Dwarf Bean 'Italian Borletto' Bean
 
 

Dwarf Bean 'Italian Borletto' Bean - Seed

Phaseolus vulgaris  

Vigorous cropper and high yield!

Kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Italian Borletto bean is a heavy cropping dwarf bean, clearly recognizable due to its reddish pods. The dried beans have an attractive red spotted, marbled appearance. They can be dried and stored for winter, or podded and eaten fresh. Vigorous cropper and high yield. Excellent for deep freezing.
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Beans need no prior treatment although you could steep them in luke-warm water overnight to encourage germination.

Sowing

Seeds germinate in 14 days. Sow some beans every 3 weeks to give more than one harvest per season. There are 2 methods of sowing: 1. Sow directly in the garden, preferably in a sunny spot as soon as all danger of frost has passed, up to and including July. Loosen the soil in the bed with 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. Stretch some garden string between two canes at either end of the bed and drag a furrow along the length of the string. Throw five beans in a hole every 40 cm and cover with soil to a depth of 4 or 5 cm. Use the back of the rake to press lightly down and immediately sprinkle with water. Remove the string and use a marker to label the row. Rows should be 40 cm apart. 2. Sprouting seeds are very liable to frost damage. A good tip is to germinate indoors with the advantage that the birds can't 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 past, 5 plants (one pot) per cane or string, every 40 cm and rows also 40 cm apart.

There are many varieties of beans. Butter beans are so-called due to their yellow coloured bean. They taste smoother than green beans and have white beans in their pods.

Using our beans

Dried beans become edible when soaked in salty water overnight and then boiled in various recipes – like chilli con carne, baked beans in tomato sauce and other dishes. Dried beans can be stored for a long time in paper bags, as long as they are in a dry area. This dwarf bean is unusually decorative! Fill a glass jar with them and add a little ribbon...nice on a shelf.

Sprinkle the beans with extra water only during dry periods. Keep the bed free of weeds - the beans will then grow better.

Harvesting

Use both hands to harvest – it is too easy to damage the plant if you use only one. This variety of bean should be allowed to dry before harvesting, so the pods are easily opened to hull the beans - these should then also be left to dry. It is possible to pick them green too – when the beans in the pod are visible, they're ready. Dry them indoors. Following this early harvest, the plant should keep growing and flowering and this will give you the biggest harvest. The plant is usually all dried up at the end of the season so can then be dug up and discarded.


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