BEANS, DWARF OR FRENCH (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Dwarf beans should not be sown outdoors until the third week in April, and in very cold districts it is better to wait until the first week in May. A sheltered sunny site is desirable. After ordinary preparation theis dressed with soot, and lightly forked over again before the seeds are sown.
Drills are made with a hoe 3 in. deep, and 3 ft. apart, and the beans are set in a double row along the drill so that they are 5 or 6 in. apart each way; 2 in. of fine, good soil should cover them.
Slugs and snails are very fond of the young plants, and a dusting of copper sulphate crystals along each side of the drill is useful in keeping down these pests.
The hoe should be used frequently, and if the weather should turn very dry, water must be given. In addition to this a little complete fertilizer can be hoed in, or liquid manure can be used occasionally during the growing season. For Dwarf types, no support at all is required, but for the taller beans, any land of support such as tall pea-sticks or wires strained to posts, or a length of chicken wire, must be provided.
For earlier crops a few seeds can be sown in boxes in April, in a temperature of about 55°. These are hardened off as soon as the first pair of leaves has formed, and as soon as possible they are planted out in their permanent position. In, the should be buried right up to the first two leaves, and the soil should be made firm round them.
Frequent failures with dwarf beans are due to overcrowding. If all the seeds sown germinate, at least half of them should be pulled out as soon as the true leaves appear, leaving the plants spaced out about 12 in. apart.