French beans grow quickly and taste superb. Therefore, you can make delicious finger food for your children. Moreover, various colours of the beans, such as cream, yellow, purple, and green, attract the kids a lot.
Sowing French Beans
French beans are delicate and don’t like to grow in cold or frost. They come in dwarf and climbing varieties. You can harvest the Climbing French beans in September.
On the other hand, dwarf varieties grow fast. But, their harvesting season goes only for a few weeks. Therefore, you may have to sow the French beans additionally.
Late April to early May is the time to sow the earlier crop.
Here are tips for sowing the French beans:
- Sow the seeds in pots
- Sow one seed in each pot
- Soweach of the seeds to a depth of 2 inches.
- Place the plant pots in a sunny windowsill to allow germination
- Water the seeds regularly
- Harden off the seedlings in late May or early June to adapt to the outdoors environment
- Transplant the plant to its final location after there is no risk of frost
Outdoor sowing is best if May is warmer. Then, you can sow the seeds directly into sunny spots and pots.
- Apply garden compost or well-rotted manure before sowing.
- Cover the seedlings with fleece at night
- Place the bean seed into the pot centre while sowing in pots. Ensure seeds of the French beans are 2 inches deep. After planting, you can place the pots in warm and sheltered places.
- Transplant the seeds to final positions when young plants are 3 inches tall or after May or early June when the frost has just been passed.
- Sow the dwarf beans directly in the ground from June to July. Then, you can harvest it in early autumn.
Growing French Beans
Climbing French beans need support to climb up. Traditionally, they grow along a double row of bamboo canes. The canes should be 6 ft tall and 18 inches apart. Slope the bamboo canes inwards.
Making wigwams is a good option if you don’t have enough space for double rows of canes. One Wigwam must contain 4-5, 6 ft tall canes. Makes sure all these canes are spaced 6 inches apart. Now, tie the canes’ top together.
Plant one bean at the cane base and tie the bean’s shoots to the cane to help them grow in this direction.
The maximum length of these beans is around 18 inches. Therefore, they grow best in blocks, with neighbouring plants supporting each other. Therefore, ensure a distance of 6 inches between plants.
- Cover the plants with fleece if there is the forecasting of a cold snap after their plantation.
- Water the plants in dry weather, especially when they are flowering.
- Apply mulch or mushroom compost in July. It will help the plants to retain soil moisture.
Harvesting French Beans
Mid-summer to early autumn is the best time to harvest the French beans. Regular harvesting helps you to crop the dwarf French beans for several weeks. And you can reap the Climbing French beans for even longer.
You can pick the 4 inches long pods. The easy snapping and appearance of beans through pods indicate that they’re ready.
Slugs and snailsThese eat young seedlings, leaving a slime trail in the soil around your crop and on leaves.
You can use biocontrols, copper tape, sawdust, and beer traps to control the slugs and snails.
Birds can eat vegetables and fruits, leaves, buds, and seedlings.
You can choose the technique of bird scaring to protect the plants from birds. However, covering the plants with fleece or netting is the most reliable method.
· Black bean aphid
These aphids suck the liquid sap of the plants. As a result, they deform the plants and results in stunt growth of their stems and leaves.
· Remove the infested tips in case of broad beans
· Pick and squash the aphids present on other beans.
Go to Womans Day for 20 great recipes for French beans.
There are quite a few varieties of french beans. Check them out:
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