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Pea and bean

Approaches to growing:

French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

Most common are the round-podded varieties sold as dwarf or string beans in supermarkets. However, varieties provide dwarf or climbing growth habit, green yellow, pink and speckled pods and pods which are eaten whole or whose beans are eaten semi-ripe (cannellini, flageolet) or dried (kidney, haricot). They are all pretty easy to grow - the climbing varieties make the best use of limited space and coloured pods make picking easier - but they won't tolerate frost. They'll put up with most soils except those which are very heavy or wet. Incorporate well-rotted farmyard manure. Protecting with cloches at either end of the season will allow cropping from late May until October.

Likes and dislikes
Soil
Stonyok
Lightok
Loamyok
Heavydislike
pH6.5 - 7.5
Manure
Previous cropdislike
Previous autumnok
Before plantingok
Position
Full sun
Partial shade
Shade
Exposure
Open
Sheltered

Sow indoors

sow indoors sow indoors

Sow one seed per pot, 5cm deep and keep moist. Harden off before trasplanting.


plant plant

Between plants: 15cm
Between rows: 45cm

Plant out when all risk of frost has passed and plants are about 8-10cm tall.


harvest harvest

Pick regularly to keep beans coming for a month and a half or more. Hold stems while picking pods or cut off to avoid damaging the plant. When eating the whole pod, pick when about 10cm long, before the beans have started filling but when the pod snaps when bent. For flageolet/cannellini, leave until the beans have filled and for haricots/kidney, leave until the pods have turned brown then hang indoors until the pods split.


Sow outdoors

sow under cloches sow under cloches

Between plants: 15cm
Between rows: 45cm

Sow two seeds per station and thin to the strongest or just sow a few extra at the end of the row to fill any gaps. Provide support (poles/netting) for climbing varieties and even the dwarf varieties can benefoit from a few short twigs or sticks to support them. Keep moist by watering at the base, particularly during and after flowering.


sow outdoors sow outdoors

Between plants: 15cm
Between rows: 45cm

Sow two seeds per station and thin to the strongest or just sow a few extra at the end of the row to fill any gaps. Provide support (poles/netting) for climbing varieties and even the dwarf varieties can benefoit from a few short twigs or sticks to support them. Keep moist by watering at the base, particularly during and after flowering.


harvest harvest

Pick regularly to keep beans coming for a month and a half or more. Hold stems while picking pods or cut off to avoid damaging the plant. When eating the whole pod, pick when about 10cm long, before the beans have started filling but when the pod snaps when bent. For flageolet/cannellini, leave until the beans have filled and for haricots/kidney, leave until the pods have turned brown then hang indoors until the pods split.


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