Tag Archives: beans

Runners and Riders…beans

Let’s talk beans.

Runner beans and Climbing French Beans.

Runner beans often get a bad press; for being stringy, for being confusing, and not knowing what to do with them. Climbing French Beans, get ignored.

I like both, I think they are both equitable for growing and need not be confusing in the least.

You can sow these now, in yoghurt pots or cut down pop bottles. Make sure the compost is moist not soaking damp; ensure the containers do have some form of drainage. Otherwise your seeds will too cold, damp and simply rot away.

(That last one, is probably a good science lesson to do with kids. They can see the development of the root system amongst other things.)

They do and will grow quickly, and will need to be hardened off before you plant them outside. This means to acclimatize the plants to the cooler conditions outside. Ideally, they should be planted outside once the frost window has closed. Here in England, that doesn’t happen til the end of May-the late May Bank Holiday, to be precise.

I’ve grown runner beans in pots, so this is possible. As well as planting in open ground. This will involve making tripods or Rugby-post structures to support the plants as they grow.  More often than not, the variety sown tends to be Scarlet Emperor. Think the Climbing French Beans were called Cobra…well, they do snake….

Runner beans and climbing beans are rapid growers. Once settled in position, they will keep going to the early autumn if conditions allow. They will need to be watered well when the temperature rises and the summer is full flow.

(That, could actually happen.)

The more you pick the ready beans, the more you will get. Start from the bottom and work upwards to get a steady crop that isn’t over ripe.

And what exactly do you do with them?

Runners, can be chutneyed, or cooked with potatoes, spices and potatoes. That’s how we have them at home. Chop them up, saute with onions, garlic, ginger and some chopped tomatoes. Add the contents of your masala tin to experiment as required.

Climbing Beans can be used in the same way, but are probably best steamed or cooked with butter, and dash of seasoning.

Summer sights early July

Summer Sights Early July

Everything was where it should be, and things were starting to look pretty. Plants were and are flowering, filled with a promising potential harvest. Scarlet emperor beans have started to cascade with reddy orange flowers from the bottom upwards. Lessons from last year have been learned, the use of seven foot long canes means that a nice wigwam of leaves and flowers is really quite pretty. Baby beans are now being harvested every few days, and the smell as they are cut up is really quite nice.

With the scarlet emperor beans, are those wonderfully curly ones that are the product of the tendergreen dwarf french bean. At first, I was was somewhat alarmed. All the beans that I have ever known had been straight. That was just the way that they came! And how my illusions were shatttered. A beautiful almost puce green with a mottled purple speckling.

The onions seem to be minding their own beeswax as they push up the dirt contentedly. Some of the foliage has started to go whispy and raffia like. There were a handful of bolted onions, mainly red, actually, that formed a would be purple flower. The bud was pinched off, and out came the onion. Have only had one white bolt so far. These are effectively like spring onions. Chopped up and put on cheese on toast, are really quite nice!

Courgetttes are having fun. Are at the moment quite regular, and producing about two courgettes a week. Regular feeding with tomato feed seems to be doing some good.

Moody Auberginee.

It was bad enough that it got attacked with green aphids. But no, this is thing is taking it’s time. One single flower bloomed, for all of thirty seconds. A nice purple colour it was, before it withered away.

I think Kevin the Aubergine is just being oppositional and defiant. Will turn up in his own good time.

Triffid like Butternut Squash sits alongside Ghost rider pumpkin. 

Gladys the butternut is certainly very leafy, There were at one point lots of male flowers, These were edged out by female flowers. Currently there are three female flowers, and whilst there are boy flowers, both tend to open when they feel like it. The buds behind the girl flowers are large, and the flowers open. However, there are hardly any bees around and the boy flowers are remaining closed. Stroppy things. One fruit did go a lovely bright yellow, however, it became a three course dinner for slugs and snails. Thus unviable. Bruno the Ghost rider pumpkin, has leaves as big as dinner plates and requires almost daily watering. There appears to be one bud, so watch this space.

Standing on the touch line, to sow or not to sow:

Have been watching the garden grow, and wanted to see what else could be sown. Sow and have something nice at the end. So have chanced upon sewing some lettuce and cabbage. A little late, but with a potential pay off. Have planted in cells, so that they get a flying chance. Declaring war on slugs and snails, I will not surrender.

Problems and pests:

Green aphids are first on Aubergine and then Black bean aphids turn up on the runners. Have invvested in Slug Stoppa tape for slugs and snails. At the moment, there seems to have been a reduction in the amount of lacey looking leaves. Shall have to monutor the situation. Diluted fairy liquid as a way to get rid of the aphids, did appear to work. It is however a regular thing, and I have been lax enough not to be doing that. Did a quick check, and the aphids had reduced a little.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

Yours in Anticipation

Horticultural Hobbit