How to Grow Beans


Beans

 Click here for Bean Troubles

Sowing Time

Planting Time

Soil

Spacing

Cutting / Lifting Time

Storage

Cooking

Broad Bean

Very easy to grow from seed with black and white scented flowers followed by the pods. Water well when pods are swelling and keep weeds down. Support is necessary for the taller varieties. Pinch off the top 3ins of growth once the beans start showing to ensure early harvest and to control blackfly. Use spent plants as a green manure. Begin picking when pods are 2-3ins long. To pick for shelling wait until the beans begin to show through the pod.

Early February under glass or late February outside until the end of May

n/a

Provide a rich, sunny, free-draining soil.

8 inches apart and 24 inches between rows

End of May to mid October

Will keep in a food bag in the fridge for up to one weeks. For freezing, blanch for 3 mins and use within 12 months

Small pods can be cooked whole and sliced diagonally to serve. Older pods should be shelled and cooked in boiling, salted water for 10 mins.

French Bean (also known as Dwarf Bean or Kidney Bean)

A half hardy annual which likes warm conditions and hates heavy clay soil. An attractive plant with white, pink or red flowers followed by green pods (some varieties produce purple or yellow pods). There are bushy plants and climbing plants. Keep weeds under control and support the taller varieties. Water well when the pods are swelling. Mulch in June and once harvested feed with a liquid fertiliser to produce a second crop. Start picking when pods are 4ins long and when the pods snap easily when bent. Dried beans (haricots) can be obtained by leaving the pods on the plant until they turn pale then dry indoors and store in air-tight containers.

April under glass or early May outside until the mid July

n/a

Provide a sheltered, sunny, free-draining soil.

4 inches apart and 18 inches between rows

End of June to end October

Will keep in a food bag in the fridge for up to one weeks. For freezing, blanch for 3 mins and use within 12 months

Can be cooked whole or sliced. Remove tops and tails and cook in boiling, salted water for 5-7 mins. Haricot beans should be placed in cold water and bought to the boil. Switch off heat and leave to stand for an hour. Drain and serve.

Runner Bean (also known as Scarlet Runner)

A very popular bean in the UK and will produce bumper crops from August until the first frosts provided that you prepare the ground well during winter. Keep well watered in dry weather and pick every other day during late summer to ensure flower production. Tie young plants to supports and protect from slugs. Keep weeds under control and mulch to conserve moisture. Pinch off the top 3ins of growth once the beans start showing to ensure early harvest and to control blackfly. Use spent plants as a green manure. Start picking once the pods are 6-8ins long.

Mid May to Mid June outdoors: End April indoors

End May

Provide a rich, sunny, free-draining soil.

9 inches apart and 18 inches between rows

Mid July to end October

Will keep in a food bag in the fridge for up to one weeks. For freezing: trim and slice into chunks. Blanch for 2 mins and use within 12 months

Top and Tail and remove the stringy edges. Cut into 2ins chunks and boil in salted water for 5-7 mins.

 

 

Beans Troubles
Trouble Symptoms Treatment Prevention
Anthracnose Brown sunken spots on pods. Destroy affect plants and spray remaining plants Rotate crops
Bean Seed Fly A soil living grub which attack seeds which then fail to germinate or produce distorted seedlings. Mainly affects early crops. Destroy damaged seedlings Ensure the seed bed is properly prepared and dust the drills with Chlorophos
Black Bean Aphid Stunted growth, damaged flowers and distorted pods. Spray at the first sign of attack and repeat if necessary Pinch out the tops of broad beans once four trusses of pods have formed
Birds Seeds and seedlings eaten and damage to pods and flowers None Place netting over crops
Botrytis (Grey Mould) Grey velvety mould on pods. Burn affected pods and spray remaining crop. Spray at flowering time if this is a known problem
Chocolate Spot Small brown spots on leaves and dark streaks along stems. Lift and destroy diseased plants and spray remaining plants Apply fertiliser prior to sowing and don’t sow too close together
Downy Mildew Yellow blotches on leaves with brown mould underneath. Pods are spotted and distorted. Spray at the first sign of disease and repeat every fortnight if necessary. Burn affected plants after picking. Rotate crops
Foot and Root Rot Leaves turn yellow and shrivel. Roots and the base of stems turn black and rot. Burn affected plants and water the soil with Cheshunt Compound to avoid spreading the disease Rotate crops
Flowers (none) Flowers not produced. Can be caused by disease but most likely is caused by too much nitrogen in the soil Always use a fertiliser with phosphates and potash
Fusarium Wilt Stunted growth. Yellowing or rolled leaves. Little crop. Burn affected plants. Grow wilt resistant varieties
Grey Mould (Botrytis) Grey velvety mould on pods. Burn affected pods and spray remaining crop. Spray at flowering time if this is a known problem
Halo Blight Small brown spots surrounded by a yellow “halo” on the leaves. Stunted plants. Lift and destroy diseased plants Never soak seed and rotate crops
Leaf and Pod Spot Brown sunken spots on pods. Discoloured peas. Destroy affect plants and spray remaining plants Rotate crops
Marsh Spot Brown-lined cavity in the centre of peas caused by shortage of manganese. None Add compost prior to sowing and apply a sequestered compound
Mice Will eat seeds and seedlings. None Dip seed in paraffin or alum, place spiny branches along the rows or use a normal mouse trap.
Pea Aphid Stunted growth and damaged flowers. Spray at the first sign of attack and repeat if necessary None
Pea and Bean Weevil U-shaped notches at the edges of leaves. Seedlings can be killed but older plants tend to recover. Spray at the first sign of attack Hoe around plants during April and May to prevent further attack
Pea Thrips Silvery patches on leaves and pods. Pods distorted. Spray at the first sign of attack Remove infected plants and dig over the soil before replanting
Pea Moth Pea moth maggots burrow through pods into seeds. None Spray just as the flowers appear
Pods (none) No pods develop The loss of flowers without producing pods is often caused by birds or bees but can also be caused by roots drying out Keep roots moist and mulch
Powdery Mildew White powdery patches on both sides of leaves. Pods are covered in white patches. Spray at the first sign of disease and repeat every fortnight if necessary Burn affected plants after picking
Seed Beetle Small round holes appear which house the seed beetle grub. Seeds don’t germinate or produce bad seedlings. None Buy good quality seeds and don’t plant any which show signs of holes

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