A seasonal highlight of the summer garden, beans are one of the wonders of the heirloom vegetable world with stunning seeds in a rainbow of colours, and ample uses in the kitchen (whole fresh beans, shelled beans or dried beans for winter soups and casseroles). Available as bush beans which produce a crop on a compact plant, or climbing beans which produce a greater yield but require a trellis for support, whichever variety you grow, be sure to pick them daily to extend your harvest and maximise your reward.
Beans are ideal to plant after the hungry, cool-season crops such as Brassicas, because their roots can fix nitrogen to enrich the soil. Climbing Beans outcrop Bush Beans, producing three times the yield, but they require extra trellising for support and wind protection. These fast-growing annuals should be direct sown or planted out after all risk of frost has passed. Mulch thoroughly around your beans — they are shallow rooted and easily damaged — and pick daily for highest yields.