One thing I haven’t sown before is the French beans. I’ve seen others grow them and I must say, sometimes they make a pleasant change to runner beans. It looked the we’re slowly moving away from any frost, so I’ve to go ahead and plant these straight outside. I’ve also sifted the soil so that the seeds can germinate easily in the soil.
The variety I’ve gone for is called Top Crop, which is bush dwarf variety, which means they don’t require a frame to grow up against.
French beans are originally native to South and Central America and were introduced to France via the Conquistadors in the 16th Century, but it wasn’t until the 19th Century that the French made them a household vegetable. French beans aren’t to be confused with green beans, however botanically there’s little difference between the two.
I’ve sown the beans individually about 5cm deep deep into the ground and around 10cm apart. I’ve planted two rows that are 30cm apart. The theory is, is that each row will support each other. Like most beans, French beans are sensitive to cold conditions, so usually I wouldn’t look to sow these before the end of May – I’m taking a chance planting them out when I am.
Luckily, it looks like they’ve germinated, so all I need to do now is try and keep any slug damage down to a minimum.
French beans have a number of health benefits including:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Reducing the risk of colon cancer
- Improve regulation of diabetes
- Boosting your immune system
- Regulating digest
- Reducing the risk of birth defects in pregnant women
- French beans contain riboflavin, a chemical that helps with combating migraine attacks
- French beans help lower cholesterol
- They boost energy in the body because they’re a good source of iron and copper
I don’t know why I haven’t grown these before!