Monty Don’s French bean growing tips will ensure a bumper crop – and now's the time to get sowing

There is no better time to sow French beans – discover ingenious tips from the gardening expert for a bumper crop

Monty Don’s French Bean growing tips
(Image credit: Photo by Ben Ashby on Unsplash)

There’s a lot to love about the humble French bean. These versatile veggies are not only tasty, but they’re incredibly easy to grow – however, Monty Don has just made the sowing process even easier. 

See: Kitchen garden ideas – easy ways to get started

It appears that, like us, the beloved gardener is equally partial to tasty French beans, and so, we were delighted to hear his tips on growing hearty beans that will wow guests this dinner party season. However, since May is the official French bean growing month, Monty urges us to act this week – and it won’t be long until you can cook up your own delicious crop too. 

Monty Don’s French bean growing tips 

Monty Don’s French Bean growing tips

(Image credit: Photo by Neha Deshmukh on Unsplash)

Monty’s monthly blog is full of garden tips and tricks – in his recent post, he explained everything you need to know.  

Monty begins by reminding us that now is the best time to sow, as the soil has already started to warm up. Though, before planting, he urges us to double-check the ground temperature by touching it with our skin. That is the only way we can ‘safely sow a batch of French beans, both dwarf and climbing,’ Monty shares. 

Why is checking the ground temperature so important? According to Monty, French beans are ‘tender plants that will be knocked right back by a touch of frost and will survive but not grow if the temperature drops below about 10ºC.’ 

If this happens, the failed crop will attract snails and slugs. ‘By the time they have germinated, we will be clear of those cold temperatures in most areas, and the young plants can grow strongly,’ he adds. 

See: Small vegetable garden ideas – from layout designs to the best crops to grow

Monty Don's dwarf bean growing tip

Monty Don’s French Bean growing tips

(Image credit: Photo by FlowerPhotosUniversal Images Group via Getty Images)

Monty then explains how to sow two common types of French Beans: dwarf beans and climbing beans.

After checking the ground climate, Monty recommends sowing dwarf beans in ‘rows in well-manured soil with each bean spaced six inches apart and the rows 12-18 inches apart.’ 

Monty Don's climbing bean growing tip

Monty Don’s French Bean growing tips

(Image credit: Photo by Ben Ashby on Unsplash)

See: Take a tour around Monty Don's beautiful Longmeadow garden in Herefordshire

Alternatively, for climbing beans, Monty suggests ‘sowing two seeds at the base of each support’ before removing the weaker seed, ‘once one is established and growing strongly.’

Though, whether you grow a dwarf bean or a climbing bean, Monty reminds us to water the seeds regularly throughout the season – leaving us with nothing but a healthy and tasty crop. 

Our gardens, and our kitchens, thank you, Monty. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.