French beans can be grown both for their young, tender pods, and for haricot beans if the pods are left to dry on the plant.
Climbing French beans will cover a tall support, while lettuce and spinach will thrive in the slight shade offered around the support.
Climbing beans are hungry plants, so plant them in a big pot where they have plenty of sunshine. Water them regularly.
Follow our easy steps to plant up this French bean and lettuce container.
You Will Need
French bean 'Cosse Violette' (2)
French bean 'Cobra' (2)
Lettuce 'Lollo Rossa' (9)
Spinach 'Bordeaux' seeds
30cm terracotta pot
Plant the beans, then sink a sturdy support firmly over the top. A willow wigwam is ideal to support the heavy full-grown beans.
Planting the beans
Add lettuce plug plants around the base of the wigwam, leaving 15cm gaps for the spinach. They’re great value for money.
Planting the lettuce
Water well, then sow spinach seeds direct about 2cm apart. They’ll germinate and fill the gaps in about 10 days.
Sowing spinach seed in the gaps
Harvesting French beans
For delicious, tender French beans, pick them as soon as they are large enough to eat (after about eight weeks) by snipping them off with scissors. Regular picking encourages the plant to produce more beans. Alternatively, leave the pods to dry on the plant for use as haricot beans.