~ FRENCH BEAN Seed ~
French beans are one of our favourite vegetables, so this section of the catalogue is one we work hard on.
We've managed to add several new beans to the Collection recently, and we had fun trying to find a whole range of different colours.
Incidentally, we found that these make a great decorative feature if grown all together, and its a good project for younger members of the family.
As always, here are the most productive & tastiest beans we have been able to find. We hope you will enjoy them too!
When to sow beans?
For the earliest production, sow bush varieties. Climbing beans take a little longer to start producing, but will then carry on over a much longer season, giving a higher yield overall. So we always sow a row of bush beans to start us off, then a big bed of climbers to last us right through the summer.
If you prefer to only grow bush beans, then we would recommend making two or three sowings at three week intervals.
You can sow your beans direct in the ground, but we find that we get a better result if we start them off in trays or pots, which lets us keep them away from mice, and also means that we can give them a bit of heat.
~ CLIMBING or POLE BEANS ~
Trail of Tears' Pole Bean
Simply the best bean there is. This bean was originally from the native North American Cherokee people.
In 1838 they were driven out of their homelands in the state of Georgia by the US government to make room for more European settlers , a forced march known as the 'Trail of Tears'. This bean is one of their heirlooms they managed to keep with them and has been passed on from generation to generation ever since.
We can see why the Cherokees valued it so much! It is incredibly prolific, cropping over a long season. We plant lots each year for our own use & feedback from all of you is always positive.
Early Pole Snap/Drying bean. Tall, purple flowers, rounded green/ red pods. Black seed.
Order BnCT - approx 70 seeds £
'Lazy Housewife' Pole Bean NEW
A prolific bean introduced by W. Atlee Burpee and Co in 1885 - from their origianl description: "the pods are green, entirely stringless, of extra fine flavor, exceedingly rich and buttery when cooked."
The beans are borne in clusters that are very quick and easy to pick , hence the name. In 1907 this was considered to be almost the very best flavoured bean on the market (sadly the one single variety that beat it is now extinct so we can't offer it.)
All-purpose! As well as a french bean, you can let the seeds get big and then use them for shelling or even as a dry bean.
Order BnHo - approx 70 seeds £
Violette' Purple Pole Bean
An excellent vigorous early bean with purple flowers and stems, and nice stringless purple pods for fresh use, on quick growing plants.
A really good vigorous early bean with purple flowers & stems, & nice purple pods for fresh use on quick growing plants. (Note: the purple colour turns to green on cooking. )
The special thing about these is that they stay stringless even to a big size, so it doesn't matter if you miss some or go away for a few weeks in the middle of the season. Lots of people have written in to say how much they like it.
Purple pods. Early Pole Snap. Tall, purple flowers, rounded purple pods that stay stringless even when big.
Order BnVI - approx 70 Seeds £
‘Neckargold’ Yellow Pole Bean SPECIAL OFFER - SEE NOTE
We have been looking for ages for a delicious tender yellow climbing bean and finally we have found one. Neckargold grows really tall and gives large numbers of long beans that start pale green and ripen to glowing yellow.
Even the plants show up the colour, with bright yellow stems. The yield of beans from this variety is excellent, and they stay stringless even up to 8 inches long.
It is later than our other beans, definitely mid season, but this is useful to extend your bean crop after the others start to trail off.
IMPORTANT NOTE - This is a fantastic bean, but last year, three people reported that all their beans stayed green, and didn't go yellow. We've checked, and there was definitely no mix-up with the seed - and we grew it in our kitchen garden from the same seed ourselves too, and all ours were yellow. We think it is simply a reaction to certain soil or climate conditions.
We thought about dropping it from the catalogue. In the end, so many people raved about it that we have decided to still offer it, as it is such a good bean, so very productive and tasty. But we have reduced the price to reflect the (small!) chance of getting tasty green beans rather than tasty yellow beans.
Yellow, tasty, stringless, good yields of long beans. Beware may come out green in some conditions!
Order BnNG - 80 seeds £
‘Abundance’ Green Pole Bean
This variety certainly lives up to its name. New from our trials in 2012, Abundance is an early-cropping green bean bearing large numbers of slightly flattened pods.
The flavour is excellent and we liked them so much that we've added them to our regular garden bean patch that we grow to eat every year.
Large crops of green, flattened pods.
Order BnAb - 80 seeds £
~ BUSH BEAN Seed~
Ideal for an early crop, and also the best for those on more exposed sites or
those who don't want to be bothered with making supports for climbing varieties.
Yellow Bush Bean
This is a really nice bush bean with bright golden yellow pods. Pretty and tasty, this one always produces well for us. The pods have a smooth buttery taste when cooked.
Unlike purple beans, they do keep their lovely yellow colour after cooking and look really pretty on the plate or in a salad.
Bush bean with bright yellow pods. (i.e. a wax-podded type)
Order BnMI - 150 seeds £
'Aquilon' Green Bush Bean
An excellent green bush bean from France chosen for earliness and productivity. Very tasty as you would expect given its French origins.
A modern variety with very long round green pods - up to 20 cm long - produced in large numbers. Popular because they are stringless, and grow high up, so easy to find when picking. We like it a lot.
Long green pods. A good early Bush variety.
Order BnAQ - 120 seeds £
'Cupidon' Filet Bush Bean
This is a wonderful bush bean that produces a huge number of tender dark green pods all summer, starting early, and continuing cropping well after the others have finished. It has a particularly good flavour used raw in salads.
This is actually a dual-purpose bean -the pods are a
filet type so if you like it can be picked very small and eaten that
(Filet beans are the ones with long straight slender pods that are very pointy at the end, traditionally a gourmet dish: picked young, lightly steamed and served with butter.) The beans also stay stringless as they get to full size and it makes a fantastic normal french bean, with a particularly good flavour raw.
Sadly, it does not make many seeds and this is unfortunately reflected in the price - but if you can afford it, it is a fantastic bean.
Green pods. A special, gourmet early/maincrop bush variety ,that is long cropping.
Order BnCU - 90 seeds £
'Royal Burgundy' PURPLE Bush Bean NEW
A beautiful and productive purple bean bred for home gardeners by the late Elwyn Meader.
It is a really good variety, cropping over a long period.It has purple pods, flowers and stems, and the beans are easy to pick as they stand out against the foliage.
Chosen because as well as a beautiful colour, the plant is tolerant of cold wet soils.
Order BnRB - 90 seeds £
~ Vegetable Seed-SAVING - HOW TO SAVE your own Bean Seed ~
The physical seed-saving is easy, but the need for isolation
(to keep the seed true to type) depends on the species:
- French Beans (this page) do cross, but not so easily, so you can grow more than one variety in different parts of your garden so long as you are careful about roguing out (getting rid of) any off types each year.
- Runner Beans DO cross very easily, so only grow one variety if you want to keep the seed.
- Broad Beans also cross A LOT and are harder to keep for seed as you need to isolate them from others with 1/2 a mile or so.
Also, be sure that you don't plant types with similar-coloured
seeds next to each other,
otherwise you'll not be sure which plant they come from if they all grow tangled together.
More detailed seed-saving instructions are included with your seeds, so you can do all this yourself at home.