits at 3500' and summertime highs are mostly above 100 with 109 or higher not uncommon. This is far from ideal bean growing circumstances and these Contenders have done great and have earned a permanent spot in my garden. Next year I'll plant more and start canning them.Date published: 2014-08-15Rated 5 out of 5 by Kathy777 from Contender Beans, Bush These are great beans, they grow fast, long and full. Very good tasting too.Date published: 2013-02-01Rated 5 out of 5 by BackyardFarmerEngineer from Excellent bean variety The contender is so far my favorite variety of bush bean. We've had good results out of this variety for the last five summers that we've worked our garden here in Connecticut. That's included hot, dry summers and wet cool summers. All around good bean, good fresh, and good pressure-canned and eaten later as well.Date published: 2012-09-03Rated 5 out of 5 by NanookoftheNorth from Great beans Last year I purchased these beans for the first time for Up State New York and no I don't mean Albany go further North. These beans did great I have a large garden and placed two early rows and two later rows. By the end of the season I had beans going to everyone including my self for canning. As well as on the ground unfortunatly. They did very well up here some started later than others so I filled in the rows but later they all came in. They also tasted great and canned great here it is Jan. and we are still eating them.Date published: 2011-01-29Rated 5 out of 5 by Grammy from Best Bush Beans These beans are full, long, and flavorful. The plants do tend to fall over, but are loaded with beans. I have very sandy soil, and it has been dry this summer. These beans don't seem to care.Date published: 2008-07-22Rated 4 out of 5 by diana from Bushes tend to get a bit top heavy and fall over but overall a good bean.Date published: 2006-11-14