About Kentucky Wonder Bean: First appearing in 1864, this variety of bean had the name "Old Homestead." Several years later, seed specialist James H. Gregory retitled it "Kentucky Wonder" and stated, "This we regard as far ahead of any other green Pole Bean." Before long, seed companies far and wide praised Kentucky Wonder as an excellent, unsurpassed variety because of its the tenderness of the bean even at large sizes. At one time it was the most popularly cultivated bean in America.
Kentucky Wonder Bean Germination: Direct sow seeds in rich, well drained soil in full sun at least a week after the last expected frost, since beans are quite sensitive to cold. If you have never planted beans in your garden before, treat the seeds with a powder inoculant to allow the process of nitrogen fixation to begin. Plant them 1" deep and 3-6" apart, in rows about 2' apart; press down the earth above them for good soil contact. These seeds rot easily in wet soil, so do not over water them. Germination should take place 7-10 days after planting. For companion planting benefits, plant bush beans near carrots, cucumbers, or corn; avoid planting them near onions.
Growing Kentucky Wonder Bean Seeds: After germination, maintain soil moisture; beans have shallow roots, and need water at least once a week if the weather is dry. Mulching the plants helps conserve moisture and discourages weeds.
Harvesting Kentucky Wonder Bean: Expect your first beans about ten weeks after germination. Daily harvesting improves production; for best flavor and tenderness, pick the beans when they are no larger than a pencil in thickness, or from 4-8" long. Serve or preserve the same day you harvested them for the freshest taste.
Saving Kentucky Wonder Bean Seeds: Near the end of the growing season, allow the beans to dry completely on the vine; the pods will be light brown, and the seeds will rattle inside. Remove the seeds from the pods. After the seeds are completely dry, store them in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Detailed Kentucky Wonder Bean Info: Phaseolus vulgaris. Annual. 45 days to maturity. 75 seeds per oz. 12-15" plant height. 6-8" spacing. These green snap beans grow from 7-8" long.