Saturday 18 July 2015

Climbing Beans are climbing

Well, the beans had already climbed, and now they are flowering. I nipped out their growing-points as they reached the top of their canes, which will encourage them to put out side-shoots.

In a couple of weeks' time the plants will have filled out a lot more, as further leaves and side-shoots grow, but there are already lots of flower-stems. The most obvious ones are the bright red flowers of the Runner Beans "Enorma" and "Jed's".

As the flowers fade, little beans are appearing. Once they get going they develop very rapidly and I think it will only be a matter of days before I can pick the first pods.

These ones are already 4 or 5 inches long.

The French beans are not as far advanced, and are mostly at the flower stage still. These are "Kew Blue":

If you look carefully you can see one little tiny bean pod here:

Likewise, there is one tiny pod in this cluster of "Kentucky wonder" flowers.

Regular readers will probably remember that I usually grow some "Cobra" French Beans, but this year I'm giving them a rest in favour of those other types. Maybe I'll return to "Cobra" next year?

Last year my bean harvest was very small, largely as a result of the compost contamination problem, but the plants are looking better this year, so I'm hopeful of a bigger harvest. Runner Beans are one of the few crops that we sometimes freeze, so it doesn't matter if we get a glut.

Unfortunately, this is a really bad year for Blackfly (well, actually it's a good year for Blackfly, so therefore a bad year for those of us who dislike Blackfly!), and they do like beans...

I have been hosing some of them off when watering the plants, but I have also resorted to chemical spray once or twice in order to keep the plague within manageable limits. Wish me luck!


  1. Good luck with those pests. My soap spray seems to have really helped my Brussels sprout issue, but I'm sure I'll have to spray again this week to keep them in check. At least I don't see them on the sprouts themselves anymore. And I love all the runner beans. They are such a beautiful plant when in bloom.

  2. I think the trick to growing beans is to grow a lot so snails can have some and humans the other. I have space for but a few - so slugs get the lot.

  3. I've never had an issue with blackfly on runner beans, I shall watch out for them now you mention it being a good year for them.

  4. Your climbing beans are doing fantastically, mine are just halfway up the canes. I hope you can deter those blackflys, I haven't seen any in my garden yet - but i have found some pests underneath the leafage of my brassicas, blinking white cabbage butterfly, partly my fault for not putting a net coverage over - hopefully, they have not done much damage.

  5. I'll be interested to know how the Kentucky Wonder beans do for you. I grew them 2 years ago and had a super-abundant crop. My health has prevented me from having a garden this year, and I sure do miss it.
    Happy Gardening!

  6. Thankfully my beans are climbing too & are in the process of being pinched out. I'm sure there are no tiny beans on mine yet so your plants are a little more advanced than mine. The black fly have missed my beans this year but attacked all of the fox gloves instead!

  7. Two varieties of my beans have already reached the top of the trellis too, but I don't pinch them off, but simply let them curl on themselves. I would really love to do a little experiment some time on pinching vs. not pinching beans. Oh, those aphids - hopefully you'll be able to top them before they get to too many of your plants.


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