Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean


Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean

(68 days) Open-pollinated. “…it is an old variety with solid meaty pods, 7–9" long…and when cooked no bean is better. It is enormously productive, the pods hanging in great clusters from top to bottom of the pole.” So said Stark Bros. in 1921. The nutty flavor makes them outstanding for freezing. As the beans mature, the pods flatten. Pick regularly to maintain quality and production, as they get tough once the beans enlarge. A favorite since the mid-1800s. Also known as Old Homestead, Kentucky Wonder was given its present name in 1877 by the eminent seedsman from Marblehead, Mass., James J.H. Gregory. Stark Bros. again: “Of all the climbing kinds, we do not believe there is a better one than Kentucky Wonder.” Brown seeds.

285 Kentucky Wonder
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A: 2oz for $2.30  
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B: 8oz for $5.80  
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C: 1lb for $9.00  
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D: 5lb for $26.00  
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E: 10lb for $45.00  
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K: 25lb for $100.00   ($95.00)
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L: 50lb for $175.00   ($166.25)
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Additional Information

Pole Beans

Half oz packet sows 5 poles; 2 oz sows 20 poles, 6 per pole. One customer says, “Many people—even gardeners and cooks—have no idea how much better tasting pole beans are. Most bush beans are cardboard by comparison.”

Culture: We’ve used four-legged tipis for staking for years. Gloria Seigars of New Sweden, ME, employs tall limber ash saplings that can be bent double without breaking. “Wired together, several of them make a nifty arbor and grand entrance to the vegetable garden.” Pole beans and Scarlet Runner climb them with enthusiasm. Will Bonsall suggests letting them climb sunflower stalks (give the sunflowers a 2-week head start). Tom Stearns uses a long sturdy fence (the most space-efficient way). All pole beans have strings that won’t annoy you if picked early and often. Frequent clean picking keeps your vines vigorous and productive. Pick and compost those fat ones hanging low that got away, or cut them coarsely and add them to minestrone soup as suggested by Crystal Nichols of Greene, ME. If you leave them on the vine your plants will stop producing, satisfied they’ve fulfilled their reproductive mission.


Phaseolus vulgaris 2 oz packet sows 25 ft; 1 lb, 200 ft. Avg 180 seeds/2 oz packet.

Culture: Legumes have moderate fertility needs. Excessive nitrogen may induce some varieties to develop vines in moist hot weather. Tender, will not survive frost. Plant 3–4 seeds/ft in rows 24–30" apart. Pick frequently for maximum yields, but avoid disturbing foliage in wet weather to prevent spread of fungal diseases. White-seeded beans usually don’t germinate as well as dark-seeded. Minimum germination soil temperature 60°. Optimal range 60–80°.


  • ANTH: Anthracnose
  • BBS: Bacterial Brown Spot
  • CBMV: Common Bean Mosaic Virus
  • CTV: Curly Top Virus
  • DM: Downy Mildew
  • HB: Halo Blight
  • NY 15: NY 15 Mosaic Virus
  • PM: Powdery Mildew
  • PMV: Pod Mottle Virus
  • R: Rust
  • SC: Sclerotina

Wider spacing reduces likelihood of SC (white mold). Don’t disturb wet foliage.