Are beans easy to grow?

Are beans easy to grow?

As the nation's favourite green bean (purportedly) runner beans are known elsewhere as English runner beans. Native to Central America they were introduced to Britain in 1600's originally as an ornamental. Now a staple in British cuisine, the edible pods are cooked and eaten as a vegetable or added to stews, casseroles, curries and even in chutney.

I grow several varieties of runner beans, the different coloured flowers make a pretty display and provide easy pickings of this delicious vegetable. I find Climbing French beans are also easier to harvest rather than bending down to pick dwarf French beans but these are equally easy to grow, though dwarf French beans are a magnet for slugs and snails, closer to the ground.

To grow runner beans you need a depth of well prepared moist ground and supports for the vines. Apparently runner beans twine clockwise unlike other beans which climb anticlockwise. If not started off in modules then sow direct 2 seeds by each pole or support. Use spares to fill any gaps.  Pinch out the tops when they reach the top of the poles (hence the name 'pole' beans vs 'bush' beans)

Dwarf French or bush beans, also called haricot although this more properly refers to the dried beans are thought to originate from Peru but became popular in France. If grown for the pencil slim green beans these are at their best when harvested young.

Frequent watering throughout will keep your beans succulent. 

Other beans include:

Edamame (immature green soybeans) are rich in vitamins, dietary fibre, and isoflavones.

Borlotti and Cannellino are haricot types grown for drying beans rather than the fresh pods. 

Broad beans or fava beans were the only beans we had in Europe. it's hardy so withstands our erratic weather and provides an early summer feast. 

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