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I’ve killed my French beans...

JesseDJesseD Posts: 23
So the lovely French climbing beans that I sowed indoors in early April were (I thought) nearly hardened off after five or six days of increasing outside time. Then a few days of high winds and cold came and I kept them indoors. Today, it wasn’t quite as windy so I thought I’d resume hardening off and set them outside for half the day. Admittedly it was very breezy. 

I kept them out most of the day and this evening the leaves were wilted, even black in places. I’ll sow more but now I’m afraid to take anything else outside...could it have been the chilly air, the wind?  What do I do to ensure this doesn’t happen to all my plants? Maybe it’s just too early for them to even be hardened off? I live in the south...   Should I wait another two weeks or maybe just move them out to my little growhouse? I have no idea what I’m doing,’....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,982
    Oh dear 😢 it may well have been the wind bashing the plants about ... they won’t have developed much resilience yet.  
    The good news is that it’s not too late to sow some more ... you could even sow them direct into the soil now 🌱 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 23
    Thank you, I’ll direct sow the next batch. So disappointed after so many weeks of watching them grow... hopefully the next ones will be perfect 😊
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,856
    I'm giving it a week and then planting direct, will keep the soil covered ( which it is already) and hope for warmer days.
    I haven’t planted mine yet, there’s still time.  Once the weather turns milder they will catch-up quickly.
  • Mandy63Mandy63 Posts: 17
    I’ve got french and runner beans in pots that have been hardened off for 2 weeks now, is it too early to plant outside, I live in the south west of England. They are starting to look a little bit pot bound (I think I was a little eager to start them off, it’s the first time I’ve grown veg) 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,982
    I’m in East Anglia and my French beans have been out a week, we’re currently covering them at night with a cloche but night time temps are forecast to rise midweek so we’ll stop covering them then. I think your French beans should be ok outside but watch the forecast temps. 

    However in my experience French beans are a bit hardier than runner beans ... I’ve only just sown my runner beans and won’t be planting them out until the end of the month.  If you need to plant yours out I’d keep an eye on the forecast night temperatures and cover them up if the temp is going to be low. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • tui34tui34 Posts: 2,862
    I grew runner beans last year from a packet of seeds a friend brought down from England.  They grew well, lots of growth and flowers but at the top and the bottom of the plants were quite bare. No actual beans.  We had a very very hot summer last year.  Could anyone tell me why as I would like to try again this year.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,709
    If it is too hot and dry, the flowers on runner beans don't set as well. The white flowered  type have some french bean genes in them so they set better in hot weather.  Any beans need plenty of water. I use soaker hoses once a week for several hours unless it has actually slashed it down.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,982
    edited May 2020
    Hot dry weather tends to lead to poor flower set. Some folk recommend spraying the flowers with water ... I find that keeping the plants really well watered at the roots works for me. That being said last year and this I’m trying one of the newer Runner x French bean hybrids ... they are supposed to be self fertile like French beans but with the flavour of Runners.  We had a reasonable crop last year with a good flavour. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • tui34tui34 Posts: 2,862
    Yes, I thought as much although I had made a trench by the beans to run water through.  They are the red flowering type - I'll try again this year as I'm a sucker for punishment and dig that ol' trench deeper!!  Thank you for your comments.   ;)
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

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