Real Men Sow

Planting a Late French Beans Crop

In previous years, I’ve found right about now a good time to plant some French beans.

Even though most seed packets say only sow until June, I like to go for a late crop this time of year. French beans freeze really well, and I sow a row predominately for this purpose. Having some tasty, crunchy beans to go with my dinner during the winter months is a real treat, and a welcome change from the rooty crops.

Sowing in Pots
Although climbing varieties are popular, I prefer to grow dwarf plants. I sow two seeds in pots of multipurpose compost, and leave outside to germinate. This time of year, they germinate within days, and I plant them out once the seedlings reach about five or since inches high. The plants grow quickly too, which is handy if you are atempting to sneak a late crop in.

Delicate but Unfussy Plants
The plants are quite delicate, so try to find a fairly sheltered spot, avoid planting out during windy periods, and water well during the seedlig stage. Apart from that, I’ve never found French beans to be particularly fussy. In fact, they’ve always been a really reliable crop for me. Even this year, when lots of veg have struggled, my earlier sowings are looking good. The plants are very leafy and lush, and there are lots of beans ready to harvest.

French beans will stomach drier, poorer conditions than other beans, so also make a good choice if you’ve got an empty space that’s waiting for an Autumn dump of manure.

Keep Up With the Picking!
One mistake I often make is missing pickings, and letting some of the beans get quite big. They can get tough if you let them grow too large, so its best to try and pick when the beans are young. French beans can be incredibly productive, and will continue to crop if you harvest regularly, so keeping up is sometimes easier said than done!

Following this plan last year, I harvested the green beans into October. Pop some into pots now, hope for good weather, and I reckon you’ll be picking by the end of August.

Tagged ,

Related Posts

Sign up to receive a RMS weekly bite size summary, featuring all posts from the previous seven days, hints and tips and other interesting snippets from the world of veg growing.

One Comment

  1. Claire BensonJuly 28, 2012 at 10:45 amReply

    One crop I’ve found have done brilliantly this summer are all the beans (broadbeans, peas, french beans) – crops have been about a month later than expected but they are definitely stars of the summer. They are also loved by the slugs and snails and some have been devoured to within a mm of their life (I thought they were gonners) and they came back to life when the warmer weather came and the respite of mollusc munching!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

Buy My Book on Amazon!


Sign Here for Updates!

Sign up to receive a regular RMS bite size summary, featuring all recent posts, hints and tips and other interesting snippets from the world of veg growing.

Allotment Cakes for the Weekend

  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #15 – Blackberry and Apple Flapjack
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #14 – Courgette, Lime and Coconut Cake
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #13 – Jamie Oliver’s Squash Muffins
  • An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #12 – Lemon Curd & Blueberry Loaf Cake
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #11 – Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #10 – Fresh Ginger and Apple Cake
  • Good Food Magazine Marrow and Pecan Cake
  • A Rhubarbey Roundup, and Whatever Happened to Allotment Cakes for the Weekend?

Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.


The Veggy Social

As Featured In…