Scientific Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Type: Hardy Annual
Native Range: Lower 48 States, Pacific Basin, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Hardiness Zones: 5 and 13; beans are not hardy and will die with light frost, however, Contender beans are resistant to the Common Bean Mosaic Virus and Powdery Mildew;
Soil Requirements: Warm and well-drained; slightly acidic pH [6.5 – 6.8];
Light Preference: Full sun
Days until Germination: 7-10 days
Sowing: Soak beans 1-6 hours before planting. Sow 2″- 3″ deep once soil is warm and last frost is past—roughly two weeks. Plant seeds every 2-3 weeks for a continual harvest throughout the season. If you plan to dry your beans, plant 2″ deep, and remove pods once they are dry and the plant’s leaves are wilted.
Plant Spacing: 3″- 5″ with 18″- 36″ between rows
Plant Height: 1′- 2′
Harvest: 42-50 days; can pick when young, or wait for them to reach full-size; pod should be brightly colored and fleshy; to avoid breaking plant’s stem, use two hands when picking off snap beans;
Grows Well With: Carrots, cauliflower, beets, cucumbers, cabbage, leeks, celeriac, marigolds, strawberries, corn, summer savory
Grows Poorly With: Garlic, shallots, chives, gladiolus, fennel
Potential Problems: Cutworms; slugs; snails; Japanese beetles; rot; lack of support for stalk;
Uses & Cooking Suggestions: Contender beans are more tender and milder in flavor than other green beans, making them a good choice for inclusion in a salad or a stir-fry.