Generally I plant Scarlet Runners, and green, and yellow bush beans. I think I've always planted the bush beans because that was what I was raised on. There's nothing wrong with them, but now that I've broadened my horizons a lttle, I can honestly say that there's nothing special about them either - especially after they've been blanched and frozen. I love Scarlet Runners. I love the beans they produce, as well as how darned pretty they look producing them. The only issue we sometimes have with them here in the valley is that frost can cut their season short, just as they really start producing.
Last year I decided to try a flat Italian style bean. I went for the Roma II Bean.
We didn't treated them like bush beans last year and they did fine, but it was obvious that they wanted something to climb, so this year we'll give them a little trellis and see how much difference it makes.
We got a lot of great tasting beans off the few plants I put in. They were easier to protect from frost than the runner beans and if I remember correctly, started producing sooner. Most importantly....they're actually good out of the freezer. So this year...bye bye bush beans. It's been nice knowing you, we've had some really good times, but it's time for me to move on.
The second winner was a summer squash. There's nothing wrong with a green zucchini. Except when you're trying to give it away. ;-) Plant a variety of colours and call them "summer squash" and suddenly people are interested! But I digress...
Magda Squash is a Lebanese Zucchini (suddenly it's even more exotic and "giveawayable"). The Magda plants out produced the regular zucch's, didn't have a single problem with rot, and we liked the flavour and texture better. Veseys catalog mentions that they produce medium 4" fruit. Sure they do, as long as you keep on top of them. Just like any other zucchini type plant these suckers will keep growing way past 4". That's the beauty/curse of summer squash. It's the reason people people have "gifts from the garden" forced upon them. The good news is, these squash are great when they're bigger and are my new favourite for stuffing.