Xanthe White’s guide to growing broad beans
Over the last six months Xanthe White has provided us with some very useful tips ...
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Beans King of the Blues â€“ Purple runner bean
When, where and how to plant:
Beans can be grown either from seed or you can purchase bean plants from garden centres in spring. If you choose to sow, your own seeds make sure the soil has warmed a little after the winter cold. Beans need a soil temperature of 15 deg or higher to germinate. Your can sow directly into garden beds or into trays and then transplant.
Choose a sunny position to plant your beans; be careful not to add to much nitrogen to the soil, as this will make the beans produce more leaf growth rather than fruiting growth.
Stake taller varieties to protect them from being blown over
Plant in spring and summer in well dug over soil. Protect from slugs and snails when plants are young. You can expect to have beans ready in 2 – 3 months after planting.
As the long purple pods develop along the stems, harvest once they get to a size you like to use. Regular harvesting will encourage new growth and a prolonged crop.
How to use:
Use beans as a regular vegetable for the dinner table. They work well in stir-fries and can be added to casseroles and stews. Beans freeze well and will last up to 6 months in the freezer.