Veg french bean seeds sow grow harvest Ireland

French Bean Seeds (Purple Queen)

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French Bean Seeds Sowing Instructions:

French beans are an easy to grow legume, and are arguably more tasty than some of their family members. There is a huge variety available – green, purple, flecked, cream – and they are quite versatile. Immature French bean pods are excellent to eat whole, while the beans inside larger pods (often called haricot beans) are also very tasty. Climbing French beans make a very attractive addition to the summer veggie patch.


March to August 


July to October


  • French beans grow best in a fertile soil with compost and a general fertiliser added one or two weeks before sowing/transplanting.
  • There are two types of french bean: climbing and dwarf. Dwarf beans grow just 45cm tall. Climbing French beans grow up to 6-8ft tall.
  • Seeds can be sown direct in the soil or in module trays for transplanting.
  • Seeds are sown 5cm deep in modules from late April to July.
  • Outdoor sowings can be made from late May until July.
  • For dwarf varieties, sow 5cm deep every 10cm in rows 50cm apart.
  • For climbing varieties, sow two beans at every cane.
  • It is important not to put plants out too early – French beans are frost sensitive and grow poorly in cold weather.


  • Transplant module-grown plants when they are around 10cm tall.
  • Plant dwarf varieties 15cm apart in rows 50cm apart.
  • Climbing varieties need a support system to grow up – this is usually canes or sticks arranged either in a wigwam or double row. For a double row the canes should be put in every 30cm in rows 60cm apart. The canes are tied at the top onto a horizontal cane. If a wigwam is used then 6 or 8 canes are placed around 30cm apart in a circle with a radius of around 40cm, the canes are tied together at the top. Two plants can be grown up each cane.
  • Water plants well if the soil is dry when the plants are flowering.


  • It usually takes 2-3 months for the French bean to produce its first harvest.
  • Harvest the beans as they reach the right size (about 10cm long). Pick carefully so as not damage the plant. The more you pick the more it will churn out
  • A neat trick is to apply a liquid feed when the plant has finished harvesting to promote a second crop. Learn how to make your own liquid feed here.

Visit the GIY Veg directory for more growing details and tips.

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