Dwarf French Beans

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter

User avatar
Chantal
KG Regular
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:53 am
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
x 107

Dwarf French Beans

Postby Chantal » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:06 am

Last year I grew dwarf French beans for the first time (Royalty) and had such a huge crop I had to freeze half of them. The plants were 12-18 inches high and very bushy.

This year (same variety) the plants are no more than 6" high, very scraggy and what few beans that have grown are bent and muddy as they'e so low to the floor and in many cases bigger than the plant.

Have I done something stupid or should I put this down to climatic conditions? I did think I'd treated this year's plants the same as last year's plants as regards growing on, planting out etc. The only difference I can see would be the heat/rain and I did water them, but not too much.
0 x
Chantal

I know this corner of the earth, it smiles for me...
User avatar
Johnboy
KG Regular
Posts: 5806
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:15 pm
Location: NW Herefordshire
x 120

Postby Johnboy » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:36 am

Hi Chantal,
Were they a new seed batch or left over from last year?
0 x
JB.
User avatar
Chantal
KG Regular
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:53 am
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
x 107

Postby Chantal » Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:19 pm

I can't remember to be honest. They may well have been last year's seeds. :?
0 x
Chantal

I know this corner of the earth, it smiles for me...
User avatar
Tigger
KG Regular
Posts: 3212
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:00 pm
Location: Shropshire

Postby Tigger » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:11 pm

It could just be the weather - there's lots of mumblings amongst our farming community about it being the worst year ever for peas and beans. I haven't had any problems with any of the varieties of beans but the peas haven't been as productive as usual.
0 x
Mike Vogel
KG Regular
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:31 pm
Location: Bedford

Postby Mike Vogel » Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:47 pm

Hello all,

I must say, I have not had great success with dwarf beans, which I get from the Organic Gardening Catalogue. The first year very few appeared; then in 2004 beans sown from the same year-old packet germinated beautifully and produced a heavy crop. In 2005 I tried another variety, which germinated erratically and which this year hardly gewrminated at all, while saved runner bean seeds sprang up like kangaroos on speed.

Do you recommend germinating dwarf beans on moist paper before planting into the ground? That is what I did with dwarfs and runners this year, with results as described.

Good luck all.

mike
0 x
Please support Wallace Cancer Care
http://www.wallacecancercare.org.uk
and see
http://www.justgiving.com/mikevogel


Never throw anything away.
User avatar
Garlic_Guy
KG Regular
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:55 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Postby Garlic_Guy » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:23 pm

Mike Vogel wrote:Do you recommend germinating dwarf beans on moist paper before planting into the ground?


Hi Mike, I don't know about recommend, but I germinate & start nearly all my beans before planting them.

I'm sure I may be taking a risk with the transplating. However I use Root trainers and you get a lovely rootball with most beans that then go off like a rocket when planted out. The advantage for me is being able to start them somewhere a little warmer and protect from things like Mice/Pigeons running off with them.

Finally, I followed the technique you mentioned with some Mange Tout and Sugar Snap peas this spring. I planted these almost as soon as a tiny radicle had appeared (so they were barely sprouted). They then took a long while to develop but produced big pea bushes with tons of pods.

I'm sure JB can advise on the pros & cons of doing this.
0 x
Colin
Somewhere on a weedy allotment near Bristol
http://www.pbase.com/cmalsingh/garden
User avatar
Johnboy
KG Regular
Posts: 5806
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:15 pm
Location: NW Herefordshire
x 120

Postby Johnboy » Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:47 am

Hi Colin and Mike,
There are so many ways of tackling the same job with most aspect of growing but what is wanted is a good method that gives the desired results.
It is said that it is wrong to soak beans prior to sowing but I have done this for more years than I can remember. A good soaking for about four to six hours prior to sowing will initiate germination.
Although you may not soak the beans Mike you are getting the same results as though you did.
Beans that have been initiated grow so very much faster in the initial stages but in the run of time those that have been sown straight out of the packet get their soaking after sowing. Thereafter it is down to nature to play her part. Pregermination to me is very good, whichever method you use, because if there are to be any failures you have not wasted you time waiting for something to appear when it is never going to and especially with beans because you have, in the case of runners, planted for it to grow up a specific pole and you are left with a gap at worst and by the time you have realized a bean that gets crowded out by the others when you finally replace those initial failures.
When growing Dwarf Beans you must protect the young growing plumule from mice as the cotyledons are carried above ground and present a very tasty morsel to them. One year I lost several hundred in one night
to mice because they found a way through my protection.
In the past I have sown the soaked beans in trays of 126 and only just under the surface (and that takes seconds) and as they have reached the raised plumule stage they have been transplanted to 7cm square pots and the dud ones or those poorly growing are rejected at this stage.
To me it is essential that beans are pregerminated by whichever method you choose. To me it is only common sense.
0 x
JB.
User avatar
Garlic_Guy
KG Regular
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:55 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Postby Garlic_Guy » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:57 pm

Thanks Johnboy

When growing Dwarf Beans you must protect the young growing plumule from mice as the cotyledons are carried above ground and present a very tasty morsel to them.

I wish I'd known this 5 weeks ago! I had a bare patch where I'd harvested some shallots. Rather than put in green manure, I thought I'd try Dwarf Beans instead (& hopefully get a crop as well as ground cover).

Out of the (soaked, pre-germinated) beans I planted, 40% became stumps after a week or so. I then put down slug pellets, but I guess it was mousetraps I really needed!

Out of interest JB, what do you recommend to keep mice off?
0 x
Colin

Somewhere on a weedy allotment near Bristol

http://www.pbase.com/cmalsingh/garden
User avatar
Chantal
KG Regular
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:53 am
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
x 107

Postby Chantal » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:00 pm

I grew all mine in pots in the greenhouse and planted out in early June. They don't seem much bigger now that when I planted them although they are trying to produce beans. Frankly they're pathetic!
0 x
Chantal

I know this corner of the earth, it smiles for me...
User avatar
Johnboy
KG Regular
Posts: 5806
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:15 pm
Location: NW Herefordshire
x 120

Postby Johnboy » Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:07 am

Hi Colin,
I always bench raise mine and like Chantal leave in the pot quite a time and here the end of the first week in June is planting out week. Hereabouts we have quite hard frosts until then.
I have a cage made from Expanded Metal Lath. (obtainable from Builders Merchants)
I also have Pea Guards made of the same material.
EML is quite easy to work with but you will need Tin Snips or a small Angle Grinder to cut it. To make the closers (ends) of a guard it is best to sew the ends with lightweight malleable iron wire.
My vegetable store is made of EML within an angle iron frame and it is insulated with 4" Expanded Polystyrene Sheets on all faces (including the bottom) with suitable venting top and bottom.
I appreciate that this has nothing to do with Beans but gives a good idea to the versatility of EML.
Chantal, I feel that your problem could be nutritional and that the food provided by the Cotyledons was expended and nothing else forthcoming.
Do tell me if I have it totally wrong. I also think that you may have sown a tad early and they had gone beyond planting out when you did. They had reached a too advanced stage for them to give growth and were under threat and under stress like that plants think of survival and try to make seed not growth.
0 x
JB.
User avatar
Chantal
KG Regular
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:53 am
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
x 107

Postby Chantal » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:19 am

Thanks JB, you could well be right about the early sowing. I usually have stuff out ealier than this year and have vowed next year to sow one month later. As I understand it everything will catch up eventually and if we have a very cold spring, like this year, I won't be falling over pots which can't go out. I did throw down some chicken manure pellets before I planted but perhaps this wasn't enough. :)
0 x
Chantal

I know this corner of the earth, it smiles for me...
User avatar
sprout
KG Regular
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:49 pm
Location: Peterborough

Postby sprout » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:12 am

Hi chantal, I've had mixed results too. Sowed dwarf Borlotti and Dwarf Sonesta (yellow) and Purple Queen. I don't water my plot at all except at planting out time.

The Borlotti usually yield some green beans before I let them dry, but they were tough and disappointing. Sonesta and PQ have done really well - heavy yields and juicy beans. Both were soaked before sowing, but the Borlotti weren't mulched til late in the season. Sonesta and PQ were mulched as soon as they popped up, and more mulch added as they grew. Too early to say if this made the difference, but I think they may be one of the crops that benefits from a very heavy mulch - worth a try?
0 x
User avatar
Chantal
KG Regular
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:53 am
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
x 107

Postby Chantal » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:31 am

Thanks Sprout, I'll try it next year if I actually grow any. They're not going to be top of my list. :D
0 x
Chantal

I know this corner of the earth, it smiles for me...

Return to “Best practices”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests