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Hi Everybody.

I have decided to grow climbing French beans for the first time this year and I would like someone to  tell me how they grow .Are they like Runner Beans and wind round the canes or do they need netting to scramble up . Ideally I would like to grow them up a wigwam arrangement .

Many thanks to all who answer

scroggin

Hi Terry, grow them just like runner beans. I've grown Cobra and Purple Cascade, both good croppers. I normally grow half a row of runners and half a row of climbing french beans along the same trench, they'll be fine in wigwams too.

Kitty 2

A bamboo cane wigwam will be fine Terry. The stems twine around, sounds similar to your beans (never grown runner beans myself).

I tried growing French beans "blue lake" last year, but didn't have a great crop. They like warmth and sunshine, a little lacking here in Manchester 

I read to plant two seeds at the base of each cane. I started mine indoors at the end of April and planted out in May.

Kitty 2

Dove, I grew mine up an obelisk I had going spare from a transplanted clematis, which I moved following advice from Obelixx 

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Runners like warm wet weather, french beans like hot sunny weather. So I plant some of each and one or other usually does well. On their wigwams 

BobTheGardener

Same here raisingirl, one or the other usually does ok if the weather doesn't suit one of them.  Like scroggin, I do half and half outdoors and usually grow some borlotti beans in the polytunnel too which almost guarantees some beans, whatever the weather decides to throw at us!

Green Magpie

I grow climbing French beans up a pair of wigwams with a cane running horizontally across the top. They climb up without much encouragement, as soon as they touch the cane. I have settled for Cobra, which crops well, and I save the seed from year to year.

Looking at my notes from previous years, I would advise holding back and sowing them quite late. I start mine indoors,  in modules, but I'm not even going to start them until May, aiming to put them out towards the end of the month.

Never had much success with climbing French Beans for some reason. Runners do well so not sure what I'm doing wrong. Last year we did have a very good crop of dwarf beans (Delinel from DT Brown) grown in large pots (Morrisons flower buckets 10/£1, recommended on here I think).

nin

I normally grow runners and climbing french beans; I like colour so always grow some red and some white flowered runners;  some purple, some yellow and some green fruiting climbing beans. I find the yellow varieties of climbing beans always out perform the purple and green.

Marlorena

I'm growing 'Blauhilde', which I noted was highlighted by Monty Don this week on the t.v...

I only need a couple of plants to grow up obelisks with roses and clematis, for decorative cottage garden effect... might not eat many...  they're certainly erratic regards germination..

Onopordum says:

Never had much success with climbing French Beans for some reason. Runners do well so not sure what I'm doing wrong.

See original post

It could be your weather rather than you. Runners don't seem to mind it cooler and wetter (as long as there are enough gaps in the rain for the pollinators to visit). French beans seem to need more heat and we've not had real hot weather here in late summer in recent years, except 2014 - when I had a great crop of french beans. Hence my suggestion that it may be a weather related problem. I may be jumping to conclusions - I don't have many years of experience to base it on.

Green Magpie

My climbing French beans always do well, but this is in south Devon and the veg beds are in a sheltered, sunny spot.  Weather could be the key.

raisingirl says:

It could be your weather rather than you. Runners don't seem to mind it cooler and wetter (as long as there are enough gaps in the rain for the pollinators to visit). French beans seem to need more heat and we've not had real hot weather here in late summer in recent years, except 2014 - when I had a great crop of french beans. Hence my suggestion that it may be a weather related problem. I may be jumping to conclusions - I don't have many years of experience to base it on.

See original post

Could well be. It wasn't just a poor crop - the plants themselves grew very badly and some just died for no obvious reason.

This year I'm planning to stick to dwarf beans in pots after they did so well last year. Very productive and cropped for a long time. Just sown the first batch of seeds a few days ago. I'd plant some in the raised beds as well but I think I'll keep the space for other crops (will plant runner beans on canes as usual).

BobTheGardener

Dwarf beans are very reliable.  Definitely down to weather for runners and climbing beans each of which prefer different conditions, as someone already said.  For french beans, I grow Cobra and Sultana which are the most reliable ones I've ever tried but without some warm waether and a good bit of sunshine even those struggle.  The worst bean I've ever tried was 'yard long' which failed to get more than a few inches tall and succumbed to what I think was rust, even though they were grown in a polytunnel.  I sowed 3 different batches a few weeks apart too.

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