Although it is generally sup-posed that the broad bean will not thrive in town gardens, this is an entirely wrong idea. They do, however, need a little extra care and attention.
It is better to confine the variety to the Longpod section if there is any difficulty in growing this crop. These should be sown in November and February. Before sowing, a good quantity of manure should be trenched into the soil. When the first pods begin to form low down on the plants, the growing points must be pinched out. In this way the blackfly, which is a plague from which beans suffer a great deal, can be beaten back.
Broad beans may generally be classed in two sections, the Longpod and Windsor. Although the former are easier to grow, the Windsor is preferred for its delicate flavour. This bean likes a soil of holding texture, rather than a light porous soil, and good drainage is essential. When digging the soil, a layer of farmyard or stable manure should be put in the first spit of soil.
Before sowing, it is a good plan to soak the beans in paraffin for twenty minutes. This will be a protection from mice, rats, or birds.
Sow 2-3 inches deep in double rows and from 6-9 inches apart. Allow four feet
between the double rows. A catchcrop may be planted in the space between the rows, such as lettuce, radishes, etc.
If the plants need support, a few sticks driven into the ground on either side of the row, every three yards, with string stretched across, is a good plan, and bean sticks can be placed horizontal to these sticks. When the beans are ready for picking, care must be taken not to damage the plants in any way. The pods should not be left longer than necessary, otherwise the plants will receive a severe check, and will not bear such a good crop.
Dwarf, French or Kidney Beans
These beans are more favoured in the small garden, aa they are more easily cultivated and come to maturity more q uickly. They can also be grown between other taller growing crops, and save a good deal of space.
They like a rich soil with plenty of moisture. Early sowings can be made in April or May, but the plants are often damaged by the cold nights and early morning frosts which occur at this time. The early sowings will therefore need a sheltered position and a light soil.
In favourable conditions the first sowing may be made in the middle of April, but in colder districts it is best to wait until the first week in May. Sow the seeds from 4-5 inches apart and 3 inches deep in rows from 18 inches to 2 feet apart.
In order to avert the danger of frost, it is a good plan to make a trench from 6-8 inches wide, and to set a double row of seeds, cover the seeds with soil to within 3 inches from the top of the trench, and later, when the beans have pushed through, fill in the remainder of the trench.
To ensure a continuous supply, sowings may be made at intervals of three weeks, up to the end of July.
The French climbing bean is of the same type, but climbs liko a runner bean. It grows to a height of 5-6 feet. The first sowing may be made at the end of April, continuing up to the end of June.
This type of bean is the simplest to grow, and requires little attention. The chief difficulties are late frosts and midsummer drought.
They require, more than any other section of beans, a deep soil, and plenty of manure. To keep up a supply during lato summer, the pods should be removed before they begin to ripen.
They need plenty of sun, and plenty of organic manure. Seeds may be sown in 1
LN the middle of April, and succeasional sowings may be made as late as June. Seeds may be sown in April under a cold frame, and when all danger of frost is over, they may be planted out, generally -the third week in May, onward.
Set the seeds 9-12 inches apart and 3-4 inches deep in rows. After sowing tread along the rows to make the soil firm. Give plenty of water in dry weather. This operation should be done thoroughly, and only in the evenings.
When the plants are bearing pods, liquid manure is of great assistance. This should only be given when the soil is moist. Supports are necessary to enable the plants to climb. Those may be given by stretching wire on poles along . he rows, or by using bean sticks. If bush plants are required, they should be pinched out when 1 foot high, continuing the operation throughout the growing season.
Some of the best varieties for cultivation in the amateurs garden are: Broad Beam
Early Longpod, and Early Mazagan for autumn sowing. Leviathan for January, February and March sowing, Improved Broad Windsor for March and April sowing.
Canadian Wonder, 44Nc Plus Ultra.
Painted Lady, 44 Scarlet Emperor.