Monday, 12 April 2010

Growing the Yard-Long Italian Bean

Wanting to grow something different? Then try Bean 'Un Metro Ramp Nero' (translated as 'A Black Yard  Long Climbing Bean') which is a very popular bean in Italian cuisine, growing up to 3ft long in ideal conditions with an excellent flavour.  
This bean cannot thrive in cold, damp or windy conditions and requires a warm sheltered spot to give of it's best. 

As well as growing outdoors, the plant can also be grown in Poly-tunnels and larger conservatories.

Sowing seed
  • Seeds will germinate with 7-14 days, and are best planted at a depth of 2", 6-9" apart in rows spaced 18" apart. 
  • The permanent growing location must be sunny, warm and well sheltered, as this plant will not grow in cold, damp exposed locations. 
  • Beans are hungry crops that require ample organic matter dug in prior to sowing.
  • Sow in pots undercover in April / May for an earlier harvest or directly outside when all danger of frost has passed, around the time tomatoes go outside.
  • If sown indoors in pots, it is wise to plant out about 2 weeks after you would transplant tomatoes outdoors.  
  • The vines are very vigorous and will need robust support and ample moisture. 
  • Protect young plants from pests.
  • Loosely tie in young plants to supports, thereafter they will cling to the pole without support.
  • Feed once in flower with a high-potash fertiliser to prolong cropping.

  • Best harvested when at its most tender when about 12 inches long.
  • Harvest continuously June to October to encourage production. 
  • It is recommended that you do not pull the old spent plant out of the ground, but cut of at ground level so that the roots can release the large amounts of nitrogen that it stores underground while they rot.

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