Fortex really is an awesome grean bean. For most vegetables, it would be difficult for me to recommend just one variety that I think really has it all. But for green beans, we’ve tried many varieties, and Fortex is the one variety that I recommend.
The reasons Fortex is such a great bean are:
1) It’s a pole bean. Green beans come in either the pole or bush bean type, and I prefer pole beans. Pole beans can be planted just once, and after they start producing, continue to produce beans until frost. Bush beans only produce for a few weeks, so it’s necessary to make several plantings of bush beans for a continuous harvest. Bush beans were really developed for commercial (mechanical harvest) all at once rather than a continuous harvest like pole beans.
Unless you’re harvesting beans mechanically, it’s also easier to harvest pole beans. The beans are produced up at easy picking level for humans whereas bush beans are produced a foot or two off the ground, and you have to stoop over to harvest them. Of course, you do need to provide a strong trellis for pole beans to climb on.
2) It has great taste. The problem with many pole beans is that they just don’t have the refined taste of bush beans, and they can get stringy or tough if they’re not picked when very young. However, this isn’t a problem with the Fortex variety of bean. Fortex is described as a stringless French filet bean, and it has exceptional green bean flavor at any size.
3) It’s truly stringless with a crisp texture, and no matter how big it gets, it’s still good. I’ve had many say that they didn’t like pole beans, but they all change their minds after tasting Fortex.
Fortex is an open pollinated variety that starts producing 70 days after planting, and should be picked when the beans are between 7” – 11” long. I do like to try to pick them at the smaller sizes because they’re more uniform in size and straighter, but they still taste great if you don’t get to them until they’re huge.
The vines have been very vigorous in our garden, and the beans also freeze well if you have any left over. I used to grow several types of green beans in the garden every year, but after finding Fortex, have reduced to only it. It’s simply been better than any other bean we’ve tried, both in flavor and ease of production. It would make a great bean for market gardeners and CSA’s too.