Chinese Long Bean 'Metro' - SeedVigna unguiculata ssp. sesquipedalis 'Metro'
Cultivate your own legumes
Sturdy climbing plant producing beans up to 100 cm long. It likes warm conditions so greenhouse cultivation is recommended. Similar to French beans, but with a firmer texture and more taste.Show more
Show moreYard-long seeds require no prior treatment but steeping them in lukewarm water for 12 hours will encourage germination.
How to SowThe seeds that have germinated are sensitive to cold ad frost. Due to the tropical origin of the yard-long bean, it is recommended to germinate seeds indoors in April. Sow seeds in small pots filled with compost, planting 5 seeds per pot. Cover with a layer of soil specific (3 cm maximum), press the soil, water and stand in the light at room temperature. Seeds germinate within 14 days. If the seedlings show signs of growing too fast and it is not yet possible to transplant them outside because of cold temperatures, place them in a cooler place to slow their growth. Do not let the seeds dry out and allow sufficient space betweens the pots to prevent the leaves from touching. Insert sticks into the slots and tie the plants. In the meantime prepare the soil outdoors - loosen the soil with a fork to at least 30 cm deep. Yard-longs thrive in rich well-fertilised soil, but does not tolerate soil wet and cold. Cover the soil with black plastic for two weeks prior to planting to warm it up slightly. When there are no longer any risks of frost the seedlings can be transplanted into the ground. Place 3 metre long canes (or some sort of sturdy framework) at 40 cm apart in the bed. Plant your yard longs, one pot (5 plants) to a cane.
Show moreYard-long bean is a vigorous climbing bean that requires training up canes. At an early stage after planting train the bean’s tendrils onto the canes. If they don’t automatically attach themselves use garden twine to help them especially if it is windy. Water extra in dry periods only and keep the beds free of weeds to encourage good plant growth. The flowers will only appear after 21st of June (shorter days).
HarvestingUse both hands to harvest to avoid damaging the plant. Yard-long beans should be picked when they are still young and before you can see the seeds showing through the pod. If they are left too long they become leathery. Harvest at least once or twice a week during the season - young beans are most tender and flavoursome. The plants can all be dug up when no more flowers appear and all the beans have been picked.
Show moreOriginally from India, these beans need heat and now grow all over the tropics where they definitely grow to 1 metre (approx. 1 yard) long. Yard longs are very similar to French Beans but are somewhat firmer, thinner, rather spicy tasting and much longer!
How to useFreshly picked Yard-long beans are best eaten when freshly picked although they will be fine in the fridge for a couple of days. When still young the beans can be eaten whole. They are usually cut into pieces approx. 2 cm long then boiled or steamed. Great for using with potatoes, rice or pasta, can also be used when making curries. A short cooking time (use a wok) is best as they are tastiest when crunchy. Yard-long beans freeze well after a short blanching.