DELIVERY INFO: Due to the high volume of orders this year we currently expect to deliver new orders for plants & veg patches in mid/late May. Please see FAQs for further info.
French Climbing Bean – Blue Lake
Out of stock
Easy to grow, decorative, and deliciously tasty
Producing pencil-shaped, stringless pods that are green in colour, this variety can reach up to 1.5m in height. The beans inside are pure white, and can be used as haricot beans at the end of the season.
ORDER NOW FOR DELIVERY IN SPRING 2020
Number of plants: 10
Variety: Blue Lake (organic)
Can be grown in: Pots and containers, grow bags, raised beds. They will need a support to climb. Find out more about growing climbing beans in our growing guide below.
In the kitchen: Great steamed with a drizzle of olive oil. Slightly sweeter in flavour than other French Beans
Beans are perfect for a sunny, well-drained spot. They prefer to grow in moist, fertile soil in a sheltered location away from strong winds. Avoid growing beans in very wet soils.
Beds or pots?
For climbing beans: Raised beds or a traditional veg plot is best. You can also grow them in large, deep containers. They will need something to climb up – it’s easiest to make a wigwam out of bamboo canes.
For dwarf varieties: Raised beds, traditional veg plots and pots and containers work well (1 to a small pot), as do grow bags (3 to 4 per grow bag). These dwarf varieties do not need support.
How far apart?
For climbing beans: 30cm apart around the base of a wigwam support is about right.
For dwarf beans: 20cm apart
Plant out in mid spring
If your plants arrive while it’s still a bit chilly, in April/early May, it’s worth planting them in pots and popping them in the greenhouse or on a windowsill until it warms up a bit.
Keep them well watered
Beans are thirsty plants and need plenty of water to help them flourish. When plants are young, water every day whilst they get established. During dry spells, water frequently and deeply, not allowing the soil to dry out.
Keep weeds down
Keep weeds down so that they have a better chance of growing up nice and strong!
When to harvest
Once the plants are flowering in summer, you’ll soon see the bean pods starting to form. Pick beans when they reach the right size, and remember that the more often you pick them, the more they will keep producing!
Drying beans to store
If you are growing beans to dry and store (e.g. borlotti beans) – leave pods on the plant until they start to change colour and dry out at the end of the season. Harvest them during a dry spell, (avoid leaving them on the plant for too long if it is wet and damp as they will soon start to rot) and leave them in a warm, dry place to fully dry out. You should be able to hear them rattling inside when you shake them. Once the beans are completely dry, you can pod them and store them in an airtight jar.
Slugs & Snails
You’ll quickly see the tell tale signs of nibbled leaves and slime trails if slugs and snails are eating your plants. Set beer traps, put a barrier of natural slug deterrent (broken egg shells, grit etc) around the base of plants, do a dusk slug patrol and keep the plot as free from slug-friendly hiding places as possible. Read more slug tactics
If leaves are not a healthy green, you can be sure that they are not getting enough water and nutrients from the soil. Water daily, preferably in the morning, and use a liquid feed fortnightly until the plants recover.
White/brown patches on leaves
If you see thin white or brown papery patches on leaves it is most likely to be a lack of water. Give plants a deep watering to replenish moisture levels in the soil, then water at least every other day to keep them healthy.
Holes in leaves/slime trails = Slugs or snails
Yellow leaves = Lack of water/nutrients
White papery patches on leaves = Lack of water
Stunted growth = Too cold/windy for young seedlings to thrive. Protect them with a cloche
Once picked, beans will keep in the fridge for a few days, although they taste better if used fresh.
If you’d like to dry the beans out, wait until they have dried out on the plants. Then, pick them and leave them to dry out in a nice dry place before you shell them. Keep the beans in an airtight container. (Don’t forget to soak them again before you cook them!)
Beans are delicious simply steamed and served with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of sea salt.
Try a runner bean chutney – it is seriously good!
Serve French Beans in a tomato & garlic sauce with crunchy breadcrumbs on top.
Bring water to the boil before adding beans to the pan – this will help to keep them a nice vibrant green.
Unfortunately, purple beans do not retain their colour once cooked. They turn green instead.
Young borlotti beans can be treated as runner beans if you want to harvest them earlier in the season.
When we deliver
We usually deliver these plants through into July, although it’s a little dependent on the weather.
You can order from…
These plants are available to be ordered now and we’ll despatch them as soon as they are big enough to both handle the journey to your garden and handle life outside the poly tunnel.
Do I need to sign for them?
All our plant orders are dispatched with an overnight courier* to mainland UK and do not need to be signed for when they are delivered, but will be left somewhere safe. When placing your order, please let us know where you would like the plants left if you are not in when the courier delivers.
We will keep you posted
You will receive an email to let you know that your order is ready to be dispatched and another on the day your plants are packed and leave us, so you know to expect and prepare for their arrival.