French Beans 'Sultana' - SeedPhaseolus vulgaris 'Sultana'
Lots of ways to enjoy this delicious French bean!
This healthy climbing French (string) bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) ‘Sultana’ should be planted mid-May directly in the garden for best results. You will get almost perfect string beans from this plant that can grow to as long as 18 cm! This is a very vigorous plant selected by professional gardeners and is very disease resistant too. You are sure to get a huge harvest with this climbing French bean ‘Sultana’.Show more
Show moreThe beans require no prior treatment but soaking overnight in lukewarm water can help germination.
How to SowSow in the garden, April-July.
Sow under glass, March-April.
Seeds germinate in 14 days. There are 2 methods of sowing:
- Loosen the soil in the bed using a fork, to a depth of at least 30 cm. There should be no fresh manure in the soil and it should not be too cold or wet. Form a sturdy teepee with some canes of at least 3 metres long with 40 cm between them. You could also lead a wire between two poles, with garden string every 40 cm from the wire to the ground. A teepee is recommended in areas where there is a lot of wind. Sow in a sunny spot up to and including July, as soon as there is no more frost expected. Dig a hole by each cane or string and place 5 beans per hole. Cover with soil to about 4 or 5 cm. Press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Label your row – each row should be about 80 cm apart for easy access.
- Sprouting seeds are susceptible to frost damage. A good trick is to germinate indoors so that the birds cannot get at them either. Sow in pots, March-April and fill the pots with good potting compost, 5 beans to a pot. Cover with a layer of potting compost to a maximum of 3 cm deep. Press lightly down and sprinkle with water. Stand the pots in a sunny place at room temperature. If the seedlings start to get too big before it is possible to plant out, gain some time by storing them in a cool room. Give the sprouts enough room to grow – keep the pots far enough apart that the leaves do not touch. Give each pot its own cane and tie the plants in as they grow. Plant out after all danger of frost has passed, 5 plants (one pot) per cane or string.
Show moreGive the climbing tendrils a helping hand by winding them around canes or string, especially early on. Use string to bind the plant in if the tendrils do not cling, which they will generally do. Wind can be a factor in them not fastening well. Extra water should only be given in periods of drought. Keep the bed free of weeds – the beans will then grow well.
HarvestingHarvest from June to October.
Use both hands to harvest – it is too easy to damage the plant if you use only one. Green runner beans/Haricot Vert should be picked just as the beans begin to show on the outside of the pod. It is best to harvest all the plants at least once a week during the season. Young pods are the most tender and sweet. When all pods have been harvested and the plant no longer flowers, it's time to dig up the whole plant.
Show moreThese green beans are so-called 'stringless' and are generally considered the tastiest. It is actually hard to find any beans with a 'string' these days as most modern varieties have none.
Haricot Vert are really just green runner beans only much thinner than 'normal'. There are also yellow runner beans to be had with a milder flavour compared to green runner beans.
How to useThese beans are best eaten freshly picked although you can keep them for several days in the refrigerator. Green beans can be boiled or steamed and are a great accompaniment to potatoes, rice or pasta, but do not cook too long as they taste best when crunchy! Cut the beans into 2 cm pieces and cook them quickly in a wok. Green beans can also be frozen, although they do loose a little of their crispiness.