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Growing Dwarf Beans

How to grow all types of dwarf bush Green, French and Runner Beans in containers, garden beds and allotments


Climbing Green Beans

Family/Latin Name

Fabaceae - Phaseolus coccineus (runner)

Fabaceae  - Phaseolus vulgaris (common)

Type of Plant

Legume - Crop Rotation Group = Others

Suitable for

Garden Beds, Allotments, Containers

Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants


Plant Dimensions

Height up to 45cm/18"  - spread  20cm/8"

Yield Per Plant
Yield per 1.5m/5ft row
Up to 400g/14oz
Up to 1.8kg/4lb

Time between sowing and harvesting

About 10-12 weeks

Sowing time

Indoors April to May  - temperature   +16C/61F. 

Outdoors Late May - Early July - temperature +17C/63F

Where to Sow

Indoors in pots of compost 

Outdoors in containers or open ground

How to Sow

5cm/2" deep

Indoors - 1 per  7.5cm/3" pot 

Outdoors in containers  - 10cm/4" between seeds in groups/blocks 

Outdoors in open ground - 10cm/4" between seeds - staggered in rows 45cm/18" apart or in groups/blocks

After Germination

Protect from slugs. Keep well watered.

Growing on - 

 in Containers

Harden off indoor sown plants then transplant to larger pots or growbags spacing the plants 10cm/4" apart in groups/blocks

Growing on-

in open ground

As above or in rows spacing the plants 7.5cm/4" apart and  rows 45cm/18" apart


Support plants with short sticks or  twigs if necessary. Keep very well watered and feed with liquid fertiliser once the flowers have faded and the pods begin to form. 


Begin cutting pods at 10cm/4".Crops over a period of about 12 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Indications Young leaves are eaten - sometimes completely missing
Treatment Organic
1. Sink small pots filled with beer to ground level. Empty daily
2. Sprinkle slugs with table salt
Use slug pellets
Prevention  Avoid damp or humid sites
Black Fly/Aphids
Indications Leaves distorted, yellowing and stunted distorted growth on bean pods and withering plant stems with patches of black in the leaf nodes
Treatment Organic
Spray with a weak solution of soapy water
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Spray with an insecticide containing Bifenthrin, Imidacloprid or Pyrethrum
Prevention None
Bean Weevils
Indications Leaves have U shaped notches around the edges
Treatment Organic
Place a sticky card or bucket of water under the plant and shaking to remove the weevils from the plant. Then destroy the bugs underfoot or pick them off by hand
Spray with an insecticide containing Fenitrothion
Prevention Plant a barrier of garlic along side the rows.
Downy Mildew
Indications Yellow patches on leaves with a greyish mould underneath
Treatment Organic
Remove the infected leaves and apply an organic copper spray/dust to diseased and surrounding plants every 7-10 day
 Remove the infected leaves and spray with Dithane at first sign of attack
Prevention  Avoid damp or humid sites and overcrowding. Practice crop rotation.

 Companion Flower Graphic

Grow Maize, Summer Savory, and Radish close by.


Garlic planted alongside can prevent damage by bean weevils.


Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies".  To learn more about companion planting click here. To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:  Packed loosely in plastic bags for 2-4 days in the refrigerator. Excess amounts can be frozen. Prepare as below, blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain well and allow to cool before freezing.

Preparing:  Wash in cold water.  Snap or cut off a small section from each end of the pods.

Round French and Green beans don't need any further preparation.  

Runner beans usually have strings at the sides which should be removed before further preparation. These can usually be "peeled"  or cut down the length of the bean using a small knife. You can also by bean slicer/stringers which both de-string and slice the beans in one go


Bake/Roast Whole  French/Green  =  25 - 30 minutes. Drizzle with oil and seasonings
Boil Whole  French/Green  =  6-10  minutes
Slice  or shred Runner beans  = 
5-7  minutes
Fry/Sauté Slice  or shred Runner beans  =  stir-fry  4-6  minutes
Microwave Whole  French/Green  =  4-6  minutes (225g/8oz)
Slice  or shred Runner beans  = 
3-5 minutes  (225g/8oz)
Steam Whole  French/Green  =  8 - 12  minutes
Slice  or shred Runner beans  = 
6-8 minutes

For more preparation and cooking information about beans plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.

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