Garden Update | Long Beans: Delicious But Slightly Creepy Looking

Am I the only one who feels slightly unsettled by long beans? They remind me of tentacles. Or creepy long fingernails. You see it too, right? I’m not crazy, right?

Red Noodle Long Beans 7-24-12
…but hey, at least they taste good! So there’s that! I was just complaining about how I never get more than a dozen or so beans from my other bean plants. Well, Red Noodle Long Beans are the solution to this problem because a dozen of these beans is definitely enough for a meal. If you can get over the tentacle-ness.

It’s now the end of July, and I’ve been a little disappointed with my garden. Last year, I didn’t get very many vegetables at all. I was convinced it was because I got a late start and that this year would be better. Oh yes, it would! This year, we’d be eating veggies from the garden everyday. I’d go outside with a big basket and fill it up with sun-ripened tomatoes and handfuls of beans. In fact, I’d have so many zucchini and cucumbers and eggplant, I’d end up having to give them away.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure the main culprit is the heat. Even with plenty of water, my plants are all wilted and sad looking by mid-afternoon. I had lots of little cucumbers, melons, and beans that started to grow, but once the extreme heat started, most of those little baby fruits and veggies started to shrivel on the vine. The squash plants were doing well until vine borers got to them and then the one squash plant that survived the borers ended up getting powdery mildew.

Am I discouraged? HECK YES. I’m going to be starting fall seeds soon, so I’m trying to focus on that rather than my failure of a summer garden. And I’m also trying to focus on the plants that are doing well:

Lemongrass 7-24-12 Like the lemongrass! Apparently lemongrass loves hot weather. Now I just need to figure out what to do with it all.

Strawberries 7-24-12 The strawberries are still flowering, although they’ve slowed down with the fruit.

Petit Gris de Rennes Melon 7-24-12 I found this Petit Gris de Rennes melon when I went out to take pictures. I didn’t even know it was growing!

Ichiba Kouji 7-24-12 There were a bunch of Ichiba Kouji melons growing on the vine, but this is the only one that didn’t shrivel up. You can see the leaves aren’t looking to healthy, but the melon itself seems to be doing well.

Little Finger Eggplant & Dragon's Egg Cucumber Just like last year, I’m getting lots and lots of eggplant. These are 2 Little Finger Eggplants and a Dragon’s Egg Cucumber.

Oregano 7-24-12 All of the herbs are doing well, except the lavender which got completely fried by the heat. This is oregano, crawling over the rocks.

Pepper 7-24-12 I have one pepper growing on each of my pepper plants. Last year, my peppers starting flowering towards the end of the summer, so I’m hoping I’ll get more over the next month or so.

How has your garden handled the heat this summer? Are you noticing smaller harvests this year too?

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Not a chance, I’m guarding that melon ferociously! Last year I came so close to getting a Petit Gris de Rennes & then Hurricane Irene happened and it got so swollen with water, it exploded. This year I am determined to at least get one melon!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Oh, well, I didn’t take pictures of our dandelions! Next time I’ll do Garden Update: Weed Edition. And then you’ll feel better about your garden. ;)

  1. Robyn E says

    I reside in Hawaii and at the open market there are ton’s of long beans for sale. I frankly felt like you, and I do not know a recipe for these . Any suggestions? Do you cut them or serve them long? I have no idea . Perhaps now I will buy some.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      You can cut them into pieces before cooking and use them the same way you would regular green beans. I stir-fried these with a small amount of oil and garlic chili sauce. They were really good!

  2. says

    All your heat-lovers are doing fine, the exact veggies I can’t grow here in Seattle. It hasn’t been hot here. I grow flowers and herbs and they are doing fine. I noticed yesterday that my garden was looking a little drought-stressed and watered it for the first time this summer. It perked right up by today. The advantage of our rainy June and cloudy July, I guess. My beautiful yellow oriental lilies just started blooming yesterday.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Oh, I love lilies! I have some daylilies, but they came and went a few months ago. :) It’s so hot here, I need to water my garden daily & that still doesn’t seem to be enough sometimes!

  3. says

    The heat has been detrimental to my garden also. I guess we have to plant plants that love heat and some that don’t so that at least we get something either way (hotter or colder weather). I am going to try the long beans next year!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Yes, try growing long beans–they are so fun! I think they’re my favorite thing in the garden. Just be sure you have a really tall pole for them to climb. I got one that’s 6 feet tall & it’s waaaay too short.

  4. says

    You’re growing so many exotic things! What has survived looks very impressive, but I’m sorry to hear about all the troubles you’re having! I live in an apartment but have been hearing lots of garden troubles from my family, not because of the heat, but more due to critters eating everything! Hope what you have been able to harvest will taste great!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I think a deer ate some of my plants at the beginning of the summer, but most of my animal problems are ant-related. We have these insane, biting ants all over our yard!

  5. says

    OMG you have a melon – I’m so jealous! I’m the only one that eats it in our family so I get overruled when trying to plant those. And they take up so much room. Our strawberries are starting to flower again too. I think it’s all the rain we’ve had recently but without it the leaves are sure to dry up again.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I am so obsessed with that melon too! I check it everyday to see if it’s ready to harvest yet. It’s a variety that’s supposed to be sweet no matter what, so we’ll see if that’s true. :) Our strawberries are flowering, but then when they start forming berries, they dry out right away, so there’s nothing to harvest. But I’m hoping if they keep flowering like this when it gets cooler, I might get some berries in the fall.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Yeah, when I tried to grow them in Wisconsin, by the time the melons started getting big, it was fall. And then I had to pull them all out because I had a community garden plot and they were closing up for the year. Boo. I heard there are smaller ones that mature faster that you can do in cooler climates, though!

  6. says

    Oh yes, they are so creepy! My grandma had them when I was little and I remember being freaked out by them. And I feel your pain, my garden is awful this year! The constant rain and zero sunshine that we had at the beginning of the summer just totally killed everything. My flower beds took the worst of it, the veggie garden is still hanging on. But man, how depressing.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      My flowers aren’t doing so great either. Last year I don’t think I ever had to water them and they did so well. This year, they’re all droopy and wilted, even after getting plenty of water. I hope fall is a little bit kinder to our plants!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I’ve seen the green ones at our local farmers market, but never the red ones, which is why I had to buy the seeds for them when I found them. I love weird vegetables! I’m hoping to harvest the melon soon–fingers crossed!

  7. says

    It’s been such a weird year! I totally gave up on so many things, but some things are starting to turn around now.. I’m just thankful that my tomato plants are doing really good. Not too many tomatoes yet, but at least the plants are doing well enough that I’ll hopefully get a good crop in the next month. I’m just starting to get cucumbers and squashes and zucchini now! It seems so late for things to be just starting :( But I guess I should be grateful I’m at least getting something. I think those beans look cool! I’ve never grown beans like that!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I think it’s when you give up that things start doing well! That happens to me every season! :) I write something off, and then suddenly it’s thriving. My garden seems to be a little bit late this year too, which is odd considering that I got everything planted earlier than I did last summer.

  8. says

    My garden has handled the heat ok, except my winter squash plant is acting weird. All the blossoms keep falling off :/ My cherry tomatoes and serrano peppers and herbs are all doing great, but I have to make sure to water every day if it doesn’t rain. My best crops were definitely the spring root veggies, though!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I’ve read that the first set of blossoms on a squash plant always fall off (because they’re all male) and then after that is when you get the ones that will actually produce squash. But I had the same thing happen to my zucchini plant 2 years ago. I kept waiting & waiting for flowers that actually turned into zucchini and the whole summer came & went and I didn’t get a single one. So weird! At least the rest of your garden is doing well. :)

  9. says

    The sun is definitely roasting our plants. All our herbs had been doing fantastic, but in the past week the parsley and cilantro got brown and crunchy despite watering. :( Strawberries have definitely slowed down, and ripe berries are the size of peas. My daylilies grew buds, then shriveled and turned brown. The hibiscus is doing good, eggplant plants are flowering, and one tomato finally took on a blush today – I’m so excited!!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I gave up on the cilantro! It was doing well for so long, but then it reeeeally wanted to go to seed, so I let it. Now it’s completely wilted and brown, but I’m hoping it will reseed itself and then I won’t need to buy it next year. I really want a hibiscus plant too! Just need to figure out where we’d put it. :)

  10. says

    Those beans are big, almost too big to cook! My garden has been spotty. The tomatoes are great, but I have one eggplant on 6

    • Kiersten Frase says

      When I was in Wisconsin, I absolutely could not get eggplant to grow at all. And here in North Carolina, I have more eggplant than I know what to do with! Maybe it likes southern climates more?

  11. Lynn says

    My garden is doing so so this year. I’m not that great at it and sometimes I don’t plant things in a good spot lol Kind of a haphazard gardener. No matter I LOVE LOVE LOVE to go out there and putter. We have had extreme heat this season! My tomatoes are doing pretty good even though by the end of the day they are wilted. I have so far 1 zucchini and about 3 more on the plant maturing. My cucumber took over one whole side garden and has tons of tiny cucs on it but not so sure they will mature as they seem to be so slow. My peas are FINALLY starting to come out ….but my green and yellow beans are not growing up. Both are still only about 6 inches high and not climbing and now the beginning of august :( That makes me kinda sad cause last year I have TONS of green beans and they were SOOOOOOO good. One of the people I go to see through work was cleaning green beans out of her garden this past week and I was so jealous! I have 1 green pepper that has a good sized fruit on it and tons of blooms so I’m guessing I’ll get some more.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I am such a haphazard gardener too! But as long as we have fun with it, that’s what matters, right? :) It sounds like your garden is a lot like mine–the heat really seems to be reducing my yields. Last year I got so many cucumbers and this year, most of them shriveled up on the vine. And my tomato plants are often wilted too, so the tomatoes don’t seem to be maturing like they should. I hope the rest of the summer is a little bit cooler and your plants recover!

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