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All About Contender Bush Beans

The Contender Bush Bean is one of the most popular varieties of bush beans out there. This is thanks to its versatility, large yields, easy seeding, and much more.

A basket of harvested contender bush beans.

Without further ado, let’s get into why this bean is a top contender in the bean world (pun intended).

All About Contender Bush Beans

The Contender Bush Bean is one of the most popular bush beans ever. Entering the scene around 1949, this bean originated from Mexico and South America and was an instant success with farmers.

It’s known for its seasonal versatility and durability. This super bean is disease resistant and as long as there is no frost around, it grows well most of the year!

The contender’s yields are perhaps what it’s best known for. With yields of about 100 pounds per 100-foot row, this bean produces one of the largest yields in the bush bean family.

Eating the Contender Bush Bean

A platter of sauteed green beans.

A great way to prepare beans is by roasting them. Try this oven-roasted green bean recipe as a great side dish or snack.

Green bean mac n cheese is a great way to incorporate veggies into a dish your kids will love!

If you’re still having trouble deciding on a recipe, take a look at the 35 green bean recipes list.

How Does it Taste?

The Contender Bush Bean has a strong and delicious flavor. They also lose absolutely no flavor after freezing or refrigerating which is great news if you choose that preservation option.

If you eat the bean while it’s raw, it’ll have an earthy and slightly bitter taste with a crispy texture, but not as crispy as when it’s dehydrated.

When the bean is cooked it softens and gets an amazing tender texture to go along with its fresh earth earthy flavor that intensifies during the cooking process.

Health Benefits

A bowl of green beans.

Like many beans, the Contender Bush Bean is incredibly healthy for you.

For starters, they’re a low-calorie food at 16 calories per half-cup portion and are full of fiber making them a perfect part of any diet.

These beans are also high in vitamin K and calcium which are both essential for bone health.

The contender also contains about a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C which helps immune health. It’s also a great source of vitamin A which is beneficial for eyesight.

How to Grow the Contender Bush Bean

Bush bean plants.

The first thing to know about planting the Contender Bush Bean is to direct sow the seeds about 1 inch deep in high-quality soil that drains well.

Select a location where the beans get plenty of sunlight and have room to grow. This means the seeds should be spaced 3 inches apart from each other.

The contender grows well at most times of the year but as an early bean, it should be planted in early spring/summer to make the most of the peak sunlight.

Keep the soil moist by watering about once a week during the growing period if the weather is dry. The soil should be properly mulched to stave off weeds.

The maturation process takes 50 days and the pods should be around 4 to 8 inches long when you harvest them.

Closeup of bush bean pods.

Preservation and Storage

As with most food items nowadays, the Contender Bush Bean can last a few weeks in the refrigerator if it is kept dry.

Of course, the most popular way to store the contender is canning. To can them, wash, string, and cut the beans. Then add salt and cover them with boiling water in a jar. Remove the air bubbles and lid them in the can. All that’s left to do is pressurize and seal the can. Leave it to cool off and you’re all set!

Another great storage option is freezing the beans. To do this simply wash, string, cut, and trim the ends off your beans. The next step is to blanch them in boiling water. Once they’re done blanching, let them cool in ice water. Store them in the freezer where they’ll last about 3 months.

Dehydrating your beans is a great way to create a healthy alternative to chips. You can do this at home with a dehydrator, but you can also buy dried beans at any supermarket.

Lastly, you can pickle the beans in a quick vinegar, water, and salt solution. This is a great way to change the flavor profile of the beans while extending their shelf life.

Cans of home canned green beans.


Luckily this bean is resistant to most diseases like the bean mosaic virus and powdery mildew.

That being said, you still need to keep an eye out for root rot, white mold, and bacterial blights.

To keep your bean plants healthy, wash your hands before tending to the plants and sanitize all the tools you work with.

But if your beans do develop any of these diseases, the best thing to do is to remove and dispose of the infected plant to avoid contaminating your other plants.

Where to Buy Seeds

Closeup of green bean seedlings.

Have we convinced you to try your hand at growing these tasty beans in your garden?

If so, we have good news — you can easily buy your Contender Bush Bean seeds online today at Hoss Tools, one of our favorite seed retailers!

A Top Contender

Ever since being introduced to farmers in 1949, Contender Bush Beans have been a hit all over the world. This is largely due to its strong disease resistance and high crop yield.

A basket of harvested green beans.

It’s also one of the most versatile and forgiving beans to plant as they grow well during most of the year as long as there’s no frost.

This bean is also filled with healthy vitamins and minerals that make them a valuable part of any healthy diet.

To learn more about other kinds of beans, visit our Bean Plants page for more bean variety posts and helpful growing guides.