The beans on top of the tall pole that is in the center of the French beans bean home garden have always been a mystery to me. I purchased them from a local garden center and was told they were part of a group called the "Frog Family" but never really knew why. They are round, small, and have a very thick shell. The seed inside them looks like a small pea with a black "eye" and a little black dot in the center. They have a long shelf life and should be harvested in late summer or early fall. The longer they are stored (in the weather not warm) the longer they will keep their black dot.
The best time to harvest your climbing French beans is in early spring. You can find them in your garden center's produce section, as well as in some supermarkets. The younger they are, the bigger the shells. There are many different varieties you can choose from, so start by looking through catalogs and ask questions when you're at the store. If they can't answer your question, move on to another store.
When you're ready to purchase your beans, remember the first rule of bean growing: buy when the beans are young. The taller they grow, the more likely they are to wrinkle and separate from each other as they get older. Some climbing French beans are up to three inches tall, so keep this in mind when purchasing them. When harvesting them, leave about one-third of a bean's body to grow. This ensures that the bean seeds fall into the soil easily and don't stay wet.
Harvest them by removing the black "eye" (the big black spot on the underside of the seed). If you're worried about hurting the bean, pick them gently with your hand. A butter knife is a good choice. Remove as much of the stem as possible; this is the tough part. Remove the black "eye" and you're left with a nice assortment of climbing French beans: two types of black beans and one of red beans.
If you have room in your garden or a plot of land, it's easier to grow climbing French bean seeds than red or black beans. Growing them indoors allows you to control the conditions inside the grower's bed. Since they're small, they don't require a large area. The amount of space you have will depend on the seed you buy and how big your plot of land is.
If you're growing the seeds indoors, there are some precautions you need to keep in mind. Make sure you place the seedlings far enough away from windows, doors, and heating vents. The heat from the sun will dry out the seeds quickly. Also, don't let the beans get too hot or too cold, because the final result will depend on the quality of the seed. Seeds that are exposed to extreme conditions can sometimes split and do not survive. So, make sure you follow the seed package directions carefully when it comes to putting the beans in the ground.
Once you've planted your climbing variety of French beans, you can take care of them by watering only once or twice a week. You don't want to drown the soil. In addition, do not over-water the plants. They can actually handle a bit of drought. Remember, your aim is just to give them an opportunity to start producing beans.
Now, you can actually enjoy the pleasure of growing your own beans by starting your own garden. Before long, you'll be harvesting and eating delicious beans. If you're a hopeless romantic, there are other ways to spend your free time. Perhaps you can create French pop corn with your own garden grown climbing French beans seeds. Talk about romantic!