Half hardy Annual
Description – A multi-purpose Italian speciality, either for fresh young pods as flageolets (semi-mature pods with succulent seeds) or more usually as haricots (full mature pods with ripe seeds). Spectacular, flattish, pale green pods are heavily splashed with reddish streaks which disappear on cooking.
Sowing – Sow seed 4cm (1½ in) deep in 7.5cm (3 in) pots or trays of good seed compost. Place in a propagator or sealed container inside a polythene bag and place at 18-21C (65-70F) until after germination which takes 7-10 days. Can also be sown direct outdoors once the soil has warmed sufficiently. Sow in 15cm (6in) apart, 4cm (1½ in) deep.
Growing – Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for a few days before planting out after all risk of frost has passed. Grow as for Runner Beans and support with canes or netting.
Aftercare – Hoe regularly and keep well watered, especially when flowering. Mulch during dry periods.
Harvest – June to October