GARDENING TECHNIQUES: BEAN, CLIMBING FRENCH

Less vigorous in growth than the runner bean, the climbing French bean is considered the runner’s superior in flavour. It grows between 5 ft. and 6 ft. high, and the pods, gathered young and small. can be cooked whole; they differ from die dwarf French bean only in that the plant is a climber.

The roots need plenty to live on, and a sunny and warm aspect gives best results. Crops can be secured all the year round by sowing (and growing on) under glass from July to April. But as that is not possible save in exceptional circumstances only outdoor culture need be considered.

Variety to come into bearing first outdoors is Earliest of All; but Tender and True, and Princess of Wales, are not far behind.

About 180 seeds go to the pint.

Seedlings appear in about seventeen days.

Ready for Use. July sees the first pickings, and the season continues to September or October.

Soil Preparation, Sowing.

Deep digging, and the working in of manure or rotted leaves, etc.., sowing and other attentions, proceed as described for runner beans. Stakes can be shorter than for runners; it is sufficient if they stand about 5 ft. out of the ground.

Storing, Preparing for Table.

The fresh pods are cooked whole, or sliced, and the dried seeds can be used as haricots, as advised under dwarf French beans. Food value is the same.

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