Growing Tips

French Beans

Sow in early May in the south or a fortnight later in the North in rows up to 18" apart, 2" deep with seeds 4" apart along the rows. The plants then support each other. Water and keep the plants weed free at 10 day intervals. When flowers appear liquid feed once a week.. Pods should be picked while still young, this helps prolonged cropping from the same plant. Like other members of the legume family, they put nitrogen back into the soil, so follow with brassicas (e.g. cabbage) which are nitrogen hungry. Tip: Use a cloche until the plants get too big. The seedlings will tolerate a temperature of no lower than 10C (50F). (NOTE: never eat the pods or beans raw. as they contain toxins which are destroyed by cooking).

 

Kitchen Tips: Ideal for freezing, select young beans, wash well and trim ends and blanche for 3 minutes. Cool, drain and pack into polythene bags. They can be bottled by covering layers of sliced beans with salt. (1lb kitchen salt to 3lb beans). Try them cooked whole, lightly peppered and served cold with chicken or turkey.

Pests: Bean Seed Fly, Aphids, Bean Weevil.

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French Beans