Beans, Beans, Beans

One of my first posts – in fact it was my first gardening related post – was on the subject of beans and green beans in particular.  I enjoy growing beans and I enjoy eating beans, particularly with tomato and garlic!  I am still looking for the perfect garden variety to grow though.  I love the flavour of Jade but have found the germination rates this year to be really really bad (about 10-20%), this is from both freshly bought seed and seed I saved from my own plants last year.  I don’t know why it is so bad but it has been and the plants that have germinated have been strangely stunted.


My other varieties are performing much better so far.

Other than the Jade I am also growing:

Tongues of Fire – a drying bean similar to Borlotti with a bush growing habit.

Majestic – a bush butter bean.

Royal Burgandy – a purple podded bush variety

Windsor Long Pod- Long flat pods on a dwarf bush plant.

Beanette- a small podded dwarf bean variety.

Purple King – a purple podded climbing variety

I hope to also plant some dwarf borlotti beans soon.  Aside from the Jade I have only grown Purple King before and I am only really planting it this year as my daughter sowed a couple of seeds at her birthday party.  She had a fairy tale theme and in true Jack and the Beanstalk style they all sowed bean seeds hence this lovely Purple King plant – I’ve since put in a couple more next to it so it doesn’t get too lonely.

I have planted beans in both large 45cm pots (probably too close together – but I am used to Jade’s poor germination rates) and in the ground so I am hoping for a reasonable crop.  I do love how beans grow at a decent rate, none of that waiting around for stuff to happen you get with some vegetables (are you listening onions?).  Below are the same tub of beans with 2 weeks between photos.



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16 Responses to Beans, Beans, Beans

  1. Diana says:

    Might be the weather causing problem with your jade. I have problem with new bean seedlings with snail devouring them. Your other variety look good. “Redland Pioneer” bush bean does well in our garden for spring and autumn sowing. I forgot to sow some purple king bean seeds this year.

    • Liz says:

      I’ll have a look out for Redland Pioneer – the rest of my seedlings seem to be doing fine. It may just be a bit early for the Jade but I seem to have germination problems every year so I also think it must be the variety.

  2. Veggiegobbler says:

    I am growing beans for the first time this year. Like Diana said, I’m having trouble with snails.

    • Liz says:

      I did a round up the other day and dispatched about 40 or so. I do it with a bucket of warm soapy water so you cant see the snail after it does in – I can’t squash them – too violent……I find they hide in and under my pots and between my sleepers and the fence. They are such a pain.

  3. Mike says:

    Very interesting, I have no idea what it means or why but we had the same issues with our Jade beans this season.

    • Liz says:

      I think they have steadily become worse for germination rates each year for the 4 or five years I’ve been growing them (I may be imagining it though) as though some characteristic was kind of making them commit some sort of reverse evolution – we will not survive…..I’ll try again later in the season to see if they just want things a bit warmer though.

  4. Mark Willis says:

    I recommend the variety “Cobra” – a climbing French Bean, Very reliable, very prolific; produces huge pods. The fact that it grows tall means that your yield per square foot of ground is much bigger.

    • Liz says:

      Your right about the yield – the problem I then have though is them shading other veg so it kind of depends what bits of my beds I have available when etc etc – oh the complexities……

  5. Beans are a great fairly fail safe crop – we have loads in our freezer at the moment – mainly runner beans but some yellow, purple and green French ones too

  6. Frogdancer says:

    I love beans as well. I tried growing rattlesnake beans and not a single one germinated from a whole packet… I bought another one from Diggers when I was up there last weekend and I’m trying again.

    Also growing scarlet runner beans for the first time (7 of those) and about 20 purple kings that a friend gave me. (I plan to train them to grow over my lettuce and strawberries to protect them during summer.) I also have 2 Lazy Housewife beans that are looking ok and some purple bush beans. I prophesy that we’re not going to go hungry this summer!

    • Liz says:

      I’m wondering if it was still too cold for the rattlesnake beans – I think they like it hot don’t they? I like the idea of scarlet runner – I’ll have to get some seed – are they the perennial ones?

  7. Your beans are certainly doing better than mine. Not only is the germination rate pretty low, less than 50%, but of those that do come up, that snails are eating most of them down to the stalks. I’ve plant roughly 10 seeds in one spot and I have 1 very sad looking half eaten plant left. I’m hoping he’s strong enough to make, but it’s touch and go. I also planted out eight seeds in my three sisters bed, only five came up and two have been eaten to the ground, so at this rate only three of my corn stalks will have beans growing on them – if they all survive. I think I’ll plant a few more today and see what the results is this time.

    • Liz says:

      I think its definitely worth trying again – they are germinating pretty quickly at the moment. i sow seed until the end of Jan and sometimes into Feb to try and get late bean crops.

  8. Leanne says:

    I have planted a couple, I mean 2, straight into the garden. They are growing, hopefully that is a good sign. I like beans too.

  9. Richard Holdsworth says:

    Hello fellow gardeners! I have just moved from the UK after many years of gardening and I am very keen to obtain a variety of runner bean I found the very best back home – it was the variety COBRA. Has anyone had experience of this been in Australia? More to the point – where on earth can I find it? I have looked (and asked) at all the garden centres around Eltham without luck. Any help would be much appreciated.

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