Planting the French Beans- Spring Planting- (Guest post)

Hello everyone! I hope your allotments and gardens are all pootling along nicely : ) Although many vegetable crops are planted in March and April, there’s one sensitive soul who needs to wait until the soil warms up a little- and that’s the French bean.  If you (unlike me) are very organised and are after an early crop, you might have already sown French beans in your greenhouse in April in small pots ready to plant out later in the season.  If, like me, you haven’t got round to starting your beans off in your greenhouse, it’s also fine to wait until mid-late May and sow direct in the final growing position. The bean I’ve chosen to grow is the Montano dwarf bean- it should have good disease resistance and be a reasonably heavy cropper. As it only reaches 40cm high, you can also plant these beans in large pots and grow bags. 

This weekend I’ve been planting these beans in my allotment using a “double row”. Planting in a double row works well for French beans as the plants can support one another as they grow, as well as being supported by canes. I began my double row by digging two trenches 2 inches deep and 12 inches apart. I then filled these trenches with organic compost. 


Digging the double row



The double row filled with compost

Once the trenches were dug and filled, I could begin planting the beans. I planted one trench with the bean seeds, with each seed 12 inches apart. I then planted the other trench using the same spacing, but offsetting the beans with those in the other trench (see picture). Planting your seeds like this will eventually allow your beans to grow between one another. 



Spacing of bean seeds


Bean seeds in the double row

If you wish, you can plant two beans at each growing position just in case one of them does a “no-show”- just thin out to the stronger seedling if both manage to germinate. Once you've planted all your beans, fill the trenches with soil. If you want more than one double row of beans, then it’s a good idea to leave 50cm between them.

French beans don’t need tons of water, but give them a good watering if you get a prolonged dry spell- although judging by the weather this weekend, that won’t be a problem! 

'Organic Garden Update: Spring Planting One': 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/organic-garden-update-spring-planting.html

'Organic Garden Update: Spring Planting Two':
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/organic-garden-update-spring-planting.html

'Organic Garden Update: Spring Planting Three': 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/organic-garden-update-spring-planting_13.html

'Organic Garden Update: Spring Planting Four': 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/organic-garden-update-spring-planting_24.html

'Organic garden update: Dealing with the Pesky Weeds!'
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/organic-garden-update-dealing-with.html

'Organic garden update: Dealing with the Pesky Slugs!'
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/organic-garden-update-dealing-with_8.html

'Organic garden update: Dealing with the winged pests!'

Love, Becky x 

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