Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Climbing Bean Tips!

Cool & gloomy today, but when I went to the Hill tonight to pick a LETTUCE (hsl stoke), I was pleased to see that after all the weekend’s rain all the plants had gone from looking wet & miserable to quite perky.

I picked a few RADISH (French breakfast 3) to go with the lettuce, then decided to have a furtle around the early POTATOES (lady cristl) where I was delighted to find a few reasonable size tubers – first of the new potatoes, hurrah!

I saw Rhubarb Man (who I discover is called Brian) down on his plot, & he stopped by for a chat when he came up for some manure from the skip. He asked my opinion on compost bins & muck spreading, & then gave me a particularly good tip.

We were standing by the bean frame & he said, “a couple of my gardening books recommend pinching the growing tips of climbing beans out at 2’ tall, then again at 4’ tall, but I can’t find this in any of my other books, or gardening magazines – what do you think?”

I think it is a bloody good idea.

I have noticed that when you stop the beans at the top of the bean poles, they (a) keep on growing, elongating the main stem, & (b) sprout new growth for the highest leaf nodes, which totally defeats the object of pinching them out, however I have never thought to put two & two together, and to pinch them out lower, making bushier beans with their productive bits all happening at a reasonable & accessible height.

I pinched out the tops of any climbing beans which had made it up the poles to 2’, & will do the same again in a few weeks time at 4'. Rhubarb Brian watched me do this, & then with an appraising eye at the bean frame said “you’ve got rather a lot of beans there, haven’t you.”

I sent him on his way with a plump green lettuce, with the nagging feeling that he may very well be right, & I mulled this over as I drove home with raindrops starting to fall on the windscreen…


  1. I've never heard of this tip Hazel. I'm sort of scared of putting the mockers on a perfectly good plant by nipping it in the bud. Might try it with one of my two wigwams of Cherokee. Then I've got a control for comparison.

    I always get distracted by the 'quilt pattern' on your floor by the way!

  2. Pinching out sounds like it ought to make sense, know what Flummery means about putting the mockers on something which is growing very well.

    Too many beans? Can you make runner bean wine {giggle}, heck, you turn nearly everything else into an alcofrolic beverage!

  3. That sounds like a great idea, but I am also a bit scared it will be the equivalent of bumping off the beans. This is the first year I have managed to grow them past about 10cm tall as they seem to be a favourite with the snails which plague my tiny garden. Maybe I will try it with a few first and see what happens :)

  4. Well, we'll just have to see - it does sound like a good plan, doesn't it?

    And yes, Bilbo, I do have a bean wine recipe up my sleeve to try this year too...{grin}

    Thank you for dropping by, Quantum in me - the slimy beggars do go for beans, don't they? I find that starting them off in pots and planting out when about 6" tall gives them a better fighting chance!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...