France Beans OS IMP. Black, French Beans Black - Seeds
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French beans are delicious and easy to grow in small gardens. They make great finger food for children, and are ideal for anyone who doesn’t like the ‘stringy’ bits in runner beans
Also known as French bean, filet bean, haricot, green bean (bush), wax bean (bush), string bean (bush), Phaseolus vulgaris (Bush beans)
- Lifecycle: annual, Tender annual.
- Ease-of-care: easy
- Height: 1 to 3 feet
- Spread: 1 to 2 feet
You can harvest this staple of the vegetable garden as snap beans, shell beans or dry beans. They are extremely easy to grow, but if your garden is small, consider planting pole beans. They yield two to three times more from the same space.
Choose a warm sunny spot for french beans so that the air temperature will be as high as possible. Shelter is important and a sun trap can increase temperatures by a couple of degrees. The plants also need shelter from strong winds that can topple the plants when wet of when carrying a heavy crop. But the shelter must not cast shade because they need full sunshine for rapid growth. French beans must be grown in fertile open soil.
Sunlight: full sun, Can tolerate partial shade but will reduce yield.
Soil conditions: requires well-drained soil, Prefers well-drained soil, but with consistent moisture. Only requires average fertility. pH 6.0 to 6.8.
Germination temperature: 70 F to 80 F - Germination is slow and poor when soil temperatures are below 60 F.
Days to emergence: 8 to 10 - Germination may take two weeks or more if soil temperatures are below 60 F.
- Prepare the soil for planting by digging over and adding plenty of organic material, such as well-rotted manure or leaf mould - this will help to improve the soil's moisture-retaining ability and fertility. Many gardeners swear by preparing a bean trench in the winter and filling it with the rotted contents of the compost bin. Once covered with soil in late spring, the seeds can then be sown on top of the trench.
- If you are growing beans in containers, choose pots at least 45cm (18in) in diameter and make sure there are plenty of drainage holes. Fill with a mixture of equal parts loam-based compost and loam-free compost.
- Before planting, create a support for climbing French and runner beans. Either make a wigwam with 2.4m (8ft) canes, lashed together with string at the top, or create a parallel row of canes, which have their tops tightly secured to a horizontal cane. Each row should be 60cm (23in) apart and canes spaced 15cm (6in) apart in the row.
How to sow seeds
- Sowing seeds indoors gives a faster and more reliable germination rate, particularly for runner beans. At the end of April sow a single bean seed, 4cm (1.5in) deep, in a 7.5cm (3in) pot filled with multi-purpose compost.
- Water well, label and place on a sunny windowsill to germinate. Seedlings will be ready to plant out after about three weeks. Before planting, put in a cold frame or a cool porch for a few days so that they can cope with the conditions outside.
- Alternatively, climbing, runner and dwarf beans can be grown from seed sown directly in the soil between the second half of May and the middle of June. For dwarf French beans, plant two seeds, 2.5cm (1in) deep, next to your support and about 5cm (2in) deep for climbing French and runner beans. Water well. After germination remove the smaller and less robust of the two young plants. As they grow, ensure the plants continue to twine around their canes.
- Regular and plentiful watering is vital. Runners should be watered particularly heavily, twice a week in dry weather, both when the flower buds appear and once they're open.
- Mulch around beans to help keep moisture in the soil when the conditions are dry.
Regular picking is essential - it's true that the more you pick, the more they produce. Most should bear pods from July and cropping of all types can continue until the first frosts, or longer if plants are protected
Health benefits of Green beans
Fresh green beans are very low in calories (31 kcal per 100 g of raw beans) and contain no saturated fat. Nevertheless, the lean vegetables are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant derived micronutrients.
They are very rich source of dietary fiber (9% per100g RDA) which acts as a bulk laxative that helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Adequate amount of fiber has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing reabsorption of cholesterol-binding bile acids in the colon.
Green beans contain excellent levels of vitamin A, and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and ß-carotene in good amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid in the beans, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light filtering functions. It is, therefore, green beans offer some protection in preventing age-related macular disease (ARMD) in the elderly.
Snap beans are a good source of folates. 100 g fresh beans provide 37 µg or 9% of folates. Folate along with vitamin B-12 is one of the essential components of DNA synthesis and cell division. Good folate diet when given during preconception periods and during pregnancy helps prevent neural-tube defects among the offspring.
They also contain good amounts of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), and vitamin-C. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
In addition, beans contain healthy amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism. Manganese is a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
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