Greasy Grit beans a great idea for planting in nearly any great. These tasty pole beans are reliable to grow and don’t require much maintenance at all. They will happily grow alongside all your other plants, including next to varieties like rattlesnake beans.
Greasy Grit Bean Basics
Greasy Grits might not have a very appealing name, but the first thing you should know about them is that they are not greasy! The name is a result of their smooth, shiny exterior, which means them look like they were greased. The beans are not oily or greasy in any way! Some local types of these beans will be shinier than others, like the Pink Tip Greasy bean from North Carolina.
Greasy Grit heirloom beans are popular in the Appalachia region, but they will grow all over the United States with no problems.
These are pole beans, which means they are great climbers, and they are known for their excellent taste.
Planting Greasy Grit Beans
Greasy Grit beans need conditions similar to most other climbing beans, which means full light and a strong trellis, fence, strung pole, or net to grow up. A 7-foot pool will be sufficient but the beans will go higher if allowed. A sturdy fence (etc.) will be needed for them to climb up, but they are not as aggressive climbers as some other beans.
What Greasy Grits lack in aggressiveness, they make up for in foliage. These beans, if planted 6 inches apart or less, will fully cover a wall which is great for privacy but it’ll entirely block the sun from other plants, so be careful what you have planted on the other side.
Growing Greasy Grit Beans
Greasy Grits like full light and lots of water when they are growing. Once full-size 2 thorough waterings a week will be more than sufficient.
Regular fertilizing is not necessary and can promote too much leaf growth at the expensive of bean yield. Fertilizing is fine, but back off on the nitrogen by the time you start to see flowers appearing.
The beans do flower with small white flowers. They are pollinated by local bees, wasps, and other flying insects.
Pests are not typically a problem, but Japanese beetles do enjoy the green leaves of the Greasy Grit. The insects rarely appear in enough quantity to harm the bean in any way though, as most bean plants product many more leaves than necessary to fuel the growth of a bean crop.
At full size the beans will be about 6 inches long, with a smooth green skin and a bumpy appearance from the beans inside the pod.
Eating Greasy Grit Beans
Greasy Grits can be eaten as the whole bean (which it to say in their pod) when the beans are smaller, or they can be dried and only the bean can be eaten.
If you are eating when young young, then they can be sautéed and the entire pod can be eaten whole, as you would a grocery store string bean. Most Greasy Grit fans would consider this a waste of the beans potential as well as a poor yield as you are only getting a fraction of the crop you could have in a few weeks. Even so they are quite delicious.
Unless the beans are picked when they are very young and tender, they will need to be strung. In other words, they will need to have their ends snapped off and the strings along the front and back middle seams removed.
If you are waiting until they are mature, the beans can be picked when fully grown and tough. The beans can be strung and then the entire beans is slow cooked, usually after being snapped into 2 or 3 pieces. Beans will need to be boiled for at least 30 minutes to make them edible. The resulting dish will be a meaty, tasty bean dish.
Greasy Grit beans are not typically shelled or fully dried without the pod.
- What are Greasy Grit beans?
Greasy Grit beans, sometimes called “greasy beans”, are an heirloom variety, climbing bean that are popular in the East Coast US, particularly in the Appalachian region. They are a type of “snap bean” through names like this tend to vary by region.
- Are Greasy Grits pole or bush beans?
Greasy Grits are climbing or pole beans that need a fence, strings, trellis, or net to grow. They will not form self-supporting bushes.