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...........

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Further Bean Thoughts...

The more that I think about pinching the tips of climbing beans out at a sensible height (in order to encourage a moderate height, easy to access plant rather than a sprawling giant), the more that it seems likely be a success.

Of course, the slight unease is that I haven’t actually seen this promoted in any of the books I have read & it hasn’t been mentioned on the GYO Grapevine forum.

I think that it will work (& not e.g. kill the bean plant off!) because if the leading growing tip on the beans is damaged – from wind damage, as has happened with some of my plants, or slugs, say – then a couple of other growing tips start from the next leaf junction down.

I’m only thinking of limiting the plants to 6’ rather than 8’ or so, not to make bonsai bean plants, & I think that the implication of a more orderly row of slightly shorter, stouter plants is that you need fewer of them for more or less the same yield – although I’m not too sure on that one.

It will certainly stop driving me crackers in September with all the foliage flapping about at the top of the poles where I can’t quite reach to pick the beans anyway.

Not sure of a downside to this yet – something tells me that there must be one, or we’d all be pinching out climbing beans at 2’ & 4’ to make a 6’ neat bean plant…


  1. Do you have a few spare plants you can put on a wigwam somewhere and try the pinching out just on one (potentially) sacrificial planting?

  2. We'll find out, won't we?
    It's an advantage being tall though!

  3. I think that I will go with this experiment on all the climbing beans, Bilbo - which is to say that I am lazy and can't be bothered to remember to pinch out some and not others.

    I'm quite happy that I won't kill them off by doing this, and I think that I remember well enough how they were last year to at least do a rough comparison (although this method clearly doesn't stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny!)

    And there is sensible tall, and unreachable tall, Flum - moderation in all things!

  4. Being very short (only just over 5ft), I always pinch out my beans when they get to just less than 6ft (the height I can reach at full stretch :D) It's never done them any harm and they do start to branch out a bit.


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