Nutritive Value: French bean is the most popular vegetable among all beans. Green tender pods are used as vegetables and dried grains are used as protein rich pulses. Green pods of French bean contain 91 percent water, 4.5 percent carbohydrates, 1.7 percent proteins and 1.4 percent fibers, 0.5 percent minerals including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sulphur and iron, and is rich in vitamins A, B and C.
Soil and Climate: French bean grows well in light to medium well drained soil with slightly acidic soil pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.0. It grows very well in sandy loam soils but saline and alkaline soils are unfit for French beans.
French bean requires a cool to mildly warm growing season. It is very sensitive to very cold and very hot temperatures. Flowers and small pods drop in the hot summer.
Important Varieties: Contender, Arka Komal, Tender green, Pusa Parvati and Kentucky Wonder are popular varieties of the French bean. Kentucky Wonder is a runner type while others are bushy
Planting and Irrigation: French bean can be grown throughout the year in mild climatic conditions. Seeds are treated with Rhizobium bio-fertilizer culture, dried in the shade and sown in pots or beds at a spacing of 30 cm between two rows and a 10 cm space between two plants. Runner type varieties should be given more space and provided support for growth through staking or hanging on walls.
Plant Protection: Aphids and pod borer are the major insect pests attacking French beans. Spraying of neem cake extract and handpicking of green caterpillars and pod borer can greatly help reduce losses from these insect pests. Powdery mildew is an important fungus disease contracted by the French bean that can be controlled by treating the seed with trichoderma biofungicide powder before sowing the seeds. If powdery mildew occurs on the tanding crop it can be controlled by dusting sulphur powder on the vegetable.
Harvesting: Under good growth condition French bean pods get ready for harvesting within 45 to 60 days in bushy type varieties and 70 to 90 days in case of runner type varieties. Pods should be hand picked and stored in cool places.