Hi all--I love filet beans. Grew Emerite last year, was not too impressed with the yield or climbing ability. Fortex looks like a variety that might be better suited to my climate, and climb better, with a bigger yield. Any opinions on this?
Thanks in advance for the time and input.
"Fortex" is one of my main snaps. It starts out rather strangely, with runners growing outward, rather than upward. These runners need some training initially (not one of my favorite characteristics), but once that is done, they are strong climbers. The vines are not as heavily branched or foliated as some pole beans, so I space them more closely, thinning to 2@12".
The pods are very long, up to 11-12" for me. I've only occasionally eaten them in the filet stage, preferring them somewhat larger. Their flavor is excellent eaten raw, sweet & crisp. They hold their quality for a long time, remaining stringless even when quite large. The frozen quality is one of the best.
"Fortex" has many good qualities: good cool-soil germination, resistance to rust, and eye-catching pods of excellent flavor. If it has one weakness, it is the tendency of the long pods to bruise in the wind. Because of this, I always grow it in the shelter of other tall crops. The yield is also more spread out than many pole beans; good if you want fresh beans over a long period, bad if you want to can large quantities all at once.
Susan, my one experience with "Emerite" left me in agreement with your comments... I was not impressed with either its yield or its climbing ability. I was, however, very impressed with the pod quality. It has, by far, the best frozen quality of any bean I have grown, even better than "Fortex". The pods are exceptionally round & straight, and are very firm either cooked or canned.
Like "Fortex", "Emerite" has very good cool-soil germination. I grew it as part of a 7-variety pole bean trial in the 90's, in what turned out to be a very bad year for beans. The germination was the best of all varieties, nearly 100%. A prolonged period of cool, wet weather in mid-Summer really set all of the beans back... most became infected with rust to some degree (except "Fortex" and "Garafal Oro"). "Emerite" was severely stunted, but when the weather warmed, it made a full recovery (as did "Rattlesnake").
The results of that trial are what led me to change my main-crop snap from "Pole 191" to "Fortex", a decision I have never regretted.
"Emerite" performed much like a half-runner for me; most of the yield was borne in the first 3 feet above ground. But then, that was in a bad year, on a plot of only fair fertility... and I have learned much more about beans since then. Looking back, I have often wondered how it might have performed in better weather, with better care & greater spacing. I am planning to grow it again in 2009, to find out.
Fortex, which I got in a trade with Zeedman, was simply excellent this year. It leaves nothing to be desired. The pods were surprisingly long and abundant. It was tender and tasty.
If this were the only snap bean I could have, it would not be a hardship. The only reason for me to grow other snap beans is to broaden my very limited experience with them. There are so many which, for various reasons, have been spoken well of that I need to satisfy my curiosity about them.
I think you would like Fortex.
Both Emerite and Fortex have a place in my garden next year. Even so, there are other varieties that I want to grow such as Blue Marbutt for superb canned beans, and Goose for huge shellies.
Thanks for the feedback, guys! I think I will grow both, as the emerites I did get were very tasty, just was a disappointment in terms of yield and growth compared to the other beans I grew last year.
I love trying new beans and haven't grown Fortex so I might just give it a try...The best and most prolific and long producer ever for me has been Rattlesnake...I love them.
I settled in on Emerite many years ago after trying lots of other varieties of pole beans. I have nothing but good to say about this bean: taste, growth habit, and productivity. I plant in 4 X 8 foot raised beds. One eight foot row feeds the entire neighborhood and beyond each year with enough left over for freezing. With all the nice things I have read here about Fortex however, I will probably plant another eight foot row of these beans and extend my neighborhood donations. Lord willing, will report results back in 2009.
Just planted my Fortex today--the experiment begins :D
Popping over from the SFG site.
I planted my Fortex a few weeks ago and it's looking like it's got a virus which is spreading to the bush beans down the lane. If you all don't mind, could you look at the pictures below (you may have to scroll down a post) to let me know what you think is going on.thank you for your advice.
Here is a link that might be useful: The Corner Yard
I haven't planted either. I do plan on growing Emerite for the first time this year. I've read that Emerite does better in the South. After last year, I'm thinking we'll have a warmer summer!
ribbit, you have bugs feeding on the leaves. That is leaving lesions on the leaves that are infected with fungus. The fungus causes the leaf problems. Get the leafhoppers under control and the leaves will be fine.