Nothing on our allotment has received as much praise and admiration as our French beans. (Nothing else on our allotment has received any praise or admiration). Snaking up the bamboo canes their purple flowers have been on display for a while, weeks in advance of any other French beans on the site. But the sad truth is, they’re not meant to be climbing up anything. They’re dwarf beans. Beans which grow as small, compact, bushy plants with no need for any support.
They were sown six weeks ago in pots on the windowsill and immediately became ‘leggy’ as a result of too much warmth and uneven light. And while the frosts bit in late May, I left them indoors growing ever taller.
Internet queries of ‘what to do with leggy dwarves’ brought mixed responses, but those that came from gardeners were unanimous: the compost heap. But we don’t give in easily so, in the spirit of adventure, we stuck them into a recently manured spot to see what happens. So far their growth has continued upwards and tiny beans are beginning to set. We’ll keep you posted with their progress.
Seeds sown: French Bean ‘Purple Queen’, Unwins