These compact plants produce a succession of tasty, stringless, quick maturing beans over a long picking season. The slender pods, each measuring about 15cm (6") long, turn to an attractive shade of green once cooked. With its pretty mauve flowers and colourful purple beans, Dwarf Bean 'Amethyst' makes an attractive addition to the vegetable plot. Height: 60cm (24"). Spread: 30cm (12").
Companion planting: Try growing French beans with Nasturtiums to draw aphids away from your crop.
Sow dwarf bean seeds indoors from mid April for transplanting later on, or direct sow outdoors from late May to July.
Indoors, sow bean seeds at a depth of 5cm (2") in 7.5cm (3") pots or trays of free-draining, seed sowing compost. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 12-25C (54-77F) until germination, which takes 7-10 days. Do not exclude light as this helps germination. Once germinated, grow on in cooler conditions until all risk of frost has passed and the dwarf French bean plants are large enough to be transplanted. Gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting French beans outdoors in rich fertile, well drained soil in full sun with protection from strong winds.
Alternatively direct sow dwarf green beans outdoors when the soil as warmed. Sow 2 bean seeds per station at a depth of 5cm (2") and a distance of 23cm (9") apart. Plant dwarf beans in rows that are 45cm (18") apart.
When growing beans, hoe between plants often and water regularly. Provide a compost mulch around the base of bean plants to combat dry periods. For the best crops harvest beans regularly while the pods are still young.
Culinary note: Suitable for freezing. Caution: Cook dwarf beans before eating to avoid discomfort.
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