Aptly named dwarf French Bean 'Speedy' is one of the earliest and quickest beans to produce pods to pick. This productive variety produces good yields of fleshy, mid-green pods, approximately 14cm (6") long from July onwards that have an excellent flavour. Make several sowings from May through July for regular pickings right through to the first frost. Good for container growing. Height: 45cm (18"). 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 4cm (1 1/2") 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 18-21C (65-70F) 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 plants are large enough to be transplanted. Gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting 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 has warmed. Sow 2 bean seeds per station at a depth of 4cm (1 1/2") 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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