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quick question about sowing French beans

REMF33REMF33 Posts: 729
edited April 2023 in Fruit & veg
I have always sown these in root trainers. Do other people do this? I have some climbers and some dwarf ones. Asking because I hate filling root trainers :) (And want an excuse not to, I suppose, but also want to do what's optimal.)


  • MikeOxgreenMikeOxgreen Posts: 807
    edited April 2023
    Sowing inside gets an earlier crop, sowing outside a later crop (or even no crop!). That's the only difference so base where and when you sow on that alone.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    We use small, individual plant pots (9cm, 0.39Litre) for each bean (and for most of our other vegetable seeds). We don't use seed trays any more, as we found them too shallow, and it caused a lot of root damage when trying to prise out the seedlings. The pots mean we can let each plant grow to a reasonable size, before transplanting into a larger pot (1Litre). There is minimal root damage using this method.

    Never used root trainers. I'm sure they are good for reducing root damage, but they look very small to me, and we prefer to develop as large and strong a plant as possible, before planting out.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,084
    I do but my garden is overrun with bank and field voles who will eat a sprouting bean quicker than you can say 'sprouting bean'.
    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I have used the same root trainers since 2012,  still going strong, no problem filling them, just stand in their tray and pile the compost in.  They’re not too small Keen, the roots grow very different to they way they grow in a pot,  sort of down in a strait line, whereas in a pot they grow round the shape of the pot.  Very easy to plant out, open the trainer and it just lays there, ready to plant out with no root disturbance.
    but then,  people get good results with toilet roll tubes so I’ve heard.

    I would never sow direct,  the mice would have the seeds out over night and if any did survive to show a shoot,  the slugs would have them.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,348
    Lyn said:
    I would never sow direct,  the mice would have the seeds out over night and if any did survive to show a shoot,  the slugs would have them.
    Ditto. I do sometimes sow direct in addition, as insurance in case the plants I put out also get eaten. But sowing all direct is a recipe for disaster here (squirrels rather than mice, but same result).
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • MikeOxgreenMikeOxgreen Posts: 807
    The only downsides to Rootrainers i've found is they're overpriced and very poor quality. 
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    As I said, I’m still using the same ones that I bought in 2012, worth the money for the results.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,705
     I buy quite a lot of the natural yoghurt which comes in those tall pots.  I find with holes pierced in the base that they prove quite handy for Beans and Peas as the depth allows straight root growth.
    Agree about the Root Trainers too - mine went missing during a house move but I found they worked well and lasted too. 
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 729
    Thanks all. I decided I should not be lazy and have filled some root trainers for sowing asap. The ones I have are used twice a year and are in year three. They are tearing a bit in places but still useable. I just really really hate filling them!
    I have also used biodegradable grow tubes which are good, but tend to go a bit mouldy if you put them close together, which you rather have to to stop them falling over. if my dad were still alive, I'd be asking him to make me a frame for them. I miniature bottle rack on its side would do the trick! 
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,671
    We can't sow outdoors as our clay soil is so cold for so long. We have to sow all veg indoors and then transplant the seedlings. Then they have to have cloches over them for a few weeks and then sticks to stop the pigeons!!!
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