Plen­ti­ful sum­mer-long pick­ings

Gardeners' World - - Every Space Counts -

You will need

6 climb­ing French bean plants ‘Cosse Vi­o­lette’, grown from seed Per­pet­ual spinach seeds Multi-pur­pose peat-free com­post 6 hazel sticks 1-1.5m long Large plas­tic pot ap­prox 50cm wide x 45cm high Liq­uid sea­weed feed

Grow it

Climb­ing French beans and per­pet­ual spinach are a safer bet in pots than run­ner beans and nor­mal spinach, as they’re more tol­er­ant of dry­ing out. They still need reg­u­lar and gen­er­ous wa­ter­ing though, es­pe­cially when the beans are form­ing. Place your large pot in a warm, shel­tered spot, fill with com­post, then sow the spinach seeds 4cm apart. In sep­a­rate small pots, sow 12 climb­ing French bean seeds, then place on a sunny in­door win­dowsill or in a green­house to grow. When the bean plants are 15cm tall, push six sticks around the edge of the large pot and tie at the top to make a wig­wam. Re­move the young bean plants from their pots and plant the strong­est six at the base of the sticks. Thin out the spinach seedlings to 8cm apart. Wa­ter reg­u­larly and feed fort­nightly with liq­uid sea­weed.

Your har­vest

For the tasti­est, most ten­der beans, pick the pods be­fore the seeds in­side start to bulge. Keep pick­ing leaves from the spinach and the plants will crop for months.

Pur­ple-pod­ded climb­ing French beans, for ex­tra colour Per­pet­ual spinach or spinach beet

Har­vest the beans reg­u­larly to en­cour­age more to form

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