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I have been using slug banish for two years now and am delighted with the results. I also have used the bio-sterilant mustard and it appears to have have made an impact on the onion white rot which has ruined my onjon and garlic for the past two years. At the present time the onions and shallots are not showing any sign of disease, and the shallots will soon be ready to harvest. I wonder if anyone else has reported this?
G. Telfer, Swanley

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I have been using slug banish for two years now and am delighted with the results. I also have used the bio-sterilant mustard and it appears to have have made an impact on the onion white rot which has ruined my onjon and garlic for the past two years. At the present time the onions and shallots are not showing any sign of disease, and the shallots will soon be ready to harvest. I wonder if anyone else has reported this?
G. Telfer, Swanley

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Image of Broad Bean Bunyards Exhibition

    How to Sow & Grow Beans

    Beans – in fact, most legumes – are highly regarded by green-fingered types for two reasons. First, they are well suited to growing in the British climate, and a great number of utterly delicious varieties will thrive here if given a good start from seed. Secondly, once your bean plants are established in the ground, their root systems will work with certain bacteria in the soil and begin the process of 'fixing nitrogen'. Broadly speaking, the beans that you grow in your vegetable plot will absorb nitrogen from the air and fix it into the soil, offering a totally natural fertilisation service that leaves the ground well nourished!

    Broad Beans (Bunyard's Exhibition, Monica, The Sutton)

    Sowing

    Germinate at a temperature between 15-25°C.For early cropping, sow under protection in trays or modules from February to March. (Seeds can also be direct-sown under cloches from February to March – see under main cropping.)

    For main cropping, sow Bunyard's Exhibition from March to May, 10" (25 cm) apart, in interspaced double rows 24" (60 cm) apart. Sow Monica/The Sutton, March to May, 9" (23 cm) apart in interspaced double rows 12" (30 cm) apart. Sow all seeds in 2" (5 cm) deep drills.

    For over-wintering, sow Bunyard's Exhibition, October to November, 10" (25 cm) apart in interspaced double rows 18" (45 cm) apart. Sow Monica/The Sutton, October to November 8" (20 cm) apart in rows 10" (25 cm) apart. Sow all seeds in 2" (5 cm) deep drills.

    Planting Out (for those purchasing our bean plants - read from here on!)

    Bunyard's Exhibition
    Set out when large enough to handle, planting 10" (25 cm) apart, in interspaced double rows 24" (60 cm) apart.

    Monica/The Sutton
    Set out when large enough to handle, planting 9" (23 cm) apart, in interspaced double rows 12" (30 cm) apart.

    Growing On

    Bunyard's Exhibition and Monica will require supporting with string lines as the plants grow taller. The Sutton grows to around 12" (30 cm) tall and although it does not need support, you will find that the yield will increase and the crop will stay cleaner (and easier to pick) if you use pea sticks, netting or something similar.

    As soon as the first beans appear pinch off the top 3" of the stems (1½" for Monica and The Sutton) to encourage pod development, and to help reduce blackfly.

    Keep beans well watered if the weather is dry, particularly once the bean pods begin swelling.

    Pests and Diseases

    Pheasants will dig up the plants to eat the sprouted seed so if you have pheasants in your area take precautions, especially with autumn sowings. Mice are also notorious for eating broad bean seeds. Pigeons will eat young broad bean plants.

    Broad beans are prone to blackfly. We recommend spraying regularly with our BioFriend Plant Defence.

    Harvesting

    Pick beans when they are young and tender. Broad beans freeze well so freeze any excess rather than trying to extend the season. Even better, dry the beans and use in winter soups and stews.

    Clearing Up

    After harvesting, dig the plants into the ground to provide green manure and valuable nitrogen for the soil.


    Climbing French Beans (Blue Lake, Fasold) and Borlotto Lingua de Fraco

    Climbing French Beans and Borlotti Beans thrive in warm conditions and are ideal for growing under protection, in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Grown outside, they like a warm, sheltered site as they are susceptible to frost.

    Sowing

    For Growing Under Protection

    Sow under protection in trays or modules from February onwards. Germinate at a temperature between 15-25°C.

    Transplant when large enough to handle. Plant 4" (10 cm) apart, either in the border soil or in large containers, remembering that you will need to provide support for the plants up to a height of around 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 metres) using netting, a bamboo cane structure or something similar.

    For Growing Outside

    Sow under protection in trays or modules from February onwards. Harden off and plant out when plants are 3" (8 cm) high, the soil has warmed up and there is no danger of frost. French Beans and Borlotti Beans are not frost hardy.

    For Growing In Rows

    Direct-sow from April to early July, 2 seeds per station, 4" (10 cm) apart, in rows 30" (75 cm) apart. Sow in 2" (5 cm) deep drills.

    For Climbing Bean Tepees

    Using a dustbin lid or similar as a template, drive 6 eight-foot canes into the ground and tie together at the top to produce a tepee effect. Sow 2 seeds 2" (5 cm) deep at the foot of each cane.

    Planting Out (for those purchasing our bean plants - read from here on!)

    For Growing in Rows

    Plant out from April to early July, 4" (10 cm) apart, in rows 30" (75 cm) apart.

    These plants need support up to a height of around 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 metres) using netting, a bamboo cane structure or something similar. They can also be grown using the 'Three Sisters' method, to maximise your yield from a small area (the bean plants climb up the sweetcorn plants).

    For Climbing Bean Tepees

    Using a dustbin lid or similar as a template, drive into the ground 6 eight-foot canes and tie them together at the top to produce a tepee effect. Set one or two plants at the foot of each cane.

    Young plants may require night-time protection with horticultural fleece until risk of frosts has passed.

    Growing On

    Although these beans are drought-tolerant, keep them well watered if the weather is dry, particularly once the bean pods begin swelling. Mulch around the stems in early summer, using leaf mould, spent compost from grow bags or something similar.

    Pests and Diseases

    White fly and aphids can be an issue. We recommend spraying with our BioFriend Plant Defence.

    Clearing Up

    After harvesting, dig the plants into the ground to provide green manure and valuable nitrogen for the soil. Remember, the last of the crop can be dried and used for soups, stews and baked beans!


    Dwarf French Beans (Hildora, Purple Queen, Tendergreen) and Black Turtle Beans

    Dwarf French Beans thrive in warm conditions and are an ideal crop to grow under protection, in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Grown outside, they like a warm, sheltered site as they are susceptible to frost.

    Hildora/Purple Queen/Black Turtle Beans

    Sowing

    For Growing under Protection

    Sow under protection in trays or modules from February onwards. Germinate at a temperature between 15-25°C.

    Transplant when large enough to handle.

    While there is no need to provide any support, you will find that the yield will increase and the crop will stay cleaner (and easier to pick) if you use pea sticks or something similar.

    For Growing Outside

    Sow seeds under protection from February onwards. Germinate at a temperature between 15-25°C. Harden off and plant out when plants are 3" (8 cm) high and the soil has warmed up and there is no possibility of frost. Dwarf French Beans are not frost-hardy.

    Sow direct into the open ground from May until mid-July (when night-time temperatures warm up). Sow two seeds per station 8" (20 cm) apart in rows 18" (45 cm) apart. Sow seeds 2" (5 cm) deep.

    Planting Out

    Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle. Plant 8" (20 cm) apart in rows 18" (45 cm) apart. You can also grow them in large tubs or pots.

    While there is no need to provide any support, you will find that the yield will increase and the crop will stay cleaner (and easier to pick) if you use pea sticks or something similar.

    Young plants may require night-time protection with horticultural fleece until risk of frosts has passed.

    Growing On

    Although these beans are drought-tolerant, ensure you keep beans well watered if the weather is dry, particularly once the bean pods begin swelling. Mulch around the stems in early summer. Mulch around the stems in early summer, using leaf mould, spent compost from grow bags or something similar.

    Pests and Diseases

    These beans are resistant to Bean Common Mosaic Virus and Anthracnose.

    Harvesting

    Harvest from July onwards.

    If growing Black Turtle Beans, allow the pods to dry on the plant before picking and shucking to ensure the largest and darkest beans. Late crops can be harvested and final-dried in a dehydrator to maximise storage life. If you decide to harvest and eat them as you would French Beans please note that they do not take on their full colour until they have dried.

    Clearing Up

    After harvesting, dig the plants into the ground to provide green manure and valuable nitrogen for the soil. Remember, the last of Hildora and Purple Queen can be dried and used for soups, stews and baked beans!


    Tendergreen

    Sowing

    For Growing Under Protection

    Sow from March to May 3" (7.5 cm) apart in rows 18" (45 cm) apart. Sow in 2" (5 cm) deep drills.

    You can also grow them in large tubs or pots.

    For Growing Outside

    Sow under protection from February onwards. Germinate at a temperature between 15-25°C. Transplant when large enough to handle.

    Or sow mid-April to mid-July 3" (7.5 cm) apart in rows 18" (45 cm) apart. Sow in 2" (5 cm) deep drills. You can also grow them in large tubs or pots.

    Planting Out

    While there is no need to provide any support, you will find that the yield will increase and the crop will stay cleaner (and easier to pick) if you use pea sticks or something similar.

    Young plants may require night-time protection with horticultural fleece until risk of frosts has passed.

    Growing On

    Although these beans are drought-tolerant, ensure you keep beans well watered if the weather is dry, particularly once the bean pods begin swelling. Mulch around the stems in early summer. Mulch around the stems in early summer, using leaf mould, spent compost from grow bags or something similar.

    Harvesting

    If growing Black Turtle Beans, allow the pods to dry on the plant before picking and shucking to ensure the largest and darkest beans. Late crops can be harvested and final dried in a dehydrator to maximise storage life. If you decide to harvest and eat them as you would French Beans please note that they do not take on their full colour until they have dried.

    Clearing Up

    After harvesting, dig the plants into the ground to provide green manure and valuable nitrogen for the soil.


    Runner Beans (Polestar)

    Runner beans are deep-rooted and love a rich, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil so consider making a 'bean trench' over the winter. Dig a trench 18" (45 cm) deep and fill with compost, old newspapers, vegetative kitchen waste, etc. and then top with soil. Sow or plant on this for a prolonged crop that is not affected by summer drought.

    Don't be in a hurry to set plants outside early as runner beans don't like the cold.

    Sowing

    For early cropping, sow under protection in trays or modules in April. Germinate at a temperature between 15-25°C. Set out when large enough to handle, in late May or June, 9" (23 cm) apart, in rows 18" (45 cm) apart. Provide support for plants to climb up to a height of around 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 metres) using netting, a bamboo cane structure or something similar. Young plants may require night-time protection with horticultural fleece until risk of frosts has passed.

    For main cropping, sow seeds in twos from mid-May to mid-July, 9" (23 cm) apart, in rows 18" (45 cm) apart. Sow in 2" (5 cm) deep drills. Provide support for these to climb up to a height of around 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 metres) using netting, a bamboo cane structure or something similar.

    For Runner Bean Tepees

    Using a dustbin lid or similar as a template, drive into the ground 6 eight-foot canes and tie together at the top to produce a tepee effect. Plant 2 seeds 2" (5 cm) deep at the foot of each cane.

    Planting Out

    For Runner Beans In Rows

    Set out late May or June 9" (23 cm) apart in rows 18" (45 cm) apart.
    Provide support for these to climb up to a height of around 6 - 8 feet (1.8 - 2.4 metres) using netting, a bamboo cane structure or something similar.

    For Runner Bean Tepees

    Using a dustbin lid or similar as a template, drive into the ground six eight foot canes and tie together at the top to produce a tepee effect. Set one or two plants at the foot of each cane.

    These can be grown using the 'Three Sisters' method if you are short of space; the beans climb up the sweetcorn plants.

    Growing On

    Mulch around the plants, using leaf mould, spent compost from grow bags or something similar, to conserve water, and keep them well-watered from flowering time onwards.

    Excessively warm temperatures, particularly at night may inhibit bean formation. Whilst syringing flowers does not help pod-set it may cool the flowers if done late in the evening. Improved cropping should resume with cooler night temperatures.

    Harvesting

    For the best flavour and optimum sweetness pick pods when they are no more than 6-8" (15-20 cm) long.

    Clearing Up

    After harvesting, dig the plants into the ground to provide green manure and valuable nitrogen for the soil.

     

    Edamame beans

    Edamame beans prefer full sun and moist but well-drained soil.

    Sowing

    Sow under protection in May and early June, placing each seed 2" deep in compost in 3" pots. Provide gentle heat 64-68ºF (18-20ºC). Grow plants on by placing on a well-lit windowsill, potting on as roots appear through the pots' drainage holes. Seeds can also be sown outside in late spring once the soil has warmed up, ideally under fleece or cloches. Sow them 6" apart in rows 18" apart. Edamame beans can be sown successionally for a longer harvesting period.

    Planting Out

    Prepare ground with plenty of organic matter before setting out plants. Acclimatise indoor-grown plants to outside conditions, only planting out after all risk of frost has passed. Set plants 6" apart in rows 18" apart. Plants can reach a height of 3 ft or more but should not require support.

    Growing On

    Hoe around plants regularly and keep well watered. Also, mulch plants during dry periods but ensure the mulch does not touch the plant stems.

    Pests and Diseases

    Edamame beans do not suffer particularly from pests, although they are a favourite with rabbits and deer.

    Harvesting

    Edamame beans are harvested when unripe by pulling up the whole plant. (If you leave them to ripen you have soya beans.) Beans crop in late summer and early autumn. Harvest when the beans are almost touching one another in the pod, or as the leaves on individual plants begin to turn yellow

    Cooking and eating

    Dry pods for soya beans. Otherwise, steam pods whole then shell and eat beans.

     


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    Black Turtle Beans

    Black Turtle Beans

    Very popular in Latin American dishes and a really meaty meat substitute! A store cupboard essential! Grow just as you would Dwarf French beans and then dry.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 250 seeds

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    Borlotto Bean Seed 'Lingua di Fuoco'

    Image of Borlotto Bean Lingua Di Fuoco

    A colourful dual purpose bean that can be used conventionally just like a Climbing French Bean, or dried and used in soups and stews. Perfect for Winter storage.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 30 seeds.

    More information about Borlotto Bean Seed 'Lingua di Fuoco'

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    Broad Bean Seed 'Bunyard's Exhibition'

    Image of Broad Bean Bunyards Exhibition

    A heavy cropping white seeded variety producing long pods containing 8 or 9 beans. Very good flavour and excellent for freezing.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 75 seeds.

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    Broad Bean Seed 'Monica'

    Broad Bean Seed 'Monica'

    A quick maturing, high yielding broad bean suitable for early, mid, late and over-Winter sowings. Produces long pods with creamy white beans that are delicious.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 75 seeds.

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    Broad Bean Seed 'The Sutton'

    Image of  Broad Bean The Sutton

    A dwarf broad bean ideal for the smaller plot which produces deliciously tender beans. Extremely hardy and perfect for over-wintering.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 75 seeds.

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    Climbing French Bean Seed 'Blue Lake'

    Image of  Climbing French Bean Blue Lake

    A stringless variety of this popular bean. Gorgeously sweet flavour either raw or cooked, and well suited for freezing or drying. Can be dried and used as a haricot.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 115 seeds.

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    Climbing French Bean Seed 'Fasold'

    Image of  Climbing French Bean Fasold

    A black seeded variety that produces heavy crops of pencil thickness beans with good flavour and very good freezing qualities.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 75 seeds.

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    Credit Crunch Pea and Bean Gift Pack

    Image of Pea Alderman

    A pea and bean seed collection, including French, Runner, Broad beans and climbing peas, all with amazing flavour and good croppers.
    Available Now
    Supplied as 4 packets of seeds, guidance and gift bag.

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    Dwarf French Bean Seed 'Hildora'

    sq dwarf french bean hildora 001

    A delicious, colourful, high-yielding, long, yellow French bean, which is easy to grow and keeps its colour when cooked. Can be grown inside or out.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 250 seeds.

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    Dwarf French Bean Seed 'Purple Queen'

    sq dwarf french bean purple queen 001

    A beautiful dark purple dwarf French bean, plants reach approximately 14" (35 cm) tall. Have a good yield and are delicious cooked or raw. Easy to grow from seed.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 250 seeds.

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    Dwarf French Bean Seed 'Tendergreen'

    Image of Dwarf French Bean Tendergreen

    Light green pods have a distinctive purple markings and good flavour; virtually stringless and well suited for freezing. Support not essential.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 250 seeds.

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    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'

    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'

    A delicious soy bean, high in protein with a nutty flavour. Can be grown in the UK and reaches approximately 3 feet tall with lovely green beans.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 50 seeds.

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    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'

    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'

    A delicious soy bean, high in protein with a nutty flavour. Can be grown in the UK and reaches approximately 3 feet tall with lovely green beans.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 50 seeds.

    More information about Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'

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    Runner Bean Seed 'Polestar'

    Image of Runner Bean Polestar

    A heavy cropping variety that produces bright green fleshy pods that are completely stringless. Early cropping.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 30 seeds.

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    Broad Bean Plant 'The Sutton'

    Image of  Broad Bean The Sutton

    A dwarf variety perfect for the smaller plot. Extremely hardy, so ideal for over-wintering. Excellent flavour and heavy cropping too.
    Available from approximately Mid March 2019
    Supplied as compost block grown plants.

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    Climbing French Bean Plant 'Blue Lake'

    Image of  Climbing French Bean Blue Lake

    A most delicious and reliable French Bean that defies any Summer drought and remain sugar sweet and tender. Easy to grow and very long cropping.
    Available from approximately mid April 2019
    Supplied as compost block grown plants.

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    Climbing French Bean Plant 'Fasold'

    Image of  Climbing French Bean Fasold

    A black seeded Climbing French Bean with excellent flavour and continuity of cropping performance. Can be dried and used as a haricot bean.
    Available from approximately mid April 2019
    Supplied as compost block grown plants.

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    Runner Bean Plant 'Polestar'

    Image of Runner Bean Polestar

    A stringless runner bean with excellent cropping potential and delicious flavour. Perfect raw in salads or as a cooked vegetable. Requires support.
    Available from approximately mid April 2019
    Supplied as compost block grown plants.

    More information about Runner Bean Plant 'Polestar'

    From £4.65 to £4.90
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    Black Turtle Beans

    Black Turtle Beans


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    Image of Borlotto Bean Lingua Di Fuoco

    Borlotto Bean Seed 'Lingua di Fuoco'


    From £3.75 to £3.85
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    Broad Bean Seed 'Monica'

    Broad Bean Seed 'Monica'


    From £3.75 to £3.85
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    Image of  Broad Bean The Sutton

    Broad Bean Seed 'The Sutton'


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    Image of  Climbing French Bean Blue Lake

    Climbing French Bean Seed 'Blue Lake'


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    Image of  Climbing French Bean Fasold

    Climbing French Bean Seed 'Fasold'


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    Image of Pea Alderman

    Credit Crunch Pea and Bean Gift Pack


    From £4.65 to £4.90
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    sq dwarf french bean hildora 001

    Dwarf French Bean Seed 'Hildora'


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    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'

    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'


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    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'

    Edamame Bean Seed 'Green Shell'


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    Image of Runner Bean Polestar

    Runner Bean Seed 'Polestar'


    From £0.55 to £0.70
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    Image of  Broad Bean The Sutton

    Broad Bean Plant 'The Sutton'


    From £0.55 to £0.70
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    Image of Runner Bean Polestar

    Runner Bean Plant 'Polestar'