French Bean – Concador

Concador was my first really successful green bean. I had grown Purple and Golden teepee before but found they got chunky quite early, were often misshapen and their promised ability to hold the beans above the foliage was only true until the beans got to a certain size, then their weight dropped them down again.

Concador beans are not held above the foliage but because they are bright yellow they are easy to spot. The beans themselves stayed slim for quite some time and were stringless and tasty when eaten young. They are also a proper yellow colour even when young, where some other yellow beans stay partially green until past when you would like to harvest.

French bean conceder ©LucySaunders2020

In the kitchen

Top and tail the beans and steam for around five minutes or simmer for 3-5 minutes until tender.

Yield and plant health

I’ve never really found French beans to be susceptible to many pests and diseases in and allotment or garden setting in the UK other than the odd slug or snail and the occasional aphid but the supplier states that is shows good resistance to bean mosaic virus, anthracnose and halo blight so if your previous crops have suffered then this is a good one to choose.

You should get about 100g per plant spread over a fairly long season. The beans are held low to the ground but as they are bright yellow they are easy to spot.

Germination can sometimes be a bit miffy. To aid this, especially with older seed try chitting the seed in slightly damp kitchen paper stored in a plastic bag or box and plant carefully when the shoots or roots start to appear.

Suppliers

Thompson & Morgan

French bean conceder ©LucySaunders2020

Growing

French beans are not hardy so in the UK they cannot be planted out until the last frosts which is usually around the end of May or early July. They will sulk if planted out too soon and subject to cold and wet weather.

In mid to late May, using root trainers or 3 inch pots, sow two beans per module, 3cm deep. Water, cover and leave to germinate in a warm sunny spot. The beans will start to show themselves after a few days. When all the beans have germinated you can start to harden off by taking outside and putting in a sheltered spot during the day and returning indoors overnight for a week, finally leaving outside for a couple of days until ready to plant out. Repeat every three weeks for dwarf beans to get successional crops. You may only need two sowings for climbing beans.

Beans need to be planted in a sheltered, sunny spot in rich but well drained soil. Adding plenty of rotted manure or compost before planting and mulching after planting will benefit them enormously. Climbing beans will need wigwams, trellis or canes to grow up. Plant 10 cm apart, water well. Continue to water until they are established but then only during dry spells. Once the beans arrive (late June or July) you will need to pick at least every other day to keep them flowering for as long as possible. Beans should be shiny and the beans not showing in the pod for optimum tenderness. Dwarf beans will often give you a second crop later in the season.

Alternatives

French Bean – Golden Teepee (dwarf)

French Bean – Purple Teepee (dwarf)

French Bean – Emperor of Russia (dwarf)

French Bean – Concador (dwarf)

French bean – Blauhilde (Climbing)

French bean – Golden Gate (climbing)

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