Runner and French dwarf beans are similar in character. They are only half hardy, and must be sown either under glass, or in the open in April or early May, so that they do not appear above the soil before the frosts are past. Runners are sown in rows with about 4 in. between each seed, and 10 ft. stakes or bean poles are needed for their support. Plenty of water is needed in dry weather, or the buds may drop badly. Gather the beans as they form, and never leave any to become old, or the supply of fresh beans will cease.
Dwarf French beans, and the climbing French variety, are also sown in rows in the open. They should be thinned to leave plenty of room between the plants, as the resulting crop is better and heavier.
Some dwarf French beans are useful for winter use. If they are grown for this purpose, they should be allowed full room for development, and the beans should all be allowed to ripen on the plants. About the middle of September they should be gathered, dried and stored. The easiest way is generally to lift the plants, strip off the beans when they are ripe (at once, or after storing in a dry shed for a time) and immediately shell them. Pack quite dry into jars for winter use.
So far the culture of the most common garden vegetables has been described. There are, however, many little gardens where the owner does not really want to grow his own vegetable supplies for all the year round, but where he is glad to grow a few of the best varieties, or a few crops of the kinds which are not generally available in shops, or which suffer considerably by market handling,
peas are well formed in such as the fresh salads, spinach, etc.