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French Bean Help

My french beans have failed two years in a row and I can't figure out why. I sow a few varieties indoors in April/May in toilet rolls (to avoid root disturbance), they germinate well and grow healthy. I harden them off in my cold frame and then plant them out in June but they never take and after transplant they all die off. I grow them in my raised beds next to my runner beans (which do extremely well.) For context I am on the west coast of Scotland. Does anyone have any thoughts on what might be causing their failure?


  • That's frustrating -they are usually the easiest beans to grow,  Which varieties have you tried ?
    When you say they all die off, do you mean they just gradually shrivel away or are they growing one minute and gone the next ? They like a fair depth but if your Runners do OK it seems a bit strange.  The only possibility is that you are growing too many in a small area and the runners are much stronger.  That's just a guess as I don't grow Runners myself tho, 

    @Fairygirl is west Scotland but not sure she does beans.  Someone will hopefully be able to offer a possible reason for the failure  :)  
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    They don’t like acid soil,  do you know what your soil it.
    I have to lime my bean bed. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • izzy8izzy8 Posts: 147
    The past few years we have grown a variety called Cobra. Last year grown in sun with afternoon shade, marvellous crop. This year grown in full sun , less of a crop
  • This years bean failure could be just the weather.  Mine failed too, and I usually get enough for us. I tend to plant some inside too, but when they are planted out I space them with direct sown seeds too, so if one fails the other can take over.
    Keep trying @clbottoneDwgDG0t9
  • have you inoculated the seeds. 
  • What are you talking about @war garden 572 ?!
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Same sort of principle as micorrhizal fungi 

    IME soil with plenty of manure and garden compost doesn’t need it. 

    If you’re growing in containers or raised beds of sterilised soil/compost it might be worth trying. 

    In over 50 years of growing beans 
    in open ground I’ve never found the need to try it. 

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

  • Thanks for all the advice everyone! I will need to persevere and give it another go next year.
  • @clbottoneDwgDG0t9 … good luck with them next year … let us know how you get on 🤞 

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

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